Last year Design News published this description of the parts that make up an electric vehicle (EV). As EVs are finally reaching the mainstream, the information here is more important than ever. Just a couple years ago, most EVs, aside from those produced by EV pioneer Tesla, were small commuter cars whose range was limited to less than 100 miles. But now, a whole group of new medium-sized EVs are joining Tesla with sedans and crossover sport-utility vehicles that can go more than 250 miles on a single charge.
Even if you know how a gasoline engine works, EVs bring a whole new set of components, and a different language to describe them. If you are shopping for an EV, or might be in the near future, it could be helpful to know what the different pieces and systems do in a modern electric vehicle.
Here are eight of the major parts that make up an EV. Reading about them won’t provide you with a degree in electrical engineering, but it might help you understand how this exciting new technology works.
Senior Editor Kevin Clemens has been writing about energy, automotive, and transportation topics for more than 30 years. He has masters degrees in Materials Engineering and Environmental Education and a doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerodynamics. He has set several world land speed records on electric motorcycles that he built in his workshop.