Gasoline engines usually use turbochargers as this is a way to increase the power of the engine. The turbo increases the force of every explosion. However, can you turbo an electric car?
The answer is no; you cannot turbo an electric car. This is because electric vehicles use electricity as their main energy source for powering the vehicle. Unlike gasoline, electricity does not combust. Hence, a turbocharger would not be effective or suitable for an electric car as it would not affect the performance.
Can You Turbo an Electric Car in the US
Electric cars do not have turbo engines. Here are some reasons why:
- Internal combustion engines are not used in electric vehicles.
- A turbo engine would cause the electric motor to overheat.
- Electric cars are very effective on their own.
Let’s jump into a detailed version of why you cannot turbo an electric car:
1. Internal Combustion Engines are Not Used in Electric Vehicles
For an internal combustion engine to run, air and gasoline need to mix and explode in the combustion chamber. This process powers the engine and is called the VE or volumetric efficiency.
Turbochargers compress air entering the engine. This helps raise the VE and ensures that more fuel is added, causing the engine to run more powerfully.
Since electric cars do not have traditional internal combustion engines, you cannot turbo them. Because of the absence of combustion, no explosion will take place, and without the explosion, gasoline cannot be mixed with air to produce power.
Regardless of the electric vehicle you choose to invest in; whether a Tesla, Chevy Bolt, or Nissan Leaf, you should be aware of this process.
2. A Turbo Engine Would Cause the Electric Motor to Overheat
Moreover, it must be kept in mind that turbochargers increase the stress on an engine, which is not good. You should never run electric motors fast or hard. Think of an electric hair dryer- when it is on for a couple of minutes, it will become very hot.
Turbochargers have a similar working system- they compress air and force it into the engine. This process can cause the electric motor to overheat, damaging it permanently.
3. Electric Cars are Very Effective on their Own
Electric cars do not need turbochargers because they are efficient on their own. The US Department of Energy states that electric motors have an efficiency of 75 percent. On the other hand, gasoline engines have an efficiency rate of 30 to 35 percent, while diesel engines have an efficiency of 40 percent.
According to this information, electric motors do not need much power to run a car, so the extra boost from turbochargers is unneeded.
What Motor Do Electric Vehicles Use?
The main motors used in an electric vehicle are brushless DC motor, permanent magnet synchronous motor, and DC series motor. These motors are efficient, allow high starting torque, and give electric vehicles a high-power density.
Each motor used in an electric vehicle has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s study more about the three main motors:
1. Brushless DC Motor
A brushless DC motor makes use of permanent magnets to form rotational force. Due to its efficiency, it is used in electric vehicles. In fact, its efficiency goes as high as 95 percent.
Moreover, this motor can operate at intense speeds due to its high density without losing any power. Moreover, it is dependable and lasts for a long time.
2. Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
This is an electric motor that forms rotational force using permanent magnets. The permanent magnet synchronous motor is usually found in electric vehicles because of their intense power density.
Moreover, this motor is known to be reliable and has a long life. Due to that, it can be used in gadgets that require a lot of power.
Also check: Can You Charge an Electric Car From a 13 AMP Socket? [8 Informative Motives]
3. DC Series Motor
This brushless motor operates at a constant RPM by using variable frequency drives. This ensures a high starting torque. However, don’t be confused by the name- these motors can also be run on AC power and are not only for DC use.
DC series motors are usually found in electric vehicles because they are trustworthy and can tolerate sudden increases in load without stopping for even a second. Moreover, they can be controlled easily. All you need is a brake resistor to slow down or quickly stop the motor. However, their maintenance is pricier than the other two electric motors.
Here is the efficiency rating of all three motors:
- Brushless DC Motor: 80 to 95 percent
- Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor: 92 to 97 percent
- DC Series Motor: 80 to 85 percent
Driving Modes in Electric Vehicles
The best feature of electric cars is that they have several driving modes. Drivers can use this feature to personalize their experience and pick a mode perfect for their needs.
The four driving modes in most electric vehicles include sport mode, eco mode, ludicrous mode, and chill mode.
1. Sport Mode
If you are feeling adventurous, switch to Sport Mode, and we promise an exciting ride. This mode powers the steering and makes it more responsive so that you feel in total control behind the wheel.
Moreover, the accelerator response time also increases, so you can use the slightest pressure to increase the speed of your vehicle.
2. Ludicrous Mode
Ludicrous mode is what you need if you want your car to run at optimum power. Once activated, this will help normalize torque.
