What is a Powertrain System?
All about powertrains
You may have seen the term 'powertrain' used, but what actually is a powertrain?
Simply put, it's an engine or motor - the system of parts that generate energy and then convert it to drive the vehicle. In conventional vehicles, this is usually an internal combustion engine that relies on fossil fuels. In electric vehicles, the internal combustion engine has either been supplemented or replaced with one or more electric motors.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle Powertrains
With these powertrains, the traditional internal combustion engine is supplemented with an additional electric motor that's powered by a hybrid battery. They can either operate on their own or in tandem to propel the car, with the most efficient mode being selected for the given driving conditions.
This reduces the vehicle's fuel consumption and emission production. The internal combustion engine is also able to help charge the battery, meaning a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) doesn't need to be plugged in (though plug-in hybrid electric vehicles do give you this option).
And with regenerative brake charging technology, energy can be retained and used to help recharge the battery when you brake.
Battery Electrified Powertrain
A vehicle with a battery powertrain solely uses electricity to move around, meaning it doesn’t rely on fossil fuels for power and its electric motor produces zero emissions while driving. Electric motors are generally simpler than internal combustion engines, with less moving parts, and provide near-instant acceleration rates, making battery electric vehicles fun and exciting to drive.
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) can be quickly charged at DC charging stations, though they can also be charged at other AC public charging areas or at home. AC charging options will take extra time but are better for the long-term health of the battery.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Powertrains
A new addition to the electric powertrain family, and a very exciting one. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) run on the electricity produced when hydrogen and oxygen chemically react. This energy is then channelled into both the battery and electric motor, charging the battery and propelling the car. The only exhaust emission this chemical reaction creates is water.
Fuel cell electric vehicles have a comparable range to internal combustion engines, and only take 5 minutes to refill the tanks at a hydrogen refuelling station.
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