When Benjamin Franklin opened the way to an electric world in 1752, he probably never imagined that one day the energy that moved a key attached to the tail of a kite would drive a car.
Today’s vehicles can be charged from a household socket, are more sustainable and have a lower cost per kilometre with consistent performance. But how exactly do electric cars work?
Begins with electricity
Alternating current, direct current, combined… Electric vehicles can be charged using either a domestic electric network or at a fast charging station.
The difference is that domestic current is alternating, while fast charging is direct current. Therefore, different connectors are needed.
If the car is being charged from a domestic AC network, the electricity first passes through the charger located under the engine, via the charging cable.
As this is a high-voltage system, the entire circuit has high safety measures.
Converting the current
The charger ensures that only direct current reaches the battery, so it transforms the current supplied by the domestic network.
If the vehicle is charged with direct current from a fast system, it does not go through this phase and goes directly to the battery.
The heart of the system
The current has now reached its destination, the battery. This is not a single unit, but is divided into modules, and these, in turn, into cells.
The advantage of this system is that if one of the modules fails, it can be replaced independently without affecting the rest of the battery components.
On the go
The electric propulsion e-Motor can now be started. Technically, it converts the three-phase voltage into motive power.
Once in operation, the same power is maintained over almost the entire load level range. Unlike vehicles equipped with a combustion engine, electric cars deliver full power from the very first moment.