Electric Car Motors, Parts, Repairs and Costs

February 10, 2012

Electric car motors are still being developed and are making substantial progress. However, there are several potential issues associated with electric car motors that need to be addressed in order for the technology to be truly viable in the near future.

Range
The average battery on an electric car motor has a range of about 50 miles although in some cases, this can extend to around 70 miles. After this, the battery needs to be recharged. This means the car isn't particularly useful to anyone wanting to travel any type of excessive distance. 70 miles is only likely to be useful for city driving and very short commutes. Anyone driving an electric car has to be constantly aware of the charge in the battery and make sure they're home before it runs out or risk being stranded.

Accessories
On a gasoline engine, there's a constant charge provided through the alternator while the heating inside a car runs off waste heat from the cooling system. With an electric car, all of the accessories and features would run off the battery and gradually deplete the charge. In a major traffic jam, the driver of an electric car may need to shut off the engine or risk emptying the battery by running the radio, heater or air conditioning.

Charging
Because of the cost of electricity, it's cheaper to recharge the battery of an electric car motor than to buy gasoline. However, there are very few places where you can recharge the battery as a full charge can take up to 8 hours. Practically speaking, this means the car has to be at home for you to charge it so you need to be able to make it out and back on a single charge.

To put in charging stations in major cities around the country necessitates a major upgrade to the country's infrastructure and stations would also need to be distributed in rural areas. The increased generation of electricity to power electric car motors would also result in increased emissions from power plants.

Battery Cost
The battery is one of the most expensive parts of an electric car motor and only has a life of three to four years. This means that the owner has to budget for this from the beginning and if the battery dies before being replaced, the car simply won't run.

Repair Garages
There are very few garages capable of working on electric car motors. In theory, they should need very little work but realistically, some cars will still need some work and the mechanics will need to be specially trained. Therefore, an electric car driver will have to get the car to a specialist dealer or garage, usually at high cost.

Safety
The fact that electric cars are silent actually makes them less safe as pedestrians won't hear them coming. This means drivers have to be even more alert than usual.

Common Electric Auto Repairs
The truth is, that other than a few electric service checks, electric autos are very easy to maintain. Brake repairs are common as well is the use of diagnostic equipment to maintain battery and motor operation, however other than a few electrical items, the car is maintained much the same ways as a normal gas powered car.

Battery Water Level
The batteries in your electric vehicle contain a mixture of water/acid that is used to maintain the ionization required by the batteries in order to continue to provide energy to the vehicle. Over time the water level can drop and require the addition of more fluid. Check the batteries in your electric vehicle at least once a month and top them off with water to prevent dry cells. Only fill to the "Full" line on the batteries' sides, as overfilling them can be just as bad.

Electrical Connections
As your entire vehicle is run on electricity, it is vitally important to make sure that any and all electrical connections are tight and clean of corrosion. If a connection is loose, it can have condensate build up in between the connector and the power source. This condensate then could cause the connection to oxidize, preventing a good electrical connection/current. The result is low battery draw or decreased range for your vehicle. Use a mixture of baking soda and water to pour on any corroded connectors and then wipe them clean with a wire brush. Finish up by tightening the connection thoroughly and covering it with an insulation of some type.

Mechanical Maintenance
Finally, the remainder of the car is the same as any other gas powered vehicle. You simply need to perform small maintenance tasks such as keeping tires inflated, changing brake pads, and maintaining key suspension pivots, such as ball joints, tie rods and suspension bushings. These mechanisms and systems are the same as they are on any other car and should be on the same maintenance schedules.

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