ELECTRIC cars are becoming increasingly popular around the world.
But how exactly do they work? Here's all you need to know…
How do electric cars work?
When you put your car in gear and press on the accelerator, this is what happens –
- Power is converted from the DC battery to AC for the electric motor
- The accelerator pedal sends a signal to the controller which adjusts the vehicle's speed by changing the frequency of the AC power from the inverter to the motor
- The motor connects and turns the wheels through a cog
- When the brakes are pressed or the car is decelerating, the motor becomes an alternator and produces power, which is sent back to the battery
What types of electric cars are there?
BEV stands for Battery Electric Vehicles
These cars are only powered from an electric battery.
PHEV stands for Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles
These cars cars both an electric battery and a combustion engine.
The electric battery is recharged from a plug.
A hybrid car runs off a combination of a petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor.
They have a conventional engine, an electric motor and a battery.
How does charging electric cars work?
How long it takes to charge an electric car depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.
It could take anything from 30 minutes to 12 hours depending on these factors.
A typical car with a 6kWh battery takes roughly 8 hours to charge fully with a 7kW charging point.
Most electric cars can travel roughly 150 miles on a single full charge.
However some, like Teslas can go about 350 miles on one charge.
Home charging can be done using an existing plug socket or a wall-box home charging unit.
A typical wall-box home-charging unit can supply power between 3 and 22kW – and with a charge of 7KW, it can cut charge times in half.
You’ll need to pay to install one, but a government grant will fund up to 75 per cent of the cost of purchase, up to a maximum value of £350.
According to EDF Energy, electricity costs 14p per kWh on average.
So, you’d pay £6 for a 13-hour charge on a 40kWh Nissan Leaf using a 3kW charger.
However, as electricity costs less off-peak (e.g. at night), the charge is more likely to be £4.
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