Why Can’t Electric Cars Charge Their Own Batteries

It has taken a long time for electric automobiles to gain traction. Electric automobiles feature a 20-year head start on the original Model T, but as internal combustion engines became more powerful, electric cars began to fade.

These vehicles have seen a revival in the modern day, with advancements in technology making them capable of competing with today’s most powerful cars. There has been a resurgence in interest in electric vehicles due to advances in battery technology and the environmental issues caused by combustion engines.

However, one problem has remained unsolved to date – Self-charging. Engineers and designers have been unable to come up with a solution.

Electric automobiles are unable to recharge themselves. However, most drivers tend not to worry about this because the battery will be charged while driving.

So why can’t electric cars charge their own batteries? Let’s find out.

Why Can’t Electric Cars Charge Their Own Batteries?

Energy’s composition plays a pivotal role in electric vehicle running. An alternator is a common component in internal combustion vehicles.

An alternator acts as a generator of electricity, generating an alternating current to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy to recharge the battery.

The alternator is formed through a revolving magnet around a fixed armature to generate mechanical energy, similar to how the sun spins around the planet.

Cars running on gasoline use a combination of mechanical and electrical energy to power an alternator that powers a battery, replenishing any power lost during combustion.

Fossil fuel is the sole energy source that cannot be duplicated by energy conversion. Therefore, it must be used to keep the automobile operating. However, the battery is the only power source in an electric vehicle.

It isn’t very reasonable to try to utilize an alternator to generate more electricity without a secondary energy source. The alternator needs power from the battery to produce mechanical energy, which can then be converted back into electricity.

This is a problem that has plagued electric vehicle makers for years. The only solution they could come up with was to drive only for a while to save battery. However, they haven’t given up. They have come up with a few concepts for resolving this difficulty.

Modes of Self-Charging Electric Vehicles

The following are the modes of self-charging electric vehicles:

1. Vehicle Brake with Regenerative Energy

This is only being utilized in electric automobiles, although it has many applications. The main assumption is that the kinetic energy of the moving automobile can be used as a secondary energy source to reload energy to the battery.

The vehicle’s brakes utilize a regenerative-hydraulic hybrid system in generator and pure brake modes. When you apply the brakes on your electric vehicle, the generator mode kicks in, transferring the kinetic energy generated by the wheels’ rotation to a generator.

Kinetic energy is converted to electrical energy and stored in the battery before being sent to the generator for use. When the generator mode fails to slow or stop the vehicle, the system changes to pure braking mode, ensuring that the vehicle will come to a complete halt. This is common when the brake is applied to a specific level.

This way, electric automobiles can recoup part of their lost power, but it is not enough to fully recharge the battery. It will just extend the time until it has to be charged again.

2. Photovoltaic (PV) Modules

Solar-powered automobiles were limited to short-term competition for a while until the Lightyear was introduced. It has a self-charging capacity that allows it to be used every day.

The car’s solar panels are protected by a thick layer of safety glass and can charge the battery for up to seven miles per hour while in operation.

Solar-powered automobiles have enormous potential even though these vehicles can only be used for short daily excursions at present.

3. Induction Charging

Induction and wireless charging have only been on the market for a few years. It has been established as a commonplace method of recharging portable electronics in homes and businesses alike. This mode of charging can be used in electric cars.

A charging coil generates electricity, which is then delivered to the device through a receiving coil via electromagnetic induction.

Electricity flows from one coil to another in the gadget and is collected in the battery, which charges it.

An electric automobile based on this concept might work; however, the infrastructure required for transferring energy across such a huge area raises questions. When you use induction charging, the electromagnetic field moves energy from one electric coil, such as a cable coiled around itself, to another.

You can recharge the battery by parking an electric car on a particular charging pad. A horizontal receptor coil mounted on the chassis receives energy from the emitter coil on the ground.

Dynamic induction charging uses the same mechanism as static induction charging but in a moving vehicle.

The automobile is driven over a series of embedded emitter coils on the road. It receives a brief burst of electrical current when it comes into contact with a coil.

Induction Methods

Potential induction methods have previously been tested. Some of them are as follows:

  • Renault tested two Kangoo Z.E cars as part of the European FABRIC project. It was capable of dynamic wireless recharging on an induction route in Satory.

This experiment demonstrated that a car traveling at 100 km per hour could charge roughly 20 kilowatts.

  • ElectReon, an Israeli start-up, plans to install a 1.6-kilometer induction route on Sweden’s Gotland island by 2022.

 It will power electric buses and vehicles that travel between the airport and Visby, the island’s capital. Local transportation officials intend to reduce CO2 emissions from these routine travels dramatically.

4. Dynamic Charging

Dynamic induction charging is a practical approach to the vehicle charging issue.

However, it will still be fraught with difficulties due to its implementation which necessitates careful coordination between the highway infrastructure, the electrical grid, and the automobile industry.

