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Electric Vehicles: The Automobiles of the Future

Electric Vehicles: The Automobiles of the Future

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Electric Vehicles: The Automobiles of the Future

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373 pages
4 hours
Editor:
Lansat:
Feb 18, 2021
ISBN:
9781733475525
Format:
Carte

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In Electric Vehicles : The Automobiles of the Future, physicist and mathematician Otto Bischof and mathematician Ted Tanaka explain the necessity of electric vehicles given the Climate Catastrophe that we are in. The authors thoroughly explain all the important components of electric vehicles in an easy-to-read scientific manner and provide in-depth reading questions for the student. Special detail is given to all of the battery technologies that impact electric vehicles. Even details of current electric vehicles are given for potential car buyers. With a complete glossary, thorough index, and fabulous illustrations, this book is in a class by itself!
Editor:
Lansat:
Feb 18, 2021
ISBN:
9781733475525
Format:
Carte

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Electric Vehicles - Otto Bischof

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© 2019 Otto Β. Bischof and Ted H. Tanaka

All rights reserved

First Edition

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the authors, except in the context of reviews.

Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent editions.

ISBN:978-1-7334755-0-1 (printed book)

978-1-7334755-2-5 (e-book)

Dedications:

Ted Tanaka:

To my wife, Yuan.

Otto Bischof:

To my father, Norbert, who helped point me towards my star and to my mother, Phyllis, who never stopped trying to help me reach it.

Tribute to Ted Tanaka

Ted Tanaka died of a stroke just after the first printing of this book. He and I worked an average of two hours per session twice a week for six years on this project. Ted tirelessly researched articles he thought would be appropriate for our book on the web and suggested new topics and material for the chapters. Both of us took part in the writing of this book. Prior to becoming a college math professor, Ted had worked as a car mechanic. Ted was always enthusiastic to discuss electric vehicles and both of us believed in their promise.

It is good that Ted saw the first printing of this book before his tragic death. Ted was a great comrade and I miss him.

Otto Bischof: Spring 2020

Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: A Comparison of EVs and ICEs

Chapter 2: Common Misconceptions about EVs

Chapter 3: The History of EVs

The Technology of EVs (Intro. for Chapters 4-13)

Chapter 4: The Science of EVs; Why EVs are more efficient than ICEs

Chapter 5: The Battery

Chapter 6: The Controller

Chapter 7: The Motor

Chapter 8: Simple DC Motor/Generator Model

Chapter 9: The Computer System

Chapter 10: The Transmission

Chapter 11: Mechanical Transmission Operating Modes, Drive Modes, and Energy Flow Diagrams

Chapter 12: Range and Performance

Chapter 13: Charging and Charging Infrastructure

Chapter 14: Environmental Concerns

Chapter 15: The Importance of EVs

Chapter 16: New Revolutionary Batteries and Batteries of the Future

Chapter 17: A Sampling of Four Competitive EVs and Their Specifications

Chapter 18: Affordability of Long Range EVs and the Profitability of EV Manufacturing

Chapter 19: The EV Revolution

Appendices

Chapter Review Questions

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

Preface to Second Printing

Ted Tanaka and I wrote this book to examine both the technology and science of electric vehicles and their promise to society. Articles cited in our book reflect the current state of EV technology at the date the articles were published. The reader should know that in a rapidly changing field like EV technology, prior limitations often become future possibilities. This is especially true in Chapter 16: New Revolutionary Batteries and Batteries of the Future, and in Chapter 17: A Sampling of Four Competitive EVs and Their Specifications.

Otto Bischof: Spring 2020

Introduction:

Since 1997 there has been renewed interest in electric vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) are vehicles, which derive their power from electrical energy stored in a battery instead of from energy produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. While public awareness has grown about global warming and the threat of increased pollution from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs), people have realized that EVs offer a cleaner and more efficient alternative. At the same time, advances have occurred in the technology of electric vehicles, which have made EVs more attractive to the consumer.

The authors hope to show the reader the concepts, which underpin the technology of the EV through analysis based on some of the fundamental laws of physics. We show how many of the most important parts of the powertrain of an EV work and we consider how different types of EVs work as systems of these parts working together.

We also want to stress why electric vehicles are important today and why they will be needed in the future more than ever before. What will replace our limited supply of oil, which is the basis of our transportation technology and our economy? Will we be ready when it runs out to replace it with a viable alternative technology? Can we limit our carbon footprint by using EVs instead of ICEs? EV technology could become a much needed cornerstone of the Green Energy Revolution, through which EV batteries store alternative energy from the grid during times of high supply and return it during periods of peak demand. It could help limit the effects of global warming, while helping to create a sustainable source of energy for the future. If we act soon enough, we may still be able to avert some of the worst consequences of global warming, while making it possible for us to still have an economy that could function without the need for fossil fuels.

