Electric Cars Explained

Electric cars are cool and very beneficial not only to their users but for maintaining a healthy environment.

As you read on in this guide, you’ll find out what electric cars are, how they work, types, essential features, some of the best brands, the benefits, and the future of electric cars.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about electric cars.

First, What are Electric Cars


Electric Cars or Electric Vehicles (EVs) are vehicles that do not require petrol, diesel, or gasoline to function.

Instead, they rely on electricity for power, fossil fuels, and other renewable energy sources for power.

How do Electric Cars Work?


Electric cars or EVs are powered by electric motors. The electric motor derives energy from rechargeable batteries, fossil fuels, or other sources of renewable energy.

Since they do not use gasoline, diesel, or fuel, you need to charge them to keep them running.

Also, they are considered eco-friendly vehicles. This is because they do not emit toxins into the environment like other traditional vehicles that use gasoline, fuel, or diesel.

You can charge electric vehicles using a wall socket or dedicated charging equipment called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

Depending on the brand or model, a typical electric car takes about 8hrs to charge fully from zero to 100%.

Also, it can run from 100-350 miles when fully charged.

The key difference between electric vehicles and other gas-powered vehicles is the powerhouse.

Electric vehicles use an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. On the other hand, gas-powered vehicles use an internal combustion engine powered by fuel, gas, or diesel.

Overall, electric cars may replace other gas-powered vehicles in the coming years. This is because it is energy and cost-efficient compared to other traditional/gas-powered vehicles.

Moving on.

There are various types of electric vehicles; let’s consider what they are.

Types of Electric Vehicles

Types of Electric cars

There are three types of electric vehicles, they include;

  1. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
  2. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
  3. Fuel-Cells Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

These are also called all-electric vehicles/cars. This is because they solely rely on electricity to function.

BEVs store electricity in a lithium-ion battery pack. It is this battery that powers the motor in the electric vehicles.

Hence, BEVs need to be charged using electricity. To charge BEVs, you need to connect the vehicle to a power outlet (wall socket) or a dedicated charging unit for BEVs.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

As the name suggests, these are electric vehicles with two major parts.

HEVs are vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) like gas-powered vehicles combined with one or more electric motors.

Hybrid Electric cars are of two types, and they include;

  • Non-Plug-in HEVs: These types of hybrid electric vehicles do not need to be plugged into a power outlet to charge the batteries that power the electric motors.

Instead, the HEV batteries are charged by onboard operations. This means that the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine.

When you pull the brakes of a non-plug-in HEV, it releases kinetic energy.

The heat produced from the operation of the brakes in the form of kinetic energy is stored back in the electric car’s battery.

Consequently, supplying power to the battery to run the electric car.

  • Plug-in HEVs:  These are hybrid electric cars powered by an internal-combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor.

You can plug the batteries into electricity to charge.

Fuel-Cells Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)

These types of electric vehicles also require electricity to function.

However, unlike other electric vehicles, the FCEVs used electricity powered by hydrogen instead of electricity stored in a battery like other all-electric vehicles.

These kinds of electric vehicles transform the chemical energy in hydrogen and oxygen from the air to electricity.

Hence, you do not need to charge FCEVs.

However, you need to refill the hydrogen tank onboard the vehicle when the electric car runs out of oxygen.

Overall, FCEVs are not so popular yet. This is because of the shortage of hydrogen plants or infrastructure in most countries.

Now there are some important components or features of electric cars that make them have such high efficiency.

Let’s discover what these features are.

Important Electric Vehicles Components/Features Explained

●    Motor

This is the most important component of an electric vehicle. The motor is to an electric vehicle what an engine is to other traditional cars.

It converts electrical energy to kinetic energy. Thereby causing the wheels of the electric car to move.

●    Reducer

As the name implies, the reducer is a feature that reduces the driving force from the motor in an eclectic car.

Simply put, it acts as a speed/mechanical force regulator in electric cars. It works simultaneously with the motor in an electric vehicle.

●    Battery

This acts as the storehouse /electricity power pack in an electric vehicle.

When you charge an electric vehicle, this is where the electric energy stores. The battery is to an electric car what a fuel tank is a gas-powered vehicle.

●    On-board Charger (OBC)

This is what charges the electric vehicle’s traction battery.

The on-board charging system in electric cars converts the Alternating Current (AC) in the charging outlet or electricity grid to Direct current (DC) to charge the battery

●    Electronic Power Control Unit (EPCU)

This is responsible for controlling the flow of electric power in the vehicle, and it has three important sub-components, which are;


The batteries of electric cars store energy in direct current (DC) form, as seen earlier.

However, electric cars need alternating current (AC) to function. So, the inverter in the electric vehicle converts the DC in the battery to AC.

