How do modern electric cars work?

When I first heard about electric cars, they seemed too complex and totally unrealistic for regular use, but I’ve been proven wrong by how many more I see on the roads every day. How do modern electric cars work?

Allison Stone · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
If you’re thinking about buying your first
electric car
, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that while they work quite differently than gas-powered cars, the driving experience is nearly the same if not easier.
When you get behind the wheel of a modern electric car and put your foot on the accelerator, a few things happen:
  • Power from the DC battery is converted to AC power for the electric motor through the controller and inverter.
  • The controller translates pressure from the accelerator pedal into the motor inverter, which adjusts the frequency of the signal it sends to the electric motor to increase power or torque.
  • The electric motor connects to and sends power to the wheels, which propels the car forward.
The powertrain of an electric car is overall much simpler than a gas-powered car, and the speed at which electric energy travels also allows for the swift and smooth acceleration that electric cars are known for.
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