Chapter 1: A Comparison of EVs and ICEs:

Operation:

ICE and EV cars operate very differently. ICEs burn gas (gasoline) to power vehicles but electrical energy powers EVs.

ICEs:

Gas is pumped into the car’s gas tank at a gas station. The energy is produced when gas is burned in the engine cylinders. The burning process is a controlled combustion of an oxygen and gas mixture when carefully timed sparks ignite the mixture. The mixture is created when a measured amount of gas is injected into an intake manifold by fuel injectors or a carburetor where it is mixed with oxygen and then delivered to the engine cylinders. An ignition system creates and distributes the sparks to the top of the cylinders. Pistons are forced down when the gas explodes. The movement of the pistons turns a crankshaft, which powers the wheels.

EVs:

An EV is a much simpler machine than an ICE. To fill up an EV on charge, the charge flows from an electrical plug outlet to the EV’s battery. The battery then can produce electrical power to run an electric motor. In between the battery and the motor, there is a controller that manages the flow of electricity from battery to motor. Then the electric motor changes electrical to mechanical energy, which is used to turn the wheels.

Maintenance Costs:

An EV has less moving parts than an ICE. An EV’s powertrain includes a motor, a simple transmission system, a differential (some EVs do not have axles or a differential), a controller, and a battery, while an ICE’s powertrain includes an engine, a complex transmission, a driveshaft, a differential, and axles. Since an EV motor does not require a lubrication system, a fuel system, an ignition system, timing belt, a cooling system, or a smog control system, which are essential parts of an ICE, it does not need the following standard ICE maintenance services: oil and fuel change, oil and fuel filter change, tune-up and spark plug change, timing belt change, antifreeze change, cooling system fan belts and water pump change, smog test, or a catalytic converter and muffler change. There are a few maintenance services that both EVs and ICEs require. These services are tire rotation, brake care, transmission service, and sometimes, differential care. As to the brake care, the regenerative braking of EVs extends the life of EV brakes by almost a factor of two. The following maintenance services are specific to EVs: battery thermal management care and battery replacement. Although an ICE battery needs to be replaced every few years, an ICE battery replacement is not as costly as an EV battery replacement. An EV battery replacement can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the battery, with an additional core charge of $1,000. Although an EV battery replacement is a costly service, most EV batteries have warranties for 8 years or 100,000 miles, and an estimated lifespan of 100,000 miles. In addition, it is expected that future battery costs will be lower, assuming that the current rate of advance of EV battery technology stays constant. Therefore, it is clear that if one considers all necessary maintenance costs for an ICE and all necessary maintenance costs for an EV, an EV’s maintenance costs are less by quite a margin.

Efficiency and Fuel Economy:

In an EV, electrical energy from the grid is stored in the battery as chemical energy. The battery converts chemical energy to electrical energy, which it delivers to the motor. The motor then converts the electrical energy to mechanical energy, which turns the wheels. The efficiency of an EV is about 60% since about 60% of the electrical energy from the grid reaches the wheels in the form of mechanical energy. Furthermore, in driving conditions where the regenerative brakes are used, the efficiency of the EV is increased to about 77%, since the regenerative braking system recovers about 17% of the energy lost.

In an ICE engine, energy produced by the combustion of gasoline is converted to mechanical energy. This mechanical energy from the engine turns the transmission, which turns the driveshaft. The driveshaft connects to the differential, which turns the wheels through the axles. The efficiency of the ICE is only about 20%, since only that percentage of the energy due to the combustion of gasoline reaches the wheels.

The efficiency of a vehicle shows in its fuel economy. Since the EV’s source of energy is electricity rather than gas, the fuel economy of an EV is measured in miles per gallon equivalent (mpg-e) rather than miles per gallon (mpg). This measurement is used because it makes it possible to compare the EV’s fuel economy to the ICE’s fuel economy. Most EVs today have a mpg-e of over 100, while the most economical ICEs have a mpg of about 35. Thus, the EV has an advantage over the ICE in both efficiency and fuel economy.

