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Electric Vehicles Explainer Series

Electric Vehicles Explainer

There are four main types of electric vehicles currently available in the market. Here's a brief summary of each type:

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs): These vehicles are fully powered by electricity stored in their battery packs. They do not have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and produce zero emissions while driving. BEVs are considered the most efficient and environmentally friendly type of electric vehicle, but their driving range is limited by the capacity of their battery pack.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): These vehicles use both an ICE and an electric motor to power the vehicle. The ICE is used to generate electricity to charge the battery and to power the vehicle when the battery is low. HEVs are less efficient than BEVs but have a longer driving range and do not require an external charging infrastructure.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): These vehicles are similar to HEVs but have a larger battery pack that can be charged from an external power source. PHEVs can drive on electricity alone for a limited range before the ICE kicks in. PHEVs are more efficient than HEVs but less efficient than BEVs and require access to charging infrastructure.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs): These vehicles use hydrogen fuel to produce electricity in a fuel cell to power the electric motor. FCEVs produce zero emissions and have a long driving range, but currently, there is limited infrastructure for producing and distributing hydrogen fuel.

Battery Electric Vehicles

BEVs, also known as All-Electric Vehicles (AEVs), use an electric drivetrain that is entirely powered by a battery pack. Here's some more information about the main components and working principles of a BEV:

Main Components:

Electric motor: This is the component that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy to propel the vehicle forward.

Inverter: The inverter is responsible for converting the direct current (DC) from the battery pack into alternating current (AC) that can be used by the electric motor.

Battery: The battery pack stores the electrical energy that powers the vehicle.

Control module: The control module manages and regulates the flow of electricity from the battery to the electric motor.

Drive train: The drive train transmits power from the electric motor to the wheels of the vehicle.

Working Principles:

When the accelerator pedal is pressed, the controller receives a signal and adjusts the frequency of the AC power from the inverter to the electric motor, which then turns the wheels of the vehicle. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is decelerating, the motor acts as a generator and converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electrical energy, which is sent back to the battery pack for storage. The BEV can be charged by plugging into an electrical outlet or charging station, and the battery pack can be charged from renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to reduce its carbon footprint.

Some of the examples of BEV’s are MG ZS, TATA Nexon, TATA Tigor, Mahindra E20 plus, Hyundai Kona, Mahindra Verito

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

HEVs, also known as hybrid electric vehicles, have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Here's some more information about the main components and working principles of an HEV:

Main Components:

Engine: The engine is responsible for generating power by burning fuel, typically gasoline or diesel.

Electric motor: The electric motor is powered by a battery pack and provides additional power to drive the wheels of the vehicle.

Battery pack with controller & inverter: The battery pack stores electrical energy and provides power to the electric motor. The controller and inverter regulate the flow of electricity from the battery to the motor.

Fuel tank: The fuel tank stores gasoline or diesel fuel to power the engine.

Control module: The control module manages and regulates the flow of energy between the engine, electric motor, battery pack, and transmission.

Working Principles:

When the vehicle is started, the engine is used to power the vehicle until it reaches a certain speed or load, at which point the electric motor starts providing additional power. The control module manages the flow of energy between the engine, motor, and battery pack to optimize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. During braking or deceleration, the electric motor acts as a generator to recharge the battery pack. HEVs do not need to be plugged in to charge the battery pack, as it is charged through regenerative braking and by the engine.

Examples of HEVs include the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):

The PHEVs are also known as parallel hybrids. They have both engine and a motor. You can choose among the fuels, conventional fuel (such as petrol) or alternative fuel (such as bio-diesel). It can also be powered by a rechargeable battery pack. The battery can be charged externally. To find out more about PHEVs, click below.

PHEVs are parallel hybrids, where both the engine and electric motor can power the wheels simultaneously.

PHEVs can run in at least 2 modes:

•          All-electric Mode, in which the motor and battery provide all the car’s energy

•          Hybrid Mode, in which both electricity and petrol/diesel are employed 

Main Components of PHEV:

Electric motor, Engine, Inverter, Battery, Fuel tank, Control module, Battery Charger (if onboard model)

Working Principles of PHEV:

PHEVs start-up in all-electric mode and make use of electricity until their battery pack is depleted. Once the battery gets drained, the engine takes over, and the vehicle operates as a conventional, non-plug-in hybrid. PHEVs can be charged by plugging into an outside electric power source, engine, or regenerative braking. When brakes are applied, the electric motor acts as a generator, using the energy to charge the battery. The engine’s power is supplemented by the electric motor; as a result, smaller engines can be used, increasing the car’s fuel efficiency without compromising performance.

Examples of PHEV:

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, BMW 330e, Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Chevy Volt, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford C-Max Energi, Mercedes C350e, Mercedes S550e, Mercedes GLE550e, Mini Cooper SE Countryman, Ford Fusion Energi, Audi A3 E-Tron, BMW i8, BMW X5 xdrive40e, Fiat 500e, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Volvo XC90 T8.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) generate electricity by converting the chemical energy of hydrogen fuel and oxygen into electrical energy through a fuel-cell stack. The only emission from this process is water vapor, making FCEVs a zero-emission vehicle. The main components of FCEVs include an electric motor, a fuel-cell stack, a hydrogen storage tank, and a battery with converter and controller. Some examples of FCEVs currently available in the market include the Toyota Mirai, Riversimple Rasa, Hyundai Tucson FCEV, Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, and Hyundai Nexo.