How Electric Car Batteries Work | Batteries are a vital component of electric vehicles. Electric cars use batteries as a fuel source. The energy that the motor uses to turn the wheels is stored here. Batteries are required for electric vehicles to operate.
Today, we’re going to cover everything there is to know about electric car batteries, from how they work to their uses, types, and benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the different types of electric car batteries before we continue with this description.
Electric Car Battery Type
In today’s world, there are many types of electric car batteries which are categorized based on the materials used in their production. The following are some of the most popular types of electric car batteries:
- Lithium ion battery
- Solid-State Battery
Currently, Lithium-Ion is the most commonly used battery in electric cars. Now let’s discuss more deeply of the two types of batteries.
The cathode, anode (electrode), separator, and electrolyte are the components of a lithium-ion battery. As for most batteries, the chemical properties are almost the same. Let’s see how it works to get a better understanding of these lithium-ion batteries.
How Lithium-Ion Batteries Work In Electric Cars
Lithium ions flow from the negative electrode to the positive electrode in a Li-ion battery. When the battery is charged, the lithium ions move away from the positive electrode to the negative electrode and remain there. Similarly, the Electrodes react with the electrolyte to form a SEI (Solid Electrolyte Interface) initial layer/separator when the electric car battery is first charged.
This reduces the battery capacity by a small amount, and the process is called Formation Loss. However, this initial formation of the SEI layer facilitates the battery to be charged and discharged thousands of times without the electrodes reacting with the electrolyte.
Why Are Lithium-Ion Batteries Used In Electric Cars?
As mentioned above, electric car batteries generally consist of lithium-ion cells. It is widely used because it has the following advantages:
- High Energy Density: Lithium ion cells can store large amounts of energy while maintaining their compact size. This allows it to take up less space, leaving more room for automakers to utilize it.
- Higher Charge Cycle: Each time the battery is recharged and discharged, this is known as a Charge cycle. All batteries decrease after each cycle. However, Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged multiple times with minimal degradation.
- Low Fire Risk: Lithium-ion batteries have one of the most stable configurations. Therefore, the battery is not flammable so it is safe to use.
Examples of Lithium Ion Batteries
The Tesla Model 3 is an example of an electric car that uses a lithium ion battery. The car is designed to have more than 1,300 charge cycles. This means the Model 3 could easily travel 300,000 miles before starting to show significant signs of battery drain.
The chemical composition of electric car batteries is also constantly changing over time. Currently Tesla uses a Nickle-Manganese-Cobalt combination in an 8:1:1 ratio. The most expensive component in this combination is Cobalt.
According to a recent report, Tesla plans to reduce the proportion of Cobalt in its electric car batteries in the future. This will help make the upcoming EV very affordable.
Also read: Types and types of electric cars on the market today
Unlike ordinary batteries, Solid-State Batteries do not have a liquid electrolyte between the electrodes. Instead, there are solid electrolytes, mostly glass or other materials.
Advantages of Solid State Batteries
According to experts, Solid State Batteries have several advantages over conventional Li-ion batteries.
- Higher Energy Density: According to John B. Goodenough, a pioneer in the field of lithium-ion batteries, Solid-State Batteries have nearly 3 times more energy density than lithium-ion batteries.
- Inexpensive: Solid-State batteries are much more affordable than lithium-ion batteries.
- Safer: Solid-State Batteries can function over a wide range of temperatures. Therefore, it is non-flammable even in extreme temperatures making it safe to use.
Solid State Battery Problem
While scientists have always responded very positively to solid-state batteries, they are still not ready for use in EVs.
Solid-state batteries are still under development and many companies are working on them. Therefore, it will take four to five years for the technology to be commercially viable. Once the technology is optimized and functional, we hope to replace lithium-ion batteries.
Where Are Batteries Installed In Electric Cars?
Most lithium-ion battery packs carry significant weight. Batteries are usually placed under the floor of the car.
Heavy battery packs add significant weight to electric vehicles, but also give them a very low center of gravity. Which, in turn, gives them a very planted lift. However, on some electric cars, the battery is also installed on the front hood.
That’s a bit of a review of electric car batteries, from how they work to their uses, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. Hopefully this review is useful for you. Thank you for visiting and don’t forget to share it with your friends too.