E-car technology: That makes the maintenance of electric cars cheap

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But how does an electric car work? What components does an electric drive consist of? How does electricity get into the car, where is it stored and how is it used? CAR PICTURE provides answers to the most important questions about Function of an electric car – and what price advantage it has!

The architecture of an electric car


The modular electric drive kit (MEB) from VW with the so-called skateboard architecture.

Of the Driving an electric car consists essentially of one battery pack, one Engine (or several) as well as one Charge and power management. As in the case of the modular electric drive kit (MEB) from Volkswagen, the so-called “skateboard architecture” is usually used. Here lies the battery well protected and space-saving in the sub-floor, the other components sit on the front and rear axles. All parts are connected to one another by high-voltage cables. There are mostly in the system 408 volts Voltage is on, i.e. significantly more than at the domestic socket (230 V). But it can be up to 800 volts, like with the Porsche Taycan.

Charging station, wallbox and more: this is how e-cars are charged

This is how an electric car works

A wallbox makes it much easier and faster to charge the electric car at home.

Most electric cars can be plugged into a household socket Alternating current (AC, 2.3 kW) “filled up” and in the vehicle from a current transformer Direct current (DC) can be shaped. However, it is much faster, safer and more practical to charge direct current on a “Wallbox“(Read everything you need to know here, including a wallbox test). With a wallbox is a Charging power of 11 or even 22 kW (400 volts, 32 amps) common, so charging is much faster. At public charging stations can it up to 43 kW (400 Volt, 63 amps). However, the charging capacity of the car must also be designed for this.

Is connected a plug (in Europe usually a three-phase type 2 plug), the current flows through a Mode 3 cable to the charging connection on the outside of the vehicle. With a bidirectional charging port is also the return of the stored in the car Energy in the household (Vehicle-to-Grid / V2G or Vehicle-to-Home / V2H) possible. thanks to the Recuperation Most e-cars can use their batteries (recovery of braking energy) while driving at least partially recharge. This property increases the Drive type efficiency. In contrast to the combustion engine, where the kinetic energy is released into the environment as useless waste heat when braking, part of it is stored in the battery in electric or partially electric vehicles.

Energy storage: the battery in the electric car

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This is how Honda’s E-Mini drives

Of the battery pack is basically the tank of the electric car – and that most expensive component of its drive. A sophisticated one management ensures the right temperature and compensates for voltage fluctuations. Usually it is one Lithium-ion battery, as this material mixture can be charged the fastest, most frequently (keyword: cycle stability) and with the largest volume. The battery of an electric car consists of individual modules (the more, the greater the range of the car), which can be exchanged individually and in turn are made up of many Battery cells put together. Modern systems rely on so-called “Pouch cells“, which are similar to cell phone batteries in terms of their design. There are also those prismatic and the cylindrical Construction. In addition to this so-called High voltage battery there is another Low voltage batterythat supplies the on-board electronics (radio, heating, etc.). (You can find out how a battery is constructed here.)

The power electronics in the electric car

the Power electronics is this “Brain” of the electric drive. It generates exactly that from the direct current stored in the battery Alternating currentthat is required for the current driving situation. With the help of more intelligent Frequency and amplitude control (Limitation of the voltage) the inverter regulates the output of the electric machine. While the Frequency of the alternating current regulating the speed of the car is that amplitude in the end responsible for the performance.

The engine of the electric car

Electric motor Audi Q7 e-tron

Housing, stator, rotor (from left): These components are used to convert magnetic fields into motion.

The engine of an electric car is a very simple machine compared to a combustion engine. in the Electric motor will changing magnetic fields converted into motion. More precisely, permanently built-in change Stators (Magnet 1) through the energy from the accumulator constantly their poles. The one sitting in the middle or in the stator rotor (Magnet 2) is thereby alternately attracted and repelled, gets into a Rotary motion and finally ensures that the wheels start moving.

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Power transmission and wear in electric cars

In addition to the lack of CO2 emissions during operation, the electric motor has many other advantages. E-motors work differently than combustion engines low-friction and low-wear, energy efficient, vibration free and almost noiseless. While internal combustion engines only reach their tractive power at 800 to 1000 revolutions per minute, this is the case with electric motors full torque right from the start over a wide speed range. Switching operations are not required for an e-car, which is why it is without a multi-stage gearbox and without a classic clutch gets by. However, high-performance e-cars (like the Porsche Taycan) have two speed levels for reasons of efficiency. (What to do when a Electric car breaks down, find out here.)

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