In the ever-changing automotive landscape, we at Automotive Training Center always keep our eyes peeled for new developments in drive technology, specifically to consider how they might challenge the technicians of tomorrow in new ways.
Today, we’re zeroing in on a zero-emissions vehicle fleet that relies on a battery pack and an electric motor to get from point A to point B: the electric car.
We asked ourselves and students, how might repairing electric cars differ from their gas-powered counterparts? Here are 4 parts that you won’t find on an electric car’s maintenance list.
1. Spark Plugs
In gas-powered vehicles, spark plugs play an essential role in starting the fuel combustion process that powers your car into motion. But electric cars use a battery to power their electric motors and turn the car’s wheels, so no spark plugs are needed.
2. Oxygen Sensors
Within an internal combustion engine, an oxygen sensor serves to regulate the level of fuel to air within the chamber. This ensures that the right mix is ignited during combustion and that the car isn’t using two much fuel.
On the flip side, the fuel in an electric vehicle is electricity that’s stored in a rechargeable battery. Unlike a gas engine, in an electric motor, no reaction needs to take place to activate the fuel any further. Hitting the “gas” pedal on an electric car is essentially like flicking a light switch on.
3. Catalytic Converters
A catalytic converter is part of a gas-powered vehicle’s exhaust and emissions system. When exhaust is produced, the catalytic converter alters the potency of its chemicals so they can be released through the car’s tail pipe. No exhaust is created in an electric car, which means these vehicles can do away with catalytic converters completely.
When the air-fuel mix is ignited in the combustion chamber of a gas-engine car, it manufactures a lot of excess noise. The muffler is responsible for quieting down the sound produced during this process.
You guessed it: Electric cars skip the combustion process entirely, so sayonara mufflers! With little if any residual road noise being produced under the hood, electric cars are inherently (and sometimes eerily) quiet in comparison to their gas counterparts.
How Does Maintenance Differ for a Hybrid Car?
In the electric-powered realm, these maintenance items may have faded fast, but for the rest of the world’s gas- and diesel-run cars, they’re still alive and well. How do you think routine and long-term maintenance would be different for a hybrid vehicle?
You might be tempted to say the same as gas, and you’d be close. Because hybrids use a battery and a gas engine, they still require getting the items above. But since a hybrid’s regenerative braking technology uses a reverse mode to slow the car rather than heat and friction that wears away brake pads, hybrid drivers benefit from far less brake-related maintenance.
Learn More About Hybrid Engines with Our Free eBook
If you found this blog post interesting, you’ll want to check out our free eBook Facts and Myths about Hybrid Engines for a full run-down of a hybrid vehicle system’s capabilities. Get your free copy here.