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Do electric cars have engines?

22nd October 2021

Electric vehicles do not have the type of engines we traditionally associate with fuel-powered cars. Instead, electric motors are fuelled by rechargeable batteries – thus providing power to the electric car.

The engine of an electric car differs greatly from a conventional engine. Whilst petrol or diesel vehicles have engines that require hundreds of moving parts, an electric car has only  one moving motor. Due to this, electric cars require less maintenance and are often seen as more reliable. The biggest benefit of electric cars is the minimal environmental impact, whilst an internal combustion engine works by burning fossil fuels – electricity has a significantly lower carbon footprint in comparison.

Do electric cars have motors?

In short, yes. Electric cars are powered by one large motor, which contains a:

  • Charge port
  • Battery
  • DC/DC convertor
  • Electric traction motor
  • Onboard charger
  • Thermal system
  • Traction battery pack
  • Power electronics controller 
  • Transmission

Do hybrid cars have two engines?

Hybrid cars work a bit differently from electric vehicles, as they are energised by both an electric motor and a fuel-powered engine. Most hybrid cars are charged through kinetic energy, meaning the battery gets charged during slowing down and braking. Although, you can also get plug-in hybrids which would charge similar to an electric car, hybrid car engines, tend to switch depending on the distance you are travelling. For example, if you are travelling short distances at low speeds, your hybrid can be solely powered by electricity, whereas longer distances may require fuel-power. Learn more about hybrid cars in our helpful guide.

How is an electric motor different from a conventional engine?

Unlike gas cars, an electric motor has no clutch, gearbox, transmission or exhaust pipe. The maintenance process of an electric engine is more simplistic than a fuel-powered car. That’s because they rely on a wiring process and are powered by a battery, whereas a gas engine requires a wide range of maintenance such as oil checks, filter replacements and more.

Benefits of electric cars

As well as being environmentally friendly, switching to electric cars also come with a host of other benefits: 

  • Less costly: electric cars tend to avoid the general wear and tear of fuel-powered cars, as there is no need for oil changes, engine component replacements, and other motoring issues.
  • Easier charging: with an electric car, you can worry less about last-minute trips to the petrol station, as you can charge your car from home. Find out more about electric car charging stations in our helpful blog.
  • Government incentives: the UK government aims to be net-zero by 2050, switching to electric cars are a big part of the plan. You can read more about the electric car initiative here.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of electric cars, be sure to read our helpful guide. Here at Merityre Specialists, we specialise in providing maintenance checks and services for electric cars. Locate your nearest Merityre branch near you, or contact us today.