The Quest For Electric Cars & The Tesla Motors

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Engineers all over the world are striving hard to develop emission less cars. The Electric Vehicles or EVs have emerged as a hope for them. The EVs has proven their potential to completely replace the IC engine cars.  EVs are powered by batteries, which can be charged easily by electricity.  These vehicles are emission free and do not release any pollutant to the environment. Although,  they need electricity for charging which mostly is generated by burning fossil fuels. But in future, it can be generated easily through solar panels.  Most of the automobile companies in the world are investing huge sums to develop better Electric vehicles.  Even, the Governments across the world are putting much stress on developing infrastructure and technologies related to EVs. 

Tesla Motors

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The one name which comes to the mind, whenever we talk about Electric Cars, is that of Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors is the pioneer in field of Electric Vehicles. They are known for producing the world's finest electric vehicles with superior technologies. The Tesla cars are not only environment friendly, but they can beat most of the super cars in terms of performance and speed. The 'Tesla Model S' is one of the world's fastest accelerating cars. It can attain a speed of 100 km/hr with in 2.8 seconds. The upcoming Tesla Roadster is being branded as the world's fastest accelerating car. It would attain the speed of 100 km/hr with in 1,9 seconds. Tesla has surprised the world with its state of the art technologies, and crystal clear vision for a better future. 

How does Tesla's Electric Vehicles Work?

Tesla cars are powered by rechargable batteries which can generate electricity through chemical reactions.  This electricity is used to power a Three Phase Induction Motor which drives the vehicle. They do not have any reciprocating part or complex drive trains like IC engines. The DC current generated by the Battery pack is converted in to Three Phase AC  by using an intelligent Inverter. This Inverter can also vary the frequency and amplitude of the current based on the requirements. The car's motor  can also act as an electricity generator at the time of braking. The Tesla cars utilize this phenomenon to covert Kinetic Energy of the car in to electric energy, at the time of braking. This energy is than used for charging the batteries. This energy recovery mechanism is called Regenerative Braking.

Tesla's Battery Pack

Tesla's Battery Pack And The Motor

Tesla's battery pack consists of the common lithium ion cells. These cells are very similar to the ones which we use in our tv remotes. The Cells are stacked in various configurations to form the Battery Pack. The smallest unit in a Battery Pack is a 'Group'. A 'Group' consists of 74 cells connected in parallel. Six such groups are connected in series to form a module. The Modules are single replaceable units, 14 such modules are connected in series to form a complete Battery Pack. The Battery Pack of 'Tesla Model S' can help it go 500 km in a single charging. The Battery Pack is fitted at the bottom of the car, which lowers its center of gravity. Lower C.G. makes these cars stable during cornering. The Battery pack also provides strength and rigidity to the cars. The batteries require a specific temperature for optimum performance. This temperature is maintained by the thermal management system of the car. It uses ethylene glycol as a coolant. The battery pack consist of various channels for coolant flow. Ethylene glycol is pumped through these channels, and carries the heat produced by the batteries. The high temperature Ethylene Glycol moves to the radiator where it looses the heat. This helps in removal of excess heat from the batteries. This helps batteries perform better and last longer.

Tesla's Three Phase Induction motors

Parts of An Induction Motor
Tesla cars are propelled by 3 phase AC motors invented by Nicola Tesla in 19th century. This motor consists of a rotor and a stator. The stator consists of overlapping copper winding whose electric phase angels differ by 120 degrees. The windings produce rotating magnetic field when 3 phase AC is supplied to it. The stator is cylindrical in shape and has copper or aluminum conductors fitted to them. The conductors are connected with each other through end rings and form closed loops. The core of the rotor is made by using thin laminated Iron sheets. This prevent the eddy current losses. The rotating magnetic field setup by the stator coils induces electric current in the conductor loops. This causes a tangential magnetic force to act on the conductors. The rotor starts spinning due to this force. The greatest advantage with an induction motor is that, its speed can be controlled easily by varying the frequency of the supplied current. This provides the rotor a wide range of rpm. The motor speed can vary from 0 to 18000 rotations per minute. The advantage with motors is  that, they can provide sufficient torque at low rpm also. Hence, the power transmission in electric cars do not require complex gear boxes. The Tesla's Drive Train consists of a single gear and a differential. These vehicles even do not require a reverse gear. They can be reversed just by changing the order of phases of the AC current. Unlike the IC engines, the motors do not have any reciprocating part. Hence the electric cars have less vibrations and noise. The power to weight ratio of the motors is also far better than that of the  IC engines. 

Regenerative Braking

The moving cars has a great amount of kinetic energy. While braking, this energy  gets converted in to heat energy  and is lost to the environment. In Regenerative braking the kinetic energy of the car is converted in to electrical energy and is stored in car's batteries. In these cars,
the regenerative mode is activated once the brake pedal is pressed. The Kinetic Energy of the car is used to drive the rotor shaft of the motor. The motor now starts acting as a generator and produces current electricity. The current produced is used to charge the  car's batteries. This helps in recovering some of the power loss which occurs during the braking.

Safer Than Ever Cars

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The Tesla cars are safer and more stable than the normal cars. The Tesla Model 3 was given 5 star ratings in Global NCAP. The best part of the electric cars is, they do not have engines. This created a empty space under its bonnet provides a large crumple zone, which absorbs the shocks during crashes. The car also has thicker air bags, stronger roof and automatic emergency braking systems which make this car one among the safest cars. During the roof strength test, the car endured 20000 pound of force. This proves that the car is extremely safe during roll over accidents. The lower centre of gravity of the car is also an added advantage. It provides the car with cornering stability. 

Tesla Motors have shown a path to the Automobile Industry. They have taken taken the performance and efficiency of EVs to a new level. The hype and publicity generated by Tesla Motors is grabbing the attention of the people world wide. The people's conceptions about EVs is changing and they have started thinking EVs as a substitute for IC engine cars. 


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