The motor works with the AC to power the electric vehicle to move its wheels

Low voltage DC-DC Converter

The electronic systems in electric vehicles (EVs) work with low-voltage electricity.

However, the batteries of (EVs) supply high-voltage electricity. This high-voltage must be converted to low-voltage(12v) to be suitable for the electronic systems to work effectively.

So, the DC-DC converter converts the high-voltage electricity to low-voltage.

Vehicle Control Unit (VCU)

The VCU controls most of the EV’s power control systems, such as; motor control, regenerative braking control, A/C load management, and power supply for the electronic systems.

It is considered the most important part of the (EPCU).

Now you know what electric cars are, how they work, and some of their major components.

Let’s consider some of the best brands and models of electric cars.

Best Electric Cars

These are some of the top performers/manufacturers that make some of the best electric cars. These include;

Nissan Electric Vehicles

Nissan Electric Car

Some of their best electric vehicles models include; 2021 Nissan Leaf, Nissan e-NV200, Nissan Esflow, etc.

Chevrolet Electric Vehicles

Chevrolet Electric Car

Best EV models; Bolt EV 2021 and Bolt EV 2017-2019 series

BMW Electric Vehicles

BMW Electric Car

2021 BMW 3 Series, 2021 BMW 5 Series, 2020 BMW 7 Series, 2019 BMW i3, etc.

Mercedes-Benz Electric Cars

Mercedes-Benz Electric Car

Mercedes-Benz B250e and 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC400.

Ford Electric Vehicles

Ford Electric Car

2021 Mustang Mach-E, 2021 Escape Plug-In Hybrid, 2020 Fusion Plug-In Hybrid, 2020 Explorer Limited Hybrid, Focuselectric (2012-2018), Etc.

Tesla Electric Vehicles

Tesla Electric Car

2022 Cybertruck, 2021 Model 3, 2021 Model S, 2021 Model X, 2021 Model Roadster, etc.

Overall, these are some of the best manufacturers of EVs you should keep in mind, especially when buying electric vehicles.

You may be wondering why electric cars?

In most parts of the world, many people are switching from using gas-powered vehicles to electric cars.

This not just because of the unique design and features of electric vehicles. Instead, it is more because of the benefits/advantages of electric cars.

Let’s find out what these benefits are.

Benefits of Owning Electric Cars

some of the benefit you will derive from owning an electric car are:

They are eco-friendly vehicles.

They do not emit greenhouse/toxic like other gas-powered cars.

Hence, owning one means you’re contributing to a healthy environment in your region.

Low cost of maintenance

Use electricity and other forms of renewable energy.

This means you don’t have to spend money refueling the vehicle like you would using non-electric vehicles.

Electric cars produce less noise.

Unlike most traditional/gas-powered vehicles that use gas or diesel, electric cars are a lot quieter.

So, driving your electric car around gives you a smooth and quiet experience.

You Get Rewarded for Owning Electric Cars

In most parts of the world, you get tax credits for owning electric cars. This is because you’re contributing to creating a healthy environment for everyone.

The tax credit amount largely depends on the brand and model of the electric car that you use.

Although owning and using electric vehicles has a lot of benefits, it also has a few drawbacks.

These drawbacks are not bad, but they are worth mentioning.

  • Purchasing electric cars cost more than traditional vehicles.
  • Also, they have a shorter range/mile distance than most vehicles that use gas/diesel.
  • The battery takes time to recharge.

Regardless of these challenges, electric vehicles are still a more convenient, efficient, and eco-friendly vehicle than gas-powered vehicles.

Given this, electric vehicles are becoming more popular in different parts of the world.

This brings us to consider what the future holds for electric vehicles.

Will it gain global relevance and adoption in the years to come?

The Future of Electric Cars

In the past years, electric cars have measured slow progress rates.

However, this is about to change starting this year;2021

After careful research and analysis, ABI Research speculates that Evs will gain more relevance in the market share this year.

It further speculates that this market share expansion will be influenced mainly by more affordable EV models made by EV manufacturers.

Overall, they expect to see a remarkable positive shift in the EV industry by the end of this decade.

Conclusively, we can say that electric vehicles are the future of the automobile world, thanks to recent technological advancements.

I hope you found this PowerVersity guide helpful?

If you found it helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, to read more guides like this, visit our Electricity & Renewables page.

Victor Akin-Ojo
Victor Akin-Ojo is the founder and the Lead Editor of PowerVersity.com. Before he started PowerVersity.com, Victor worked in the IT industry for close to 15 years. He worked mainly as field Engineer on Installation of VSAT, Wimax Technologies, including but not limited to, Power Maintenance Sector for close to 10 years – Designing an electrical installation for Homes, Private and Government Offices and more.


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