Charging device sizes, how they are financed and incorporated into the road, and how power transmission works must be rethought from a technological standpoint.

Dynamic induction charging can charge vehicles with widely variable demands.

 It is required to make electric vehicles’ energy setups more sustainable and minimize their reliance on batteries. A new route has yet to be discovered.

Where Can You Charge an Electric Vehicle in the US?

You can charge your electric vehicle at home, at work, or at public charging stations.

Recharging an Electric Vehicle at Home

There’s nothing like starting the day with a full tank. The normal driver’s daily driving range can be fully reloaded by plugging in at night at home.

You can use a standard household three-pronged plug to charge. However, a home electric vehicle charger is superior and gets done faster than ever.

It is normal for dedicated Electric Vehicle home chargers to provide 7kW of electricity.

However, most automakers limit the power that can be pulled from a conventional three-pin household socket to no more than 10A, or 2.3kW.

The power and speed provided by a 7kW home charger are three times faster than that of a household outlet.

Recharging an Electric Vehicle at Work

Charging stations at work allow commuters who live farther away from their houses to use electric vehicles.

Your workplace may be able to benefit from the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme if you don’t already have an electric car charging station installed at your workplace.

The WGS is a voucher-based program that contributes to the upfront expenses of purchasing and installing electric car charge stations.

The Workplace Charging Scheme application allows employers to request coupons.

Recharging an Electric Vehicle in Public

Service stations, parking lots, supermarkets, movie theatres, and even the side of the road have public EV charging.

As an alternative to the present forecourts, quick charging units at gas stations allow drivers to recharge their electric vehicles on the go in 20-30 minutes, making them ideal for road trips.

Can You Charge the Electric Car If You Don’t Have Private Parking?

An electric vehicle (EV) can be a viable alternative even if you don’t have access to private parking. This is especially true if you can access charging stations at your workplace or a nearby public charger.

There is a mobile charging device for electric car owners who have run out of batteries. Fuel expenditures for a gasoline or diesel automobile are significantly higher than the cost of charging an electric vehicle.

How Long Should You Charge an Electric Car For?

The amount of time charging an electric vehicle takes depends on the size of the battery and the kind of charger.

Plugs, Adapters, and Connections for Electric Car Chargers

Things get a little trickier when it comes to electric vehicles and chargers because there isn’t a standard hookup.

They all have their own set of connections for either AC or DC charging, depending on the charger type.

The last thing you want to discover when your battery is at its lowest point is that the charging station you’ve arrived at is incompatible with your vehicle’s charging port.

Consult the owner’s manual and the website of the charging network provider for the most up-to-date information.

Does Every Charger Work with Every Electric Vehicle?

Most electric vehicles and electric vehicle chargers in the United States are compatible. However, you’ll often need to bring your own cable, included and stored in the car for non-rapid charging.

Type 1 and Type 2 inlet sockets are the only options for non-rapid charging on electric vehicles.

Fortunately, the cable with your EV includes the plug it needs. The cables used at the charger end are interchangeable.

When using a fast charger, be aware that the wire is attached to the charging device and cannot be untethered.

You can choose between two cables, one for each of the two most common rapid charge connections (CHAdeMO and CCS).

How Can You Know Which Chargers Work for Your Electric Vehicle?

If you own an electric vehicle, you can find out what charging ports it has through your dealer, lease company, or owner’s manual.

You can use a map-based tool to locate public charging stations. These tools show you whether a charger has been reported to be malfunctioning by filtering connection type, electric vehicle type, or charging speed.

Electric Vehicle Driving Range

The typical electric vehicle (EV) driving range is 100 to 300 miles.

This amount is always rising because of the advancements in battery technology. Tesla’s Model S Long Range has a whopping all-electric range of 412 miles.

Charging infrastructure must keep pace with the demand to make electric vehicles more practical.

The RAC offers a mobile charging device if an electric car owner is unfortunate enough to run out of energy.

The performance of all batteries degrades through time and usage, although with an electric vehicle, the degradation is usually mild and gradual.

This is mostly due to their battery management systems. These systems prevent overcharging and fast charging, leading to battery damage.

If you have a more than 80% charged battery, quick chargers begin to taper, which means they offer less power. Long battery warranties are already standard on various electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicles in the United States

Mass-market electric vehicles have been available in the United States for over a decade. However, the market hasn’t seen substantial growth.

In the first three months of 2022, Electric Vehicle registrations went up 60%, even after the entire market fell 18%.

It’s the latest evidence that domestic Electric Vehicle acceptability may have turned some critical but invisible corner.

Why Can't Electric Cars Charge Their Own Batteries
Why Can’t Electric Cars Charge Their Own Batteries

Final Word

Self-charging electric vehicles is at your fingertips. Electric vehicles’ self-charging issues aren’t going away any time soon, but creative solutions to these issues have emerged as time passes.

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