One of the most important questions people ask before buying an electric car is how they work. The answer can seem a little complicated initially, so we’ll break it down for you.
In a nutshell, electric cars for sale in san diego work because of two very different current generators. One generator captures mechanical energy from a rotating shaft or axle and converts it into electrical energy. The other takes electrical energy from the power grid to charge up the batteries that provide electricity for your car when you need it. The constantly turning wheels in your car’s engine produce kinetic energy (wheel rotation speed squared). This kinetic energy is converted into mechanical energy by your car’s alternator, which has an electrical current of around 14 volts. This extra electrical current is used to power the car’s electric motor, which makes the wheels turn.
Your car’s alternator can produce anywhere from 14 to 170 volts, depending on many factors, including your model of car and how fast you’re driving. However, most modern cars operate at around 14 volts while driving under normal conditions.
Electricity in your car comes from the alternator, batteries, and the power grid. To ensure that your car always has the power it needs, there’s a battery charger called an alternator that recharges any drained batteries as you drive along — until it reaches a certain voltage threshold. Your car’s controller then stops restoring any more power from the batteries and switches to sending just enough power from the alternator to get you where you’re going.
Another thing your car’s controller will do is shut down your motor and brakes in the event you run out of power. This is called a “differential braking” system, which means one brake pedal controls both wheels on the ground. If we think about it like this, it makes sense that if your car runs out of electricity, both brakes will work very hard.
This high-voltage system also works in reverse. For example, if you’ve got a stationary car and want to add power quickly, you can hook up your alternator to the power grid. Then, if any of your other car’s parts are on, you’ll have a constant flow of electricity. So there’s another way that electric cars work . . .
You can also charge your battery pack at home with a unique charging device connecting through your car. When you plug it in, the whole system will kick in and provide power to your car directly from the power grid. There are also other “hybrid” systems (e.g., Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist) that combine both systems. In these cases, you can plug your car into a wall socket and drive it around just as if it were an average gas-powered car, but you can also charge up your battery with energy from the power grid to give yourself a quick boost of extra power when you need it most.