electric car motor

How Does an Electric Car Motor Work?

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

The motor is the heart of the automobile. All of the speed and pace depend on a motor. You might be curious to know how does an electric car motor work?  It’s quite technical. A series of innovations has bring this invention to the present state. We will find how does an electric car motor work.

An electric motor operates through the physiological processes that developed in the late 19th century. Since that time a lot of development has taken place to shape up the motor. How does an electric car motor work?

How does an electric car motor work?

It uses a current to create a stationary part of the machine (stator), a magnetic field, whose displacement sets the speed of a rotation part (rotor).

These days electric motors can be found in numerous everyday things. Most of them featured direct current motors with a number of basic functionality.

The motor is directly connected to its power source (disposable or rechargeable battery), and its rotation speed depends directly on the intensity of the current used in the input.

Although the production is simple, these motors do not meet the power, reliability or size requirements of the electric vehicle.

For this, we must switch to alternating current motors, which require the use of a conversion circuit to convert the direct current supplied by the battery.

Synchronous or asynchronous motor

There are two types of alternative current motors in the automobile industry. An asynchronous motor relies on an electrically driven stator to create a rotating magnetic field.

It then pulls the rotor into an endless chase, as if it were trying to catch the magnetic field without ever succeeding.

Working this way, there is a difference between the rotor’s speed and the magnetic field. This phenomenon, known as motor slip, has an impact on motor performance.

In a synchronous motor, the rotor acts as an electromagnetic, actively participating in the creation of a magnetic field.

Its rotation speed is directly proportional to the frequency of the power supply to the motor without any loss of motor slip.

Whether synchronous or asynchronous, an electric machine works in the opposite way, which means it can convert mechanical energy into electricity during degradation: it’s the principle of regenerative braking, derived from the alternative.

Rotor or permanent magnet

Some synchronous motors use a permanent magnet for the rotor. It has the advantage of operating without power supply but requires the use of metal or alloys such as neodymium or dysprosium.

The problem is that these prices are very volatile because of the monopoly of China’s base on these “rare earth”.

An alternative solution, used by Reno for ZOE, involves making electromagnet from a copper coil.

This requires a more complex industrial process but avoids the problem of supply while maintaining a great ratio between motor weight and torque delivered.

electric car motor

From motor to the electric power train

In a vehicle, an electric machine with a rotor and stator is part of a larger unit, an electric power train.

Also within this unit, the Power Electronic Controller (PEC) combines all the power electronics responsible for controlling the motor’s power supply and battery.

Lastly, it includes gear motors, parts responsible for adjusting torque and the speed of rotation transmitted between the wheels by the motor.

Together these three components make the electric car silent, reliable, less expensive and fun!

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