Safety:

All motor vehicles sold in the United States must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Thus, EVs have met the same federal safety standards and possess all of the relevant safety equipment as ICEs. Crash test ratings from tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that EVs are as safe or safer than ICEs in a crash. Crash test results from tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that EVs are more able to withstand a crash than ICEs. Two features that EVs have that ICEs lack are a lower center of gravity and extended crumple zones. Since EV batteries are heavy and located at the bottom of the car, EVs resist rollovers and are less likely to flip over in a crash. In addition, EVs have less moving parts to take up space, which allows engineers to incorporate crumple zones to absorb the energy of collisions. The Tesla Model S, for example, has a trunk in the front which serves as an extended frontal crumple zone where an ICE’s engine would normally be.¹

Another major concern regarding EVs is their propensity to catch on fire. Several design features limit this possibility. EVs are built with circuit breakers, which open electrical circuits, when sensors indicate a collision is likely to occur. Otherwise, collisions could cause a battery to heat up and explode, because the organic electrolytes used in most lithium-ion batteries are flammable. If a collision punctured a separator between plates of opposite polarity in a battery cell, liquid electrolyte could flow through, making a short circuit, which could potentially cause a fire. Tesla has reinforced the bottoms of their EVs with thicker metal barriers to prevent this from happening. Some EV companies like Tesla also help to keep fires from spreading by keeping groups of battery cells in isolated, protective compartments. Battery cooling systems also reduce the risk for fire due to excessive charging, discharging, or hot environments.

ICE cars have lead-acid batteries, which can also cause fires or explosions. If built-up hydrogen gas accumulates inside the battery due to improper venting, an explosion can occur, when a spark of electricity is produced nearby. Moreover, the full tank of gas can explode if any spark is fed to it. Sometimes these sparks can be caused by a collision or a short circuit.

EV’s reputation of catching fire easily is unsubstantiated by nationwide statistics. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) have shown that ICEs are more likely to catch fire than EVs. Therefore, as to overall safety, EVs should be considered as safe or safer than ICEs.

Price and Costs:

On average, for comparable vehicles, EV purchase prices are higher than ICE purchase prices. However, after their vehicles are purchased, EV buyers can receive as much as $7,500 in nonrefundable federal tax credit, when they file their income tax returns. Note that on January 1, 2019, Tesla became the first EV manufacturer to have their tax credit decrease. After 200,000 EVs from a given EV manufacturer are sold, the tax credit for any more EVs from that manufacturer must decrease, according to the IRS. In some states, like California, EV buyers can also receive an additional $2,500 tax rebate. These incentives will reduce the purchase price of an EV considerably, making the price of an EV very competitive with the price of an ICE.

In considering the price of an EV, it is important to consider the cost of running the vehicle. EVs cost less to run than ICEs for several reasons. First, using electricity as a source of energy is cheaper than using gas as a source of energy. We have included a calculation in the appendix showing that the difference in average MSRP costs for owning an EV will be recouped after about 5.2 years, just by using electricity instead of gas for fuel. Since the average U.S. customer holds onto their car for 6.5 years, an average EV cost will actually be just about equal to or even less than the cost of an ICE, when the costs for running the vehicle are considered. This does not even include the savings in incentives one gets for buying an EV, which we mentioned above. Another reason why EVs are cheaper to run is that EVs are less costly to maintain, because they are simpler machines with less moving parts. Lastly, the higher efficiency of the EV motor and its ability to use regenerative braking leads to better fuel economy. Thus, the overall price of an average EV is actually lower than the cost of an average ICE.

Refueling and Range:

Currently, EVs take longer to refuel with electricity than ICEs do to refuel with gasoline. When EVs refuel with electricity, this is called recharging and when ICEs refuel with gas, this is called filling up. EVs can take hours to recharge, whereas ICEs take only minutes to fill-up. This can be very inconvenient for EV owners. Also, EV batteries can only hold so much charge, because they have only a limited capacity. This limited capacity translates to limited range for EVs. The range of an EV is the distance it can go after charging the battery to full capacity. When EV batteries use all of their electrical charge, they need to be recharged to continue running. Similarly, when ICEs run out of gas, they need to be refilled with gas to continue running. Since ICEs have more range than EVs, they can go longer between fill-ups than EVs. An additional related problem is the limited number of charging stations available to EV owners compared to the numerous gas stations available to ICE owners. The limited range and limited availability of charging stations can lead to anxiety for EV owners about being stranded with a dead battery. The limited range, the lengthy recharge time, and the limited number of charging stations affects the ability of the EV to compete with the ICE on the open market.

Infrastructure:

The development of the entire infrastructure of ICEs has been taking place for over 100 years, while the current surge to develop the entire infrastructure of EVs has been taking place for about 10 years. It is easy to see why the ICE infrastructure has been far superior to the EV infrastructure.

