How Do Electric Vehicles Work?

Every wonder how those electric cars propel themselves along so efficiently and silently? Mr. Electric can teach you a thing or two about it. Learn more!

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are becoming increasingly popular. Popping up alongside you on roadways, and silently idling - and surprising you - in parking lots, they leave many Americans wondering just how these electric eccentricities propel themselves along so efficiently and soundlessly…

How Do Electric Vehicles Work?

As the name suggests, electric vehicles work by using power stored in batteries – a large group of batteries packed together – to power an electric motor, which turns the wheel of the car. Like your cell phone, over time batteries are depleted and require a recharge. There are no emissions in a BEV, negating the need for smog checks - they don’t even have a tailpipe. With no internal combustion engine to ‘rev up,’ acceleration response (torque) on electric cars is nearly instantaneous, providing rapid pedal response and zippy maneuvering into traffic compared to conventional vehicles.  With fewer moving parts, they’re also cheaper to maintain, requiring no oil changes or ‘tune-ups.’

Where Do Electrical Vehicles Get Their Juice?

  • Outlet Charging
    Electric vehicles are charged either from a conventional outlet in your home, or special rapid charging stations when you’re out and about. Because they draw so much juice, electrical panel – and sometimes electrical service upgrades on older homes – may be necessary to ensure the safe and efficient charging of electric vehicles alongside the smooth operation of other appliances plugged-in to your home’s electrical system. These upgrades often make charging faster, cutting outlet time in half (or more).
  • Power Regeneration/Savings Within the System
    Braking systems on electric vehicles are designed to reuse the kinetic energy created when stopping/slowing, using it to recharge the battery, a process called ‘regenerative braking.’ Electric vehicles are also designed to minimize wasted energy, turning the car off when stopped

How Far Can Electric Vehicles Go On a Charge?

An overnight, 8-12-hour charge on a standard 120-volt outlet (‘AC level 1’ charging) can push BEVs an average of 70-100 miles, though some models can go as far as 265 on a single charge. After that, they need a recharge. Though the home is the primary place for an electric vehicle recharge, restaurants, office buildings, and ‘gas’ stations are coming to a better understanding of how electric cars work, and the needs of BEV owners, installing rapid charging stations roadside. These include ‘AC level 2’ charging stations, which use a larger, 240-volt plug for a faster, 3-6 hour charge, and ‘DC fast charging,’ which can repower a vehicle in as little as 20-40-minutes. Offering substantial time savings, such added electrical vehicle charging upgrades may be a prime addition to ‘The Ultimate Car Washing Kit’ owner’s often invest in with a new vehicle purchase.  

How Wallet & Carbon-Friendly are Electric Vehicles?

Carbon-friendliness depends on the source of electricity used to pump-up your electric vehicle. But the good news is that electric vehicles powered by electricity from even the dirtiest coal-fired power plants still run more efficiently and produce less pollution than their gasoline or diesel-fueled counterparts. This performance helps drivers save over $1,000 on gas annually, on average, depending on electric vehicle model and fuel prices.

Considering an electrical vehicle upgrade? Upgrade your electrical system to accommodate the newest member of your family with the help of Mr. Electric today.