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What’s under the bonnet of an electric car?

Unlike cars with internal combustion engines, under the bonnet of electric cars you may not see the electric motor.

The rapid development of electric vehicles makes many people curious about what lies under the bonnet of the car. Normally, a car using an internal combustion engine, when opening the bonnet, your eyes will be the engine in the middle, but with electric cars it is different.

At the front end of popular electric vehicles, under the bonnet there are components such as the battery (not the car battery pack), the cooling system, the voltage converter. There is also an electronic power control unit, which is usually located just above the front electric motor if the electric vehicle uses front-wheel drive. Here are the basic parts under the bonnet of an electric car:

Basic structure of electric vehicle.

Charge controller: responsible for taking AC (alternating) power supplied through the charging port and converting it into DC (DC) power to charge the battery. This unit monitors battery parameters such as voltage, potential difference, temperature and charging status.

– Battery: in an electric vehicle, the auxiliary battery supplies power to the equipment on the vehicle to operate.

– DC/DC converter: this device converts the high voltage DC power from the battery into the low voltage DC needed for the vehicle’s equipment to operate and recharge the main battery.

Power Electronic Controller: This unit manages the flow of electrical energy supplied by the battery, controlling the speed of the electric motor and the torque it generates. This part is usually located in the middle of the engine compartment, easily mistaken for an electric motor.

Under the bonnet of the Chevrolet Bolt electric car.  Photo: Inside EV

Under the bonnet of the Chevrolet Bolt electric car. Photo: Inside EV

– Cooling system: This system maintains an appropriate operating temperature range of the electric motor and other components.

– Glass washing system: the system provides front/rear glass cleaner for the vehicle’s glass.

When you open the bonnet of an electric car and ask “where is the engine”, the answer is technically “no”, because the motor may be hidden deep below, in some cases an additional motor. behind.

Duc Gia (follow Inside EV)


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