Are electric cars direct drive

Are electric cars direct drive

Are electric cars direct drive

Electric cars are most interestingly mysterious vehicles and only a few people seem to understand how they work. More often than not those who understand how a regular car works have questions about EV. One of the many questions you may have in mind right now is “are electric cars direct drive?”.  I am here with an answer and more details about how electric cars  work. I will explain what a direct drive is.

Are electric cars direct drive? No, EVs are not direct drive.

What is an electric car?

Before we go into details, let me start by describing what is an electric car. An electric car is a type of vehicle that uses the battery as its source of power and motors to drive the wheels.  Electric vehicles do not have an internal combustion engine. However, lithium-ion battery is used to store power to drive your vehicle.

So, do electric cars use gas? No, electric cars do not use gas unless they are hybrid vehicles.  Hybrid vehicles are designed to use both gas and electricity as their fuel.  Hybrid vehicles always allow you to either use a battery or the internal combustion engine. So, since you now know what an electric car is, I can comprehensively dig deep into details.

Types of electric cars

Now that I have explained what is an electric vehicle, it is only fair to explain the types of electric vehicles you can find in the market. I have mentioned them already but let me explain again. There are three types of electric vehicles.

  Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)

The first type is the battery electric vehicle (BEVs). The power is derived from the batteries and does not use gasoline at all.  This type of vehicle can use a level 1 charger as well as a level 2 charger.  They are the most eco-friendly of all EVs.  On a previous article we discussed about electric cars charging themselves and it not what you think.

        Plug-in hybrid vehicles

The second type is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.  The only difference between the plug-in hybrid and hybrid is the size of the battery.  The plug-in electric vehicles tend to have larger batteries than the hybrid types.  A plug-in hybrid has a fuel tank as well as a slot to charge the battery.

     Hybrid electric vehicles ( HEVs)

They do not have a charging port for the battery. All the energy comes from gasoline. Some of them have regenerative braking where the wheels are used to turn the motor which produces electricity. The electricity generated can extend the range of your car by a mile or so.

Are electric cars direct drive?

Electric cars are not direct drive. What is direct drive in the fast place? Direct drive is a scenario where the torque from the electric motor is transmitted directly to the wheels without gear reduction. So, no, electric vehicles do not work that way.

In the past few years, people were excited over the idea of direct drive EV but it never came true. It is perceptively clear to both the manufacturers  and the users what the benefits of the direct-drive are. They are both economic as well as environmentally friendly. The current technology does not allow either to take place. If a direct drive was to be used in EVs, it would be undoubtedly complicated.

The next obvious question in your mind could be, do electric cars have gears. The answer is yes.  The fact that they do not have direct-drive means gears have to be involved. In fact, most of the EVs you see today favors a single gear transmission

Do electric cars have transmissions?

Other than the type of fuel used, there is the drive train. You are aware that a regular car offers you up to 5 gear speeds besides the reverse gear( that is if you ever drove manual cars). Well, this is not the case with electric vehicles. Instead, electric cars have a single-speed transmission meant to regulate the motor. Again, do electric cars have gears? Yes they do, they use single transmission type.

Manual cars allow you to change gears so that you can attain the speed you need fast enough. And why is that?  An internal combustion engine gives efficient power only when you are at certain RPMs. So, you are required to shift gears at given RPM ranges. When you need a lot of power, low gears are required.  A lot of power is needed when climbing hills, when the vehicle is heavily loaded, or when you are starting from a standstill.

EV vs ICE transmission

We are still answering “are electric cars direct drive?”, aren’t we? Let us compare electric cars with conventional vehicles. You can read a whole article about electric vehicles and regulars here.

The power output of an internal combustion engine is directly proportional to the engines` RPM. This why when accelerating or climbing a steep hill you need to give it more gas. More gas translate to more RPMs and hence more power.

Electric cars do not operate in this manner. How do electric cars work then?  Unlike the internal combustion engine, an electric car motor can produce a consistent amount of torque. This, however, is for a specific range. Additionally, an electric car motor can deliver the required power instantly. So, EVs do not require time to build torque through revving as regular cars do.

