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How do Electic Vehicles actually work? Let's take an indept Look!

Have you ever thought about how electric vehicles (EVs) operate? Are they simply conventional cars with a massive battery pack? Or is there something more intriguing at play? Join us today as we delve into the world of EVs, open the frunk, and uncover the secrets of electric engines!


Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: The Surprising Origin of Electric Vehicles
  • The Operating Principle of Internal Combustion Engines
  • The Fascinating World of Magnetism
  • Understanding Electromagnets and Polarity Reversal
  • The Role of the Inverter in Electric Motors
  • Advantages of Electric Powertrains over Internal Combustion Engines
  • The Regenerative Braking System
  • Ongoing Innovations in Electric Motor Technology
  • Nikola Tesla and the Advancement of Electric Motors
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs


1. Introduction: The Surprising Origin of Electric Vehicles

Believe it or not, the operating principle behind most modern electric vehicles predates the invention of the internal combustion engine by several decades. Back in 1834, a Dutch professor named Sebranda Stratting of Groningen, Netherlands, constructed his very own small electric vehicle. But the problem was that it had an non-rechargeable battery. But still this early innovation was an important step for the future development of electric transportation.


2. The Operating Principle of Internal Combustion Engines

In order to understand that how electric engines work, first it's important for us to understand the fundamental principle behind the working of internal combustion engines. These engines work when air and fuel is compressed in a close compartment which results in a controlled explosion. The force generated by these explosions moves pistons in a linear motion, which is then converted into rotary motion via a mechanical crankshaft, ultimately propelling the vehicle forward.


3. The Fascinating World of Magnetism

On the other hand, electric cars operate on a completely different principle—magnetism. We're all familiar with how magnets with opposing poles attract each other, while like poles repel. Now, let's conduct a thought experiment involving two magnets: one fixed and the other attached to a rotating shaft.


4. Understanding Electromagnets and Polarity Reversal

In our experiment, imagine one of the magnets transforming into an electromagnet. Unlike fixed magnets, electromagnets consist of a metal core coiled with electrical wires. This enables the electromagnet to reverse its magnetic polarity. When the poles of the two magnets facing each other have the same polarity, the magnet on the shaft experiences repulsion and starts to rotate. However, once the poles align in an attractive configuration, the rotation ceases.


5. The Role of the Inverter in Electric Motors

Electromagnetism and the inverter both play a very important role in Electric Motors. In a fixed magnet, the magnetic poles remain rigid and unchanging. In an electromagnet, however, the polarity can be reversed. By continuously reversing the polarity of the magnet through a device called an inverter, the magnet can spin, powering the electric motor.


6. Advantages of Electric Powertrains over Internal Combustion Engines

Electric powertrains offer several advantages over their internal combustion counterparts. Firstly, the motion produced by the electric motor is already rotary in nature. In contrast, internal combustion engines require complex crankshafts to convert linear motion into rotary movement. Consequently, EVs are less prone to failure and require less maintenance.


7. The Regenerative Braking System

Another remarkable feature of EVs is the regenerative braking system. When the shaft-mounted magnet, also known as the rotor, spins, it generates electricity. This regenerative process effectively recharges the car's battery, ensuring prolonged usage.


8. Ongoing Innovations in Electric Motor Technology

It's important to note that this overview provides a simplified explanation of electric motor operation. There are various types of electric motors, and constant refinements and advancements are being made in their design. Notably, a certain Californian car company, named after the legendary inventor Nikola Tesla, is at the forefront of these innovations.


9. Nikola Tesla and the Advancement of Electric Motors

With the various pioneering discoveries in Electrical Engineering, Nikola Tesla is conisdered as a brilliant symbol of the 19th century. The role of Nikola Tesla in the improvement of alternating current (AC) is unmatched. Without Tesla's contributions, electric motors would not have achieved the level of sophistication that they enjoy today. It is undeniable that his work fundamentally altered the trajectory of AC power, ultimately making electric vehicles a realistic means of transportation.



Magnetism and electromagnetism are the driving forces behind electric engines, as they induce the rotation of the motor's magnets. Alternating current, which propels the motor, is generated by reversing polarity via the inverter. Electric powertrains provide advantages like streamlined design, advanced regulation, and recuperative braking, setting them apart from their internal combustion counterparts. As technology advances, the prospects for electric vehicles are even more promising than before!


Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: Are electric vehicles better for the environment than internal combustion engine vehicles?

Yes, electric vehicles have a lower carbon footprint compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. They produce zero tailpipe emissions and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions when charged with clean energy sources.


Q2: Can electric vehicles go as far as conventional cars on a single charge?

The range of electric vehicles has significantly improved in recent years. Many modern EVs offer ranges that can match or even surpass those of conventional cars. However, the range varies depending on factors such as the vehicle model, battery capacity, driving conditions, and driving habits.


Q3: How long does it normally take to charge an electric vehicle?

The charging time for an electric vehicle depends on the charging infrastructure and the vehicle's battery capacity. Charging times can range from a few minutes for fast-charging stations to several hours for home charging using a standard power outlet. Rapid advancements in charging technology are continually reducing charging times.


Q4: Are electric vehicles more expensive to maintain than internal combustion engine vehicles?

Electric vehicles generally have fewer moving parts and do not require oil changes or complex maintenance procedures like internal combustion engines. As a result, EV maintenance costs are comparably lower. However, battery replacement can be a significant expense in the long run, although battery longevity is continuously improving.


Q5: Can I charge an electric vehicle at home?

Yes, you can charge an electric vehicle at home. Installing a dedicated charging station or using a standard power outlet can provide convenient charging options. Home charging is usually slower than public fast-charging stations but is sufficient for overnight charging.

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