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?

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Answer provided by
Allison Stone
Answered on May 11, 2022
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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