Electric cars are automobiles that derive motion from an electrical power source by converting the supplied electrical energy into magnetic, followed by a kinetic motion of the vehicle. Typically, electric vehicles feature one or more induction motors and a battery pack serving as the power source to drive said motors.
History of electric cars
The electrically powered DC motor was invented much before the internal combustion engine had been conceived and, in such capacity, was actually a very popular means of transport during the 19th and the 20th century, even during the early days of gasoline engines.
Electric cars offered convenience and comfort, the likes of which could never be matched with early ICE designs. While gasoline engines backfired, made a lot of noise and overheated, electric cars were smooth, made far less noise, did not require cumbersome gears and were far more mechanically simple. They were in fact so popular that they had served as taxis in both Britain and the US.
Further, in the future, the ICE design became more reliable and gasoline-powered cars eventually started selling more units as they took relatively less time to refuel and the phasing out of the early clumsy mechanical methods of starting the engine as the newly introduced electric starter motor could start the same with the turn of a key.
With battery technology unable to keep up with more modern demands, the electric car soon became an era of the past but in recent times has seen a resurgence. This has majorly been driven by the fact that CO2 produced by burning gasoline and other hydrocarbons, if not reconverted to other harmless compounds, gradually accumulates in the atmosphere, trapping heat and causing global warming.
Shifting to a better alternative
The most important reason the world is beginning to shift its attention towards electric cars is their lack of any sort of emissions whatsoever. Due to their self-contained nature, an owner of such a car needs to worry, pretty much, only about charging the car back up, much like a smartphone or a battery bank one leaves to charge overnight.
The most commonly used engine in the electric car is an induction motor, invented by Nikola Tesla. Such an engine is made of only two parts: the rotor and the stator. The stator is responsible for producing the magnetic field which turns the rotor, turning the shaft.
The rotor can spin up to incredible RPMs and hence the car does not require a transmission or a gearbox to transfer power to the wheels and is hence arranged in a direct drive configuration. The creation of a magnetic field on passing a current through a conductor is also instantaneous. Due to this reason the motor creates a torque on the wheels the moment the driver pushes the accelerator, also referred to as instant torque.
Having a stationary conductor in a changing magnetic field induces electricity in the conductor which opposes the magnetic field. This can be utilized in regenerative braking where the car converts its own kinetic energy back into electricity to recharge the battery when decelerating. Electric cars are also virtually maintenance-free. This is due to the fact that the car has so few moving parts. The engine has a single moving part and the brake pads practically never require replacement due to regenerative braking which doesn’t wear the same. Electricity is also cheaper than gasoline in most parts of the world and very few people need any explanation on how much gasoline costs a household over an entire year.
The world today is aware of the destruction a tip in the CO2 cycle can bring with the increase in the frequency of natural disasters, such as catastrophic cyclones and tornadoes and the gradual submersion of huge areas of land under the sea due to rising ocean levels and melting polar ice caps.
It is, as we can see, a time of critical importance and of swift decision making on the part of the global leadership, in all of humanity’s mission to curb an artificially created but eventual calamity to the very existence of life, as we know it. A paradigm shift in the way we generate and utilize power is thus, imperative and with all the global and domestic benefits of electric cars considered, it becomes the best choice towards the sustainability and protection of the lives of the generations to come.