Electric cars are increasingly circulating in the automotive market today. Basically, it is no different from a conventional engined car with an internal combustion system consisting of four wheels, supported by a suspension, brakes, audio system and so on. Moreover, its function is also the same as a vehicle to meet the needs of mobilization.
Although in principle the same, but there are a number of differences that can be considered striking in electric cars compared to conventional engine cars. The main difference, of course, is in the components of the drive system and power source.
Conventional cars rely on an internal combustion engine as a drive system, which is combined with a transmission to turn the wheels. There are hundreds of moving components integrated with each other. The same thing is also owned by hybrid cars, still using an internal combustion engine either as the main or supporting system. And to stop or reduce speed, brakes have the biggest role.
Meanwhile, electric cars are powered by batteries. The battery, which is generally a lithium-ion type, then transmits energy directly to an electric motor to drive the wheels. The series of powertrain systems in electric cars is simpler than conventional ones.
Then about the storage and refilling of energy sources, conventional cars have tanks to accommodate fuel oil (BBM). Liquid fuel stored in the tank is then pumped into the engine to produce combustion and power. Conventional car refueling is generally done at gas stations (public refueling stations).
While the battery as a store of electrical energy is generally installed at the bottom or bottom of the car chassis. Because it does not use fuel, then recharging the battery can directly use a power source that is available anywhere. Examples include offices, public electric vehicle charging stations (SPKLU), shopping centers, or even at home. Charging or recharging a normal battery takes quite a long time, but if you can use the fast charging method, the charging time can be cut many times.
But even though conventional and electric cars have significant differences, they still have a lot in common. Call it the audio or infotainment system, air conditioning, steering system, suspension, we buy junk cars, and stability support on the chassis are also applied to electric cars.
But there is one interesting thing that electric cars have and are absent in conventional cars. Electric cars, including hybrids, have a regenerative braking system that recycles electrical energy into the battery. When the accelerator pedal is released, the electric motor can recharge the battery by creating an engine brake-like effect. This restrained car speed produces energy which is then stored back into the battery, so that energy consumption is more efficient.
And another advantage that can be enjoyed through an electric car is the practicality and economy for its periodic maintenance purposes. Because the mechanical components are much simpler, the electric car maintenance process is also easier. The most common thing that is done in every maintenance is updating the software on the electrical system.
Types of Electric Cars Circulating Today
The future of vehicle electrification has arrived. For those who are interested in owning an electric car, they can choose one of the variety offered in the market. Currently, there are four types of electric cars that have been mass produced. Let’s get acquainted with the kinds of electric cars.
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
As the name implies, battery-based electric vehicles. This type is commonly known as an electric car. Not a few people also call it a pure electric car. BEV uses a battery as the main power source to drive an electric motor. No fuel or combustion process at all. This ensures that it is environmentally friendly because it does not produce emissions.
Battery energy is recharged through power lines just like electronic devices that also use batteries. The most commonly used type of battery is Lithium-ion. The battery technology in this battery-based electric car then makes the official price difficult to suppress. That’s why the price of BEV electric cars is still relatively high.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
If HEV is more commonly known or called a hybrid car. Using two systems as a driving source. Namely conventional engines or fuel and electric motors. The source of electric motor propulsion also uses batteries. But not as big as BEV capacity. While conventional engines use fuel oil.
Although using batteries, hybrid cars do not need to be charged with an electric plug. The power will be filled automatically when the car moves using a conventional engine. Other energy such as the result of regenerative braking can also support battery recharging.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
This type of PHEV electric car combines BEV and HEV systems at once. Because it’s a hybrid, it still carries a conventional engine, both as a source of propulsion and to help charge the battery.
The battery used by the PHEV is also as large as the BEV. To charge, you can plug it into a power source (plug-in). Utilizing an engine with fuel oil to charge the battery can also be done. So it is more flexible and can reach longer distances.
With that function, a number of PHEV cars offer the ability to provide a power source. Like a large generator that can continue to work as long as there is fuel oil.
It’s not just about charging the battery. PHEV drives from machines and electric motors can generally be used alternately or simultaneously (AWD/4WD).
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
For the last type of electric vehicle, it is more unique. Do not use conventional machines. It also doesn’t use batteries like the BEV. The source of energy is obtained from the use of hydrogen.
In FCEV, hydrogen is filled. While the fuel cell itself is a device similar to the battery in an electric car. In charge of producing energy from the chemical reaction of the combination of hydrogen and oxygen. Then produce energy and water. Energy will be stored by the module to be distributed throughout the car. While the water is discharged through a channel resembling an exhaust.
The system on the FCEV is considered to solve the problem of charging the battery in the BEV. However, FCEV technology is no less expensive than BEV. So that the population of FCEV vehicles in the world is not as much as electric and hybrid cars.