The world has been running on oil for a long time and most people who drive cars have never really had an alternative to their petrol or diesel cars. In the past, most people did not have to worry about the impact of their cars on the environment. In today’s world everyone needs to not just be aware of their impact but they have to also try to reduce their carbon footprint and try to improve the world as much as they can. A lot of people have started to realize this and are working to save our environment. This leads us to one of the hottest topics in the tech world, electric vehicles.
You might not be aware of this, but electric cars have been around since the 19th century. in 1897, it turns out, most of New York’s taxis were electric! These cars ran on very poor battery technology, like Silver Oxide batteries that lasted just 100 recharge cycles after which they had to be thrown in the ocean. They were very slow as well, not like the Tesla we see today. The Internal Combustion Engine driven vehicles soon took over completely as they could be built to last, did not break down that easily, and could be driven for a longer range, practically as long as you wanted, and were very fast!
With the people now looking to change their lifestyles and reduce carbon footprints, EVs are making a comeback. The tech that drives EVs has gotten so much better, the batteries are now Lithium Oxide, which can last a long time. The tech used to mine for two core components Lithium and Cobalt have gotten so much better, but they still have a long way to go as the carbon footprint of building an EV is about 17 metric tonnes of CO2, compared to an ICE car which produces around 7 metric tonnes. The tech that builds these EVs and their batteries still has a long way to go and this involves not improving battery technology but also mining technology.
The 7,104 individual cells in a Tesla Model S are wired in a combination of series and parallel connections over 16 modules to increase the voltage and the amperage of the battery cell and thus power the car. Voltage is a measure of how much energy is present and Amperage is a measure of how much energy can flow when required. A properly functional vehicle needs large and appropriate amounts of both and in case you don’t know it, tuning a battery seems to be one of the toughest jobs. The batteries need to last a long time as in lots of recharge cycles, which means if they are constantly recharged and discharged they will lose their ability to hold charge. But EVs are also meant to go fast, which means they discharge very quickly, leading to more recharge cycles. The waiting time for a full recharge is intentionally made longer simply because if you force a lot of charge into a battery, it loses its ability to hold charge over time. This is why battery tech is so challenging but also loads of fun. You have to engineer a battery just right so that it can discharge and power the vehicle properly, but not too fast, ensure that recharging happens fast so that people don’t have to wait a long time, but also not too fast as it can damage the battery. These are some of the reasons why most manufacturers prefer to have their own proprietary charging stations and networks like the Tesla Supercharger network or the Ola Hypercharger network.
If you look past just the car production and look at the long run, research proves that the running emissions of EVs are much lower than ICE cars even if you include the emissions from the production of their fuels. Do take a look at the Climobil app that lets you compare any EV with any ICE car to check and compare their emissions.
Some of the fastest EVs now can reach 100 KMPH in just over 1.1 seconds, which means the technology that drives EVs is amazing and leading the way. The tires are holding it back though, as it seems like no tires seem to be able to keep up with the acceleration of current EVs. No weak pun intended.