This means that you can take advantage of non-stop acceleration from 0 to 97 kilometers per hour- within 2.5 seconds! Imagine hitting this speed so fast!
Click here: How Long Can an Electric Car Idle With AC On?
3. Eco Mode
If you are worried about your electric car’s battery, you can switch to Eco Mode. This will limit your vehicle’s acceleration while increasing the regenerative braking power so you can be efficient with your driving.
Eco Mode does not affect the smoothness of the ride, so you will still have some fun!
4. Chill Mode
This mode is for days you just want to relax without putting too much thought into your driving. It moderates the power steering and allows moderate acceleration that is barely noticeable.
If you are on a wet or icy road, we recommend switching to Chill Mode as this reduces energy consumption. Tesla users in the US also claim this is a great option for drivers with less experience.
How to Improve Your Electric Car’s Performance When Driving it in the US
Even though the electric vehicles that are coming into the market recently can travel up to 200 miles on one charge, many EV drivers face range anxiety. It can be nerve-wracking to drive your car with one eye on the road and the other on the charging meter. However, no one wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no charge remaining in their car.
The good news is that if you want to get more miles out of one charge, you can extend the range of your electric car. Here is how:
1. Drive the Car Smoothly
When you put your foot on the gas pedal, make sure to do carefully. You might be tempted to do this often, especially if you want to start your car rapidly, but this will affect your car’s battery. Hence, we would recommend slowly accelerating or stopping the car.
2. Keep Your Speed Low
If you can, try maintaining a speed of less than 60 mph when driving. Not only will this ensure that you do not receive a speeding penalty, but it will also help your battery last longer.
The Department of Energy says that if you lower your speed by 10 mph, you will save 14 percent electricity. If an “Eco” option exists on your car, moderately accelerate using this. Turn the sport mode off in case your car has it.
3. Take Advantage of Regenerative Braking
When you bring your electric car to a stop, use the regenerative braking function that recovers energy whenever possible. Moreover, only activate the brakes if you absolutely need to.
When you use maximum regenerative braking, more energy is transferred to the batteries when you slow your car down.
4. Relax on the Heat
We understand that you might want to use the heater when it gets cold outside but blasting your car’s heater on full takes loads of battery power. An alternative to colder temperatures is to lower the climate control and use the heated seats and heated steering wheel.
This will help keep you warm while saving loads of energy and electricity. Moreover, when you leave your car on charging, you can preheat it so that you do not need to use the climate control option when driving around.
Read here: How to Select Battery for Electric Car? [All Factors You Need to Know]
5. Use the AC Sparingly
Just like the heat, the AC also causes the power in the car to finish quickly. We recommend using the fan instead of the compressor when you can. You can also drive with the windows rolled down when cool outside.
However, ensure you do not drive too fast as this will affect the car’s aerodynamics, affecting the operating range. This is because the more you drag your car, the more power will be needed to drive it, especially if you are driving fast.
In the summers, we recommend precooling the car when it is on charge so that you can lessen the number of times you use the air conditioner when traveling.
6. Take Care of the Wheels
Did you know that a quarter of the cars on the road have underinflated tires? Like any ordinary car, if you drive your electric car with underinflated tires, more energy will be used, and it can also cause uneven tread wear.
To ensure this does not happen, use a tire gauge to measure the air pressure in the tires now and then. Ensure that the tires are always filled properly based on the manufacturer’s specified PSI. You can usually find all the relevant information on the sticker on the door frame located on the driver’s side.
7. Don’t Load Up the Trunk
Most automotive professionals will tell you that if you want to improve the efficiency of your car, the easiest way to do it is by reducing the weight.
To do that, you must get rid of all random things in your trunk. Do not underestimate how important this is- by carrying an additional 100 pounds in your truck, your car will use up 2 percent extra energy.
8. Plan Your Route Before-Hand
Before you take your electric car out to cruise the roads of the United States, you must have a plan. You must know how much charge your car is holding and where you want to go. The worst thing would be to run out of charging mid-journey.
When using your car to go interstate, increase your vehicle’s operating range so that you can take a road that allows you to drive at a low, constant speed. Do not travel in areas that have loads of traffic. Steep roads require more energy, so we recommend staying out of mountainous or hilly areas unless you need to go there.
If your electric car in the US has one, use the navigation system so that you can use energy-efficient routes. You can also plan your journey around the number of charging stations available so that even if you do run out of charging, you can always plug your car in and wait while it charges.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.