The alternating current motor was invented by Nikola Tesla over 100 years ago, paving the way for the Teslas and other electric vehicles (EV) we see today. Many hope that this sustainable energy source will eventually replace traditional internal combustion engines and drastically reduce the amount of carbon emissions around the world.

EV’s actually have many advantages over gas or diesel-powered vehicles, such as:

  • They are less expensive to maintain, as the inner workings are simpler than gas-powered cars and thus have fewer mechanical issues.
  • They are much quieter than traditional cars, as they have not internal combustion engines.
  • They are some of the highest performing vehicles on the market, with almost instant acceleration. The Tesla Model S is the second-fastest production vehicle today.
  • Most importantly, they don’t give off pollution! According to EPA data, cars in the U.S. cause over 75 percent of total carbon monoxide pollution. At the vehicle level, EV’s generate no pollution.

For a machine with so many benefits, its inner working is actually quite simple. They can be broken down into a few components, including the battery pack, charging method, inverter, induction motor, and regenerative braking capabilities. From the motor experts at The Zebra, take a look at the animation below.

Please include attribution to TheZebra.com with this graphic.

How an Electric Vehicle Works

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, a former road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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