Battery Electric Vehicle
Published on Jan 19, 2016
Battery electric vehicle (BEV) is an electric vehicle that utilises chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. Electric vehicles use electric motors instead of, or in addition to, internal combustion engines (ICEs). Vehicles using both electric motors and ICEs are called hybrid vehicles, and are usually not considered pure BEVs.
Relatively few of today's BEVs are capable of acceleration performance which exceeds that of equivalent-class conventional gasoline powered vehicles. An early solution was American Motors’ experimental Amitron piggyback system of batteries with one type designed for sustained speeds while a different set boosted acceleration then needed.
Batteries are usually the most expensive component of BEVs. Although the cost of battery manufacture is substantial, increasing returns to scale may serve to lower their cost when BEVs are manufactured on the scale of modern internal combustion vehicles. For new battery technology considered appropriate for serious competition with internal combustion vehicles, large cost decreases will certainly occur when patents covering the new technologies expire.
Since the late 1990s, advances in battery technologies have been driven by skyrocketing demand for laptop computers and mobile phones, with consumer demand for more features, larger, brighter displays, and longer battery time driving research and development in the field. The BEV marketplace has reaped the benefits of these advances. If BEV production quotas had been met instead of being repealed, even more demand-driven R&D for large-scale battery technology would likely be taking place.
The range of a BEV depends on the number and type of batteries used, and the performance demands of the driver. The weight and type of vehicle also have an impact just as they do on the mileage of traditional vehicles. Electric vehicle conversions usually use lead-acid batteries because they are the most available and inexpensive. Such conversions generally have a range of 20 to 50 miles . Production EVs with lead-acid batteries are capable of up to 80 miles per charge. NiMH batteries have higher energy density and may deliver up to 120 miles of range.
New lithium-ion battery-equipped EVs provide 250-300 miles (400-500 km) of range per charge. Finding the balance of range versus performance, battery capacity versus weight, and battery type versus cost challenges every EV manufacturer. With an AC system regenerative braking can extend range by up to 50% under extreme traffic conditions without complete stopping. Otherwise, the range is extended by about 10 to 15% in city driving, and only negligibly in highway driving, depending upon terrain.
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