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EVs – II : A brief about EVs

In my last write-up, I talked about the growing popularity of EVs, their impact on the grid and the importance of solar PV technology as a supporting source of power.

This time we will go through some basic info about EVs.

There are mainly three types of EVs classified by the amount of electricity they use for their power source. They are: Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).

Hybrid Electric Vehicles: HEVs are powered by a combination of electricity and petrol. While the electricity is generated by the car’s braking system to recharge the battery, also called ‘regenerative braking’, this powers the electric motor which helps in the initial start off and then the petrol engine takes over as the speed or load increases. Hybrids are designed to ensure the best economy in various driving conditions by controlling both the motors (petrol and electric) by an internal computer.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Also called Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs), they are also powered by both, electricity and petrol. A PHEV’s battery can be charged by ‘regenerative braking’ as well as by plugging in an external power charging outlet. The petrol engine also acts as an extension by recharging the battery as it gets low. Thus, unlike conventional hybrids, PHEVS can be plugged-in and recharged from an outlet, allowing them to drive extended distances using just electricity. In these kinds of hybrids, the choice of the primary source of energy lies with the end user as some car makers favour petrol and some favour electricity.

Battery Electric Vehicles: Unlike any of the above two hybrids, a Battery Electric Vehicle is exclusively powered by electricity which is sourced from a rechargeable battery. An EV is solely powered by an electric motor instead of an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). It gets power from a controller which regulates the amount of power based on the use of the accelerator pedal by the driver. EVs have minimum parts, have no fuel tank, or a petrol engine or an exhaust pipe and are totally emission free. EVs can also charge their batteries through ‘regenerative braking’ like hybrids.

When an EV’s batteries are depleted, they can be charged either at your home or at a dedicated ‘EV charging station’. It is very much similar to charging your mobile phone.

Due to their sustainability and cheap running costs EVs are the way to the future.

Coming next… EVs – III…. Advent of the EVs.