How Do Electric Cars Work?

Get under the bonnet of our electric vehicles

Electric is the future of driving, but do you know how an engine can power an entire vehicle just off a single charge? Brush up on your knowledge below.

volkswagen electric cars

It’s what’s inside that counts​

     

volkswagen electric

The anatomy of your electric car

From the outside, an electric car can look the same as a conventional one. (That is, unless you drive a Volkswagen – then our signature blue accent details let everyone know your electric credentials.) Once you take a look inside, you’ll begin to see that this is a new breed of automobile. Get to know the ins and outs of our electric vehicles with these key features.

  1. The electrical power connection: instead of your usual fuel cap, there’s now a safety socket for you to plug your electrical cable into.
  2. Battery management system (BMS): your vehicle and your battery need to talk to one another at all times to keep things moving, and they do this via the BMS. You can even access the BMS and its data via your smartphone.
  3. Vehicle heating: heated seats and a heated windscreen are an efficient way to keep you cosy without wasting valuable battery power.
  4. High voltage cable: want to know how all that energy makes it from the power source to your engine? We use a high-voltage cable that connects the charging socket to the battery and allows power to flow at 324V.
  5. Rechargeable battery packs: we use lithium ion rechargeable batteries to keep our electric vehicles moving. You can find yours under the rear seat bench. Each one holds a charge that will keep going for up to 99 miles.
  6. Power electronics: when each battery is fully charged, it’s really important that the energy doesn’t reach the motor all at once. The power electronics are the heroes responsible for this as they control the flow of energy so that each car has a constant, steady supply instead of one big burst.
  7. Energy recovery: an electric or hybrid engine doesn’t just gain energy through charging. They also harness power through kinetic actions such as braking. There are different modes you can select for when you want to be extra efficient or when you want increased speed and performance.
  8. Engine compartment: the heart of an electric vehicle are its electric motor, gearbox and power electronics. All can be found within the engine compartment.