How a smart car works

The smart car may just be the car of the next century. Germany and USA  plan to have at least on million smart cars in each country by 2020.

Some cities like Berlin in Germany have taken the initiative of trying out the tiny smart car. The city so far has about 20,000 electric cars in the city.

Because the car does not use fuel (it is charged using electricity) it makes it a car that will help save the environment. And probably cut global warming through cutting gas emission from cars.

Why the smart car?

  • The cost of Electricity is so cheap compared to petrol!
  • You are saving the planet without all those emissions.
How different is an ordinary car from a smart car?
  • Most cars and motorbikes are powered by the internal combustion engine – which runs on petrol or diesel.

  • Electric cars  look like these “normal” vehicles from the outside – except for the exhaust pipe.
  • Inside there is no petrol or diesel tank and they are replaced by electric car batteries which provide the electric charge that ‘fuels’ the car. These are typically found under the vehicle to keep the centre of gravity low.

  • You need quite a few batteries to store enough energy to power the vehicle and give it a good range. A regulator is connected to the battery pack to ensure the amount of energy used is constant and prevent battery burn out

  • The next thing that is different is the “engine” – you won’t find one. At least not one you are familiar with. But, before we go on, I’d like to point out that almost everything else is the same as that in a petrol-powered vehicle. The transmission, brakes and various electrics all work in the same way

So what drives the wheel?

  • The electric car motors are what REALLY makes the difference.
  • The motor is located close to (or in) the wheels and drives the wheel axle directly.
  • When you press on the accelerator pedal a connected potentiometer measures the force and sends a signal to a controller that tells it how much energy the battery should give the electric motor.
  • This happens in a smooth fashion with great torque available from standing speed. (Electric cars often have Ferrari-like acceleration).
Recharging the electric car

Plug it into a standard household system for full recharging over about 8 hours. Fast rechargers are being developed for 80% charge in 30 – 60 minutes.

Check<a href="[View the story "How electric car works" on Storify]“> storify on how smart cars work

About Kenya Reporter

The other side of the news.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in General News, Tech page and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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