The key to the past superiority of the ICE infrastructure has been in the manufacturing and fueling sectors of the economy. The ICE manufacturing sector has the ability to mass-produce a low cost and high quality vehicle, which is readily available to the consumer. ICE manufacturers who produce EVs, have only produced EVs so they could meet EPA fuel mileage and emission standards. Up to now, most EV sales have simply not been profitable. However, the 2019 availability of the Tesla standard model 3, a pure electric sedan, could change all this.

The strength of the ICE lies in its fuel, gasoline. Gasoline is currently readily available and cost-effective to produce. As a source of energy, it is highly effective and extremely versatile. The energy density, or stored energy per unit volume is currently about 10 times as great for gasoline as it is for the batteries used in most EVs. The fueling sector, with its large nationwide system of gasoline stations, also makes the fuel convenient, accessible, and low-priced for the consumer. These characteristics have made it hard for the EV to unseat the ICE as the number one vehicle type in the nation.

The EV infrastructure is currently in its infancy phase. The development of the EV infrastructure is the key to the viability of the EV. For the EV infrastructure to develop, the following issues must be addressed: upgrading existing public charging stations and adding public EV charging stations, improving the quality and quantity of home/workplace charging stations, strengthening the electric grid by developing more capacity from renewable or other energy sources, and developing the current manufacturing sector for mass-production of EVs.

SOURCE:

1. Do Electric Vehicles have better overall safety? Part 2, Nicolas Zart , April 1, 2018, Cleantechnica.com .

Chapter 2: Common Misconceptions about EVs:

The following are some of the major misconceptions about EVs: EVs are dirtier, they are more expensive, they are flimsy, they are unsafe, and they lack power.

EVs are not dirtier than ICEs:

Some people might point out that some EVs use electricity, which was made by coal burning power plants, and burning coal is dirtier than burning gas in ICEs. This is true. However, most EVs use electricity that was not made by burning coal. The greenhouse gas pollution on average caused by an EV considering all sources, from cradle to grave, is only half as much as for an ICE, according to The Union of Concerned Scientists. Moreover, if the electricity that runs the EV is made from clean, renewable sources of energy, then the EV could be a zero-emission vehicle in its post-mining phase. ICEs don’t have this possibility. They will always pollute, because they always burn gas. Also, coal use is on the decline. In 2008, about 48% of America’s electricity came from burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel power source, whereas today only 30% derives from burning coal.¹ So the world is moving away from coal. Thus, the source for most EV power is becoming less likely to derive from a dirtier power source than gasoline. At the same time, according to a January 2017 article in Worldwatch Institute, the use of renewable energy, including wind, solar, and geothermal sources are all on the rise, so more and more EVs use a much cleaner alternative to gasoline.

If the state puts out energy that is dirty, it is not the EV’s fault. It is the fault of the state that allows dirty burning and its negligent energy policy decisions. It is important to know that EVs have the potential to be far cleaner vehicles than any ICE.

EVs don’t cost more than ICEs:

Some people think that EVs are more expensive than ICE cars. In the case of EVs, as with ICEs, there is a range of prices, but it is false to say that the average EV costs more than the average ICE. If one buys a high performance EV, like a Tesla, it is true that it costs more than the average ICE. But some ICEs are fancy, too, and cost even more. For example, a Ferrari or a Bugatti costs much more than any Tesla. Most EVs cost much less than a Tesla, however. For example, the Nissan Leaf Model S, one of the most popular EVs, starts at around $30,000 without incentives but with rebates and tax deductions, can run up to $10,000 cheaper. The Toyota Camry, one of the most popular ICEs, costs about $25,000, so there is a difference without incentives of $5,000. This can be recouped in about 5.2 years, according to our calculations, just due to the improved fuel economy and the less expensive fuel source, when using an EV. Since the average U.S. car owner holds onto their car for 6.5 years,² the EV will cost about the same or even less, when one includes the running costs, even without incentives. Although the cost of a new EV battery can run as high as $10,000 or even higher, since most EVs come with an 8 year/ 100,000 mile warranty, most owners don’t need to pay for it. With incentives, then, for most EV owners, the Leaf runs up to $10,000 cheaper than the Camry ! Moreover, maintenance costs are cheaper for an EV than an ICE. Thus, it is cheaper to own an average EV than an average ICE, and it is false that EVs are more expensive than ICEs.

EVs are as Durable and as Safe as ICEs:

The durability and safety of EVs have also come into question. However, EVs are very durable. EVs can be made out of very strong material. The Nissan Leaf is made out of high strength steel and the Tesla Model S is so durable that the combined weight of four Model S’s can be placed on top of its roof before it caves in.³ So EVs are not flimsy.

EVs are also very safe. The BMWi3 is made out of carbon-based, high-strength laminated plastic and is designed to be extremely safe in crashes. The material can

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