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What makes an Electric Car Different?

The Battery

Electric vehicles (EVs) swap a gas tank for a battery. Moving tons of metal around requires a lot of power which is why EV batteries come so big and so heavy. These batteries take up the entire underside of your vehicle and contain multiple cells. EV batteries store DC (direct current) power. Since your home outputs AC (alternating current) power, a special converter has been build the car itself to convert the power from your home into DC energy. This makes charging take longer. The reason Telsa's so named Super Chargers are quicker is because they output DC power, negating the need for your charger to convert the power.

Once you start driving, the DC power stored in your battery is converted back into AC to power the motor. But wait! Why convert the power again instead of just using DC? Or why not store AC energy if that's what the motor needs? Two reasons: AC energy cannot be stored, but AC makes a much better motor. Because of the way they are built, AC motors last far longer than DC motors without needing to be serviced. DC motors use physical contacts called communicators to transfer electricity. The contacts wear out quickly due to friction and need to be replaced. On the other hand, AC motors use electronic communication with no contacts. The power control unit does the job of converting the stored DC power back into AC for your motor.

The Motor

The motor of an electric car is understandably much different from a standard internal combustion engine (ICE). These motors are significantly smaller, so much so you might even miss it as they are usually buried out of sight. Also, you might have more than one! More motors can make your EV faster and be used to make it an all-wheel-drive.

But how much power can an electric motor provide? Compare horsepower and torque between a gas and an electric car. Note how high the torque is on an EV your are considering. EVs can deliver most of their torque starting at low RPMs while ICE cars need revving up to deliver their maximum acceleration. You will definitely feel the difference when driving electric.

The Transmission

Electric vehicles have no need of a transmission as they use a single gear. One reason for this is that, unlike internal combustion engines, EVs are efficient inside a much larger RPM range; more than double the range of a typical vehicle, in fact. This negates the need for multiple gears entirely. Multi-speed gearboxes are most efficient when kept within 1,000-2,500rpm. Not so for all-electric vehicles which can generate instant power from any given range of revs. Another reason for the single gear is that is saves the manufacturer and you money. Installing a full driveline system for this type of vehicle greatly reduces the manufacturing cost. This enables EV companies to keep their asking price lower for today's electric vehicles, which is expected to drop even lower as technology improves.

Whether you love them or hate them, electric vehicles seem to be here to stay. Their efficiency and increasing affordability have driven many to go full electric. But all vehicles, electric or not, need careful maintenance to keep them running safely and efficiently. Flash Lube Oil is able to service your EV, hybrid, or gas-powered vehicles with the same skilled service every time!


Come on down to your local Shell Rapid Lube owned and operated by Flash Lube Oil! Your friends down here are happy to service your car!

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