The working principle of an electric vehicle does not require you to switch gears while driving. This burden has been removed from you by manufacturers through careful calculation of gear ratios that will maximize the vehicle’s efficiency.

An electric car motor can provide RPMs even beyond 10,000 with a lot of ease. However, for regular cars, RPMs beyond 6000 could cause the engine to self-destruct. Even when such an electric car motor gives RPMs beyond 10, 000, it can provide consistent torque. This is something an ICE cannot do.

There may be another reason you need to know why multi-speed transmission is not used in EVs. Adding the gears will result in more weight on the vehicle as well as inefficiencies. Furthermore, there will be additional production costs. So, you now understand why a Tesla model does not have a multi-speed transmission.  However, I now know you know the working principle of an electric car.

What are the advantages of direct drive?

Direct drive means a high level of efficiency for the vehicle. If achieved, it could be one of the breathtaking innovations in the automotive industry. Reducing the number of parts required during transmission means the energy loss is also reduced.

The simplicity of it all is magnificent.  Furthermore, reduced moving parts means few repairs and replacements. Do you know what that means? Reduced carbon footprint. The gearbox is a very complex system. the energy loss is insignificant in the short run but devastating in the long run.

If the direct drive was a reality, it would be a lifesaver for many people.

Why would the automotive industry give up on the direct drive?

The economic impact is too high. And why is that?  A direct drive vehicle would suffer damages more often than not and require maintenance and repair more than it is currently. If you hit a bump, the vehicle would be hardly flexible. That rigidity would cause the vehicle to suffer damage even in the most expensive parts.

Now let us look at some of the advantages of electric vehicles you will enjoy.

Advantages of electric vehicles

Are electric cars a direct drive is a very wide and it will be incomplete without discussing their advantages. The advantages of electric vehicles are very many. you do not only benefit when you use an electric vehicle but also help reduce the carbon emission in the environment.  Most of the countries are unceasingly making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Using electric vehicles instead of gasoline is a major milestone towards that goal. Let us now dig into the advantages of electric vehicles.

   iv.   Cheaper to run compared to gasoline vehicles.

A well-cited study showed that you are likely to spend around $300 annually for fuel on an EV. However, those who own ICE vehicles are likely to spend around $ 1500 annually.  You see the difference. It is cheaper to operate an EV than a gasoline car.

Their batteries do become less efficient with time. Most manufacturers warrant that you will enjoy long-range for about eight years. After that, you will need to look for another battery.

A hybrid vehicle is undoubtedly expensive to maintain. Your attention will be required on both the internal combustion engine and the electric part of your vehicle.

 v.            Are environmentally friendly.

There are two things you will realize once you drive an EV. First, the vehicle is very silent. Second, there are no exhaust gasses emitted. This is how an electric car is eco-friendly. Internal combustion engines once they get old, they become less efficient. Other than those engines becoming annoyingly noisy, they emit more gas fumes. Worn-out rings and pistons cause fuel combustion to become less efficient.

Furthermore, you can charge your EV using power from solar or wind instead of the gird.

    vi.            Good for our health

Do you remember we said EV has zero-emission? Well, this has been the panacea for the people who have respiratory issues. They are the right vehicles made for them. Long before enough study was conducted, lead was used are a component of the fuel.  Lead is a carcinogenic element. It is very dangerous.

   vii.            Home charging

Another advantage of electric vehicles is that you can charge at your home. In my previous article about using regular outlets to charge EV, we discovered we can charge EV at home. So long as you have a dedicated circuit branch in your home, you can charge your car at the home, workplace, or even at a friend`s place.

Disclaimer! Before you plug it into any outlet, make sure the wiring is alright. EVs tend to draw a lot of power. Thin wires have high resistance. High resistance causes the transmitting wires to get hot.  If a lot of current is drawn and they become extremely hot, they start a fire. An electric fire is the last thing you want in your home, workplace, or at a friend`s place.

See, you do not have to travel to the charging station while you can do it at your home.

Final thought: are electric cars direct drive

Direct drive is a fine idea for electric vehicles. However, the complexity masked with the straightforwardness of the concept has been a problem for the engineers. Electric cars are a big leap towards a safer and greener environment. I hope that EVs become widely adopted.