Electric Vehicles are powered by electric energy. They have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The three important components of an Electric Vehicle are Battery, an Electric motor and Controller.
BATTERY: Electric Vehicles uses the energy which is stored in a traction battery to power an electric motor to turn the wheels. When the battery is depleted, they are recharged using grid electricity from charging stations. The battery also powers other electronic devices in the vehicle. Higher the capacity of the battery higher will be the range of the vehicle. Current electric vehicles use Lithium-ion type of batteries as they are capable of storing more energy.
CONTROLLER: Controller is the electronics package that functions between the battery and the motor to control the vehicles speed and acceleration. It is used to manage the flow of power from the battery to the motor so that the motor does not burn-out, also to control the speed of motor and torque it produces. The accelerator pedal of the vehicle is connected to a pair potentiometer, which is connected to the controller to figure out how much energy is required for the vehicle to go smoothly on the road. The controllers on most vehicles also have a system for regenerative braking, that is when pressure is applied on the brakes, the electric car takes advantage of the forward momentum of the motor to recharge the battery.
ELECTRIC MOTOR: Electric motors convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy. Two types of electric motors are used in electric vehicles to provide energy to the wheels, the direct current (DC) motor and the alternating current (AC) motor. Both types of electric motors are used in electric vehicles and they have their own advantages and disadvantages.
BATTERY PACK: This houses the batteries which are connected in series and parallel according to the requirement.
BATTERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: BMS is the brain of the electric vehicle. It controls the charging and discharging of the battery by determining how fast and how much electricity should flow through the battery. It shields the battery from working outside its safe operating range. Each model will have an exclusive BMS.
ONBOARD CHARGER: EV is charged using AC or DC. It takes the power from the home socket, which is AC provided via charge port and converts into DC power for charging the battery. The charger makes sure that the precise amount of current and voltages are available for charging and also monitors the battery characteristics temperature and the state of charge while charging the battery pack. The charger restricts the power to the battery to avoid over-heating of the battery and supply-system.
DC/DC CONVERTER: It converts the higher voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to the lower voltage DC power which is required to run other vehicle machinery.
THERMAL SYSTEM (COOLING SYSTEM): This system manages an appropriate operating temperature range of the electric motor, power electronics, and other devices.
INVERTER: Battery stores the current in the form of Direct Current (DC). Generally, most of the electric vehicle’s motors run on Alternating Current (AC). Hence to convert DC to AC an inverter is used. It also converts the AC obtained from the regenerative braking and converts to DC to store in the battery.
“We have to use cars much more efficiently. We have to look at alternative technologies of cars such as bio-fuels or, even more importantly, electric cars.”― Faith Birol
“Electric cars are not going to take the market by storm, but it’s going to be a gradual improvement.”― Carlos Ghosn