Electric motors are being claimed to be a workable and desirable replacement of combustion engines due to certain inherent advantages. All brands have launched a frantic race to launch electric motors and are making efforts to make the most significant technical advances in this sector.
There are often doubts about the suitability of using an electric motor over combustion engine. It is currently a topic of debate due to a sharp increase in oil prices. It is therefore important to know the fundamental advantages of using an electric motor over the current combustion engines.
1. The electric motors are much more interesting in terms of design, because they are compact and can be placed almost anywhere in the vehicle.
2. From the point of view of mechanical performance, it is much more convincing than the diesel or gasoline model. The principle is simple: a power source (battery) is connected to an electric motor via a controller and a converter which is used to enable supply of AC to the motor, thereby requiring less number of mechanical components and causing less wear and tear of those that are still required.
3. An electric motor also has the advantage of not having a significant friction loss, as is the case with a thermal combustion engine. In contrast, the energy is directly converted into motion almost in its entirety, leading to an immediate and constant acceleration.
4. Electric motors require less maintenance and do not need coolants or engine oil.
5. Virtually, they make no noise while in operation and produce negligible heat.
6. Vibrations are imperceptible as the engine does not suffer during operation.
7. An electric motor requires no gears except some mechanism to distinguish forward and backward movement, which may well be the reverse polarity of the motor itself.
8. The absence of a tank filled with fuel to power the engine through a pipe, gearbox and cooling apparatus induces the possibility of decentralizing the movement generation and placing multiple motors instead of one “central motor” coupled to a transmission. You only need some software to synchronize the different motors.
9. When it stops, it does not need any clutch to exert torque. It is also easy to recover braking energy (or a part of it) to recharge the batteries, because a motor and a generator are essentially the same.
10. Talking of fuel efficiency, an electric motor has an efficiency of around 90% which is the percentage of energy consumed in motion when the battery is usable, while a diesel engine, due to the thermodynamic limitations, has efficiency below 40%.
Moreover, this latest technology is environment friendly and cheaper than the existing combustion fuel driven engines.
The main issue with motors of this kind is not themselves as such, but their power sources – current battery technology being the weak point within the larger systems. Of course batteries are improving all the time, along with the means of charging them.
Given the growing ecological awareness of modern societies, people these days are more than happy to sacrifice few benefits of the combustion engines over electric ones. In fact it is prudent to make these sacrifices if we wish to have a cleaner and greener planet.