Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How the heck can electric cars run for hundreds of miles with just a pair of batteries?” Needless to say, the curiosity is quite common among car owners. Everybody experienced a dead battery at least once in their lifetime, no?
If you’ve ever left the car lights on for a couple of hours you know that the battery can become extremely weak or die in a short period of time if the car is not running! So how can you possibly have those same batteries power the entire 2000 lb car for hundreds of miles?
To answer this question I’m going to point out some important differences between traditional gasoline powered cars and the new electric cars that you’ve heard so much about. The difference lies entirely in the batteries of those cars.
When it comes to mass producing a product such as a battery for a car the manufacturer has to consider the cost of producing. It’s a crucial factor which is always taken into account, which is why most manufacturers use limited technology to produce the battery that runs your gasoline car. The fact of the matter is, a gasoline car only requires a battery to start the car. As soon as your engine starts running the alternator kicks in and your battery actually starts regaining its charge instead of losing it.
An electric car doesn’t have an alternator that recharges the battery thus having to rely entirely on the batteries as the energy source. For this reason, the batteries found in electric cars use top-notch modern technology that’s not used in traditional car batteries. For example, traditional car batteries have its electrolytes in a liquid form while electric car batteries have it in gel form. Because it’s in gel form, manufacturers can produce the batteries in any orientation they want. This helps produce the maximum number of cells in limited space. Once you pack those highly condensed batteries into an electric car it allows the car to produce better mileage in a single charge.
Electric cars have two types of batteries: the VRAL, and GEL. The GEL batteries use VRAL technology but it’s very advanced and doesn’t require much maintenance. With advanced sealing technology it’s nearly impossible to spill GEL. However, the only downside to GEL batteries is the constant requirement to discharge and recharge it. For regular commuters this isn’t a big problem. However, irregular drivers will find it difficult to always discharge and recharge the battery, thus wearing it out much more quickly.
The industry is making advancements towards the usage of Lithium-Ion batteries. The Li-Ion batteries have been around for decades; however, we couldn’t put its high effectiveness to use in cars: until now, that is. New technology finally allows us to research, experiment, and produce highly efficient Lithium-Ion batteries that are small in size but pack a much stronger punch. These batteries don’t contain any liquid thus allowing users to drive their cars for a much longer time than liquid or GEL batteries.