The difference between gas power and electric vehicle batteries

Everything you need to know about how an EV is powered.

You might have already heard about the many advantages EVs enjoy over gas cars, such as their environmental benefits and eligibility for rebates. What you may not know about is how an EV battery works, what it’s made of and how it compares to the more familiar battery of a gas-powered car.

Keep reading to find out:

How EV batteries work

A battery is made up of one of more cells and individual battery cells are connected to each other and monitored by a dedicated electronic circuit.

In an EV, the battery produces electricity which directly powers the vehicle’s systems. Unlike disposable alkaline batteries, which are used in flashlights and remote controls, EV batteries are rechargeable and can be used for many years.

What EV batteries are made of

The chemistry of an EV battery varies among manufacturers. However, there are three main types of rechargeable batteries:

  • Lead-acid batteries, which were invented in, and have been used since, the 19th century.
  • Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which have seen commercial use since the 1980s.
  • Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which came into commercial use in the 1990s. There are also lithium-ion polymer batteries, which are a variation of lithium-ion batteries.

How batteries in EVs compare to batteries in gas-powered vehicles

In an EV, the battery is located on the bottom, centered between the wheels.  There are two separate batteries—12-Volt auxiliary batteries that powers a vehicle’s accessories and, traction battery packs that store electricity for use by the traction motor.

EVs also have thermal cooling systems to keep the battery at an optimal temperature. They also have internal computers and converters to monitor the intake of electricity. Their batteries are easy to charge by plugging in any ordinary outlet. You can find out more about EV charging by watching out our video.

In gas-powered vehicles, batteries are usually located just under the hood. The main purpose of the batteries is to start the engine and power vehicle electronics/accessories. When the battery of a gas-powered car dies, it is more difficult to charge than in an EV.

Now you know more about EV batteries and how they compare to those in gas-powered cars! To learn more about EVs, sign up for a test drive with one of our experts at Next Ride.

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Electrify Rebate program

Up to $8000 in Provincial and Federal rebates exist for qualifying electric vehicles.