Electric Automobiles
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Electric Automobiles

By: Bryn Dixon

  

 

Drive for 2 cents a mile!  Don’t believe it?  Within 2 years, more than a dozen fully electric automobiles will be on sale.


 

 

 

 

 

What are electric automobiles?

Electric automobiles use only a battery and an electric motor to power and drive the vehicle. Since the early 1900’s, electric vehicles have been used and produced, although most were marketed towards women to alleviate injury from turning a combustion engine crank. The one technological breakthrough at the time which kept electrical cars from being in the forefront of the industry was the invention of the electric starter for a combustion engine by Charles Kettering. This was only a minor setback in the electric automobile breakthrough because the fossil fuels used to power ignition combustion engines will only last for so long. To exchange a combustion engine which burns fossil fuel to an electric motor which runs off the power grid and yet keep the creature comforts we have come to expect, the electric automobile has changed and started to shape the future of automobile design and technology.

 

How do electric automobiles work?

By using a battery pack as the “fuel” source, instead of refined oil, the electric automobiles computer transfers this energy to the electric motor which is directly linked to the driveshaft. This driveshaft will then usually go through some sort of transmission before finally being applied as torque to the wheels. Simplified, the electric motor is a metal cylinder which is tightly wrapped with coiled wire, usually copper, and is surrounded by magnets. When a current is introduced into the coil, the magnetic field created between the magnets forces this cylinder to spin, creating the torque of the driveshaft. Through utilizing the spinning of the driveshaft during braking, and reversing the current of the electric motor, it acts as a generator, recharging and restoring some of the power to the battery, allowing for the system to become regenerative.

 
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