Electric-car Motors and Batteries

Differences between battery electric cars and other EVs

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have both an electric motor and a conventional gasoline or diesel engine. Compared to a battery electric vehicle, this extends the total driving range but lowers the all-electric range.

Fuel cell electric vehicles convert hydrogen gas into electricity to power an electric motor and battery. Fuel cell vehicles are a relatively new technology in passenger vehicles, but have a substantial carbon-cutting role to play alongside other all-electric vehicles.

Vmaxo advertisement 2 types of motors are used in electric cars: DC motor and AC motor. We'll discuss about each of them, but before that, here're two major things to keep in mind about electric car motors, in general. Perhaps the biggest advantage of using these motors is the reduced level of pollutants spewed in to the environment. Electric motors enable the vehicle to be 100% emission-free, thus greatly helping in keeping the environment greener.

An AC motor is powered by alternating current and is likely to be a three-phase motor that can function at 240 volts AC. The regenerative feature of AC motors can also work as a generator which brings power back to the battery of an electric vehicle.

DC motors are classified into three categories namely brushed DC motor, BLDC or brushless DC motor, and stepper. Brushed DC motors are widely used in electric vehicles for retracting, positioning and extending electrically-powered side windows. These motors are suitable for many uses because of their low cost.

  • If the motor is a DC motor, then it may run on anything from 96 to 192 volts. Many of the DC motors used in electric cars come from the electric forklift industry.
  • If it is an AC motor, then it probably is a three-phase AC motor running at 240 volts AC with a 300 volt battery pack.

DC installations tend to be simpler and less expensive. A typical motor will be in the 20,000-watt to 30,000-watt range. A typical controller will be in the 40,000-watt to 60,000-watt range (for example, a 96-volt controller will deliver a maximum of 400 or 600 amps). DC motors have the nice feature that you can overdrive them (up to a factor of 10-to-1) for short periods of time. That is, a 20,000-watt motor will accept 100,000 watts for a short period of time and deliver 5 times its rated horsepower. This is great for short bursts of acceleration. The only limitation is heat build-up in the motor. Too much overdriving and the motor heats up to the point where it self-destructs.

Battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, use electricity stored in a battery pack to power an electric motor and turn the wheels. When depleted, the batteries are recharged using grid electricity, either from a wall socket or a dedicated charging unit. Since they don't run on gasoline or diesel and are powered entirely by electricity, battery electric cars and trucks are considered "all-electric" vehicles.


If you're interested in conversion of your car, here're some invaluable tips for selecting the best electric motor for that purpose. The motor is one of the most critical components in building an electric vehicle. It's quite understandable if you get confused with the wide range of electric motor models available today. But careful selection of it is immensely important to accomplish your purpose.


You'll need the following four pieces:
An entirely new motor (electrically powered this time)
An electrical device which will help monitor and regulate the power of the batteries to the motor
A battery that will suit you and your needs (remember, the most advanced ones will allow you to go further in your travels)
A battery charger that is compatible with your chosen battery


This is a project not meant for the do it yourself-er (sorry guys!). Instead, this process should be trusted to a trained technician or someone who has experience in converting vehicles to electrical.

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