The preference for a 100% electric vehicle has been increasing exponentially in recent years. In fact, the advantages of this type of technology are numerous, starting with the sustainability of the environment, and even reaching the economy of electric charging. While it is still a habit to choose a conventional fossil-fuel vehicle, the future belongs to electric vehicles.
Hyundai, through the Blue Academy, explains how 100% electric vehicles work and how they differ from conventional vehicles.
100% electric vehicles vs conventional vehicles
A 100% electric vehicle is mainly distinguished by the energy source used. While conventional cars use fossil fuel as an energy source, electric cars use electricity. For this reason, the form of supply / loading is different for the two technologies.
Electric energy, unlike fossil fuels, is environmentally friendly. There is no emission of polluting gases, which allows the preservation of the environment, making automobile circulation sustainable in the long run.
In terms of exterior design, cars can be quite similar. However, electric vehicles have some identifying element, such as, for example, the initials “EV” (Electric Vehicle / Electric Vehicle) and, also, an identification badge issued by IMT (its display is mandatory). This badge has a positive purpose: easy identification of electric vehicles so that they can enjoy various benefits, namely, free parking in places defined for this purpose.
What really differs between electric and conventional vehicles is not in sight. Mechanics is the main differentiating factor between the two technologies.
The main components of an electric vehicle
The electric battery
Unlike conventional vehicles with the combustion engine as the main part, the central component of 100% electric vehicles is the electric battery. It is here that the energy from the charges is stored through connection to the power grid, and the capture of kinetic energy. This battery also powers the vehicle’s electrical components.
The capacity of this component determines the maximum range of the vehicle. As a general rule, the greater the battery capacity (measured in kWh), the greater the amount of energy stored and, consequently, the greater the autonomy.
The battery of the Kauai EV, Hyundai’s 100% electric SUV, has a capacity of 64 kWh which translates into 484 km of autonomy.
Batteries can be built with different materials, namely lithium, cobalt and nickel. However, everyone is prepared to guarantee the necessary strength and security.
In cases where the safety of the vehicle and its passengers is threatened, such as if the vehicle overheats, the electric batteries are programmed to activate a protection mechanism that limits the operation of certain components of the vehicle, forcing it to cool down .
The source of energy for electric vehicles is electricity, unlike conventional vehicles powered by fossil fuels and which are refueled at any of the filling stations around the world.
Electric vehicles can be charged practically anywhere by connecting to the mains, requiring only a cable for charging, and compatible connectors and power between the car and the electrical outlet.
Charging can be carried out in 10A household sockets, in wallboxes or standard charging stations that support charges up to 22 kW, or in fast charging stations that allow charges greater than 22 kW.
Charging in domestic outlets takes several hours (usually more than 24 hours). In turn, charging 80% of the battery’s total capacity in fast charging stations usually takes less than 1 hour.
In this respect, conventional vehicles have a slight advantage: filling a tank with petrol or diesel takes about 5 minutes. However, although it takes longer, be it slow or fast charging, at home or at public or private charging stations, you will be saving the environment and your wallet.
Electricity is cheaper than fuel, which means that the cost of charging is significantly less than the cost of supplying a similar route (about three times lower).
The electric motor
Driven by the energy transmitted by the battery, 100% electric vehicles have an electric motor.
The power of this component is measured in kW, and these are equivalent to a certain number of
horses. For example, the Kauai EV has 150 kW or 204 horsepower.
Although the maximum speed to be reached by the vehicle may be limited electronically, the fact that maximum torque, or maximum power, is available from the moment you press the accelerator, allows for a powerful start.
For this reason, when it comes to starting and the driving experience, 100% electric vehicles are nowhere behind fossil fuel cars.
The regenerative braking system
The regenerative braking system is a very common system in electric vehicles. In a simple way, this system allows the vehicle to be loaded while driving, as it collects the kinetic energy of the car’s wheels during deceleration. The collected energy can be used to drive the electric motor, or sent to the electric battery for storage and later use.
To use, just take your foot off the accelerator when going downhill or just before immobilizing the vehicle.
In these moments of deceleration, the vehicle is loading and increasing its range. And still saving the brakes.
For these reasons it is so important to use this system. Some vehicles even have several levels of regenerative braking so that it is possible to maximize the collection of energy generated by the vehicle itself.
Maintenance is simpler and cheaper
The maintenance of an electric vehicle is simpler and cheaper than that of a combustion vehicle.
Simpler, because electric vehicles are more streamlined in construction and have fewer parts that are quickly worn. In reality, the electric vehicle maintains scheduled maintenance, however there may be no replacement of any parts.
When the vehicle detects an error, it must be resolved and this may require repair. The condition of the car must also be analyzed visually to detect any problems.
If you don’t have so many quick-wear parts and maintenance is not as frequent, this means that maintenance is also cheaper. Unlike combustion vehicles, electric vehicles do not have an air filter, fuel, oil filter, engine oil, timing belts and spark plugs. And the tires, brakes and suspension are much longer lasting, especially if the regenerative braking system is used correctly.
The most expensive component of 100% electric vehicles is the battery. Its replacement may involve the payment of several thousand euros. However, battery replacement is infrequent, with an expected life of around 10 years. In addition, sometimes it is only necessary to repair or replace certain battery modules, making this service much cheaper.