Electric cars use batteries to store energy, and those batteries are recharged through your home’s electrical supply. When the car is in motion, the batteries supply power to an electric motor. Here, you will learn more about electric cars and how they work.

Motor and Battery Tech

The batteries in electric cars are made of stacked electrochemical cells, and each cell typically produces about two volts. Up until the late 90s, most electric vehicles used lead-acid batteries, but today’s cars are usually fitted with lithium polymer or lithium ion cells. These new batteries offer better performance and a longer range, and are the choice of most vehicle makers.

The first electric vehicles used DC motors, but most new cars use an inverter to convert direct current to alternating current, with the AC powering the induction motor. Cars such as these have higher power, increased efficiency and lower maintenance requirements. However, they cost a bit more, and the apparatus that controls the motor’s speed and inverts the power is more complex. Some electric cars recharge the batteries en route with regenerative braking, which can increase range by up to 20%.

Behind the Wheel

The driving experience in an electric car is different than that of a conventional car. The shifting mechanism works the same way as in an automatic vehicle, and upon accelerator usage, you won’t hear much noise from the engine. As the car gets going, any minor engine noise is covered up by wind and other factors.

Most electric cars have high torque at low speeds, with great acceleration capabilities – meaning that they can stand up to city driving. Some models are specifically designed for these conditions, with a top speed of about fifty miles per hour, but many newer models can easily reach highway speeds of about 70 mph. “Electric car” doesn’t have to mean “low performance”; the Tesla Roadster can go from 0-60 in four seconds, and has a top speed of 130 mph!

Today’s electric cars have performance and range that suit them to a variety of applications such as delivery use, commuting, city driving and trips where low-emission vehicles are required. Because of their versatility, electric cars are often used in commercial fleets and as company commuter vehicles.