Do Electric Cars Need Coolant? We have reviewed the electric vehicle cooling system design on this page for your satisfaction. You can browse the page for electric cars with active thermal management. If you want the electric vehicle motor cooling system, then this post is most suited for you.
EV cars generally only have three key fluids that need to be topped up regularly: coolant fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. All-electric vehicles (EVs) only use electric power from the grid; they do not have an internal combustion engine and do not use any type of liquid fuel. They do not need radiator fluid, timing belts, fuel filters, oil or oil change
electric cars with active thermal management
Do Electric Cars Need Coolant
Air cooling uses the principle of convection to transfer heat away from the battery pack. Air cooling is used in earlier versions of electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf. As electric cars are now being used more commonly, safety issues have arisen with purely air-cooled battery packs, particularly in hot climates.
A mixture of paraffin, water and surfactants could cool car batteries three times better than conventional technologies
Battery temperature is critical for performance and safety, but it’s a tricky business cooling the large batteries needed for electric vehicles. Now, scientists in Germany have developed a new coolant which promises to cool batteries on hot days.
The coolant is a dispersion which mixes water and paraffin along with stabilising surfactants or tensides and a dash of the anti-freeze glycol. The advantage, say its developers, is that it functions better than air or water cooling of batteries in extremes such as long road trips.
‘With the melting and solidifying of the paraffin, great amounts of heat will be absorbed and emitted,’ explains developer Tobias Kappels of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology in Oberhausen, Germany. ‘The heat capacity of the fluid is twice to triple as high as the heat capacity of water in a temperature interval of 10°C.’
When a battery’s temperature is too low it may not provide adequate power. Too high and undesirable reactions will degrade it and may even result in fire. In small phone or laptop batteries the surface area to volume ratio is relatively high and air cooling works fine. Larger battery packs like those used to power cars are much more difficult to cool with air.
The new coolant depends on the principal of latent heat. As the battery heats up the solid paraffin droplets in the coolant melt, absorbing the heat in the process. When it cools, the droplets revert to their solid form. Kappels says the surfactants are critical. ‘Even when the paraffin loses the tensides due to thermal or mechanical stress, the tensides get back to the paraffin particles and prevent agglomeration,’ he explains.
A 10°C temperature increase can reduce the battery lifetime by a factor of two, notes Dirk Uwe Sauer, a battery researcher at RWTH Aaachen University, Germany. ‘If the heat [from the battery] can be absorbed efficiently the temperature increase, especially at neighbouring cells, is limited and therefore the risk of an avalanche-like thermal runaway throughout the battery pack is reduced,’ he explains. ‘What is not clear to us is, if the coolant proposed by Fraunhofer is stable in the vehicle over years. We have some doubts about this, but maybe they have found some additives to solve this problem.’
Kappels says tests with batteries have not been carried out yet, but that he hopes to have the coolant ready for the market at the end of the year. ‘The greatest challenges are to adopt batteries for use with cooling fluids and to optimise the cooling cycle,’ he adds.
electric vehicle motor cooling system
If You’re Considering an Electric Car, Be Sure to Do Your Homework
Just a few years ago, many people may have never seen an electric car in person, unless they lived in a place like California where electric vehicles are popular and readily available. Now, several automakers offer compelling electric vehicles (EVs) nationwide. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a Tesla Model 3 regardless of where you live.
As electric cars become less expensive and widely available, more people are interested in buying them. There are many reasons – aside from the environmental benefits – to switch to an EV, such as superb efficiency, cheaper energy costs, less maintenance, and better overall performance. However, making the transition from gas to electric is a big step. Before you take the plunge, be sure to do your homework and ask the right questions.Westend61 / Getty Images
We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most important considerations for potential EV owners, listed in the form of questions. While some include complete answers, others depend on various factors, including which EV you choose, where you live, and how you plan to use the car.
Read through the following information to decide if electric car ownership is something you’re really serious about. If you decide to move forward, be sure to get all of your questions answered before completing the transaction.
Read on to learn if picking up an EV is the right choice for you.
1. Does the Car Have Enough Range?
Many of today’s EVs offer over 200 miles of range on a charge, though there are still some that have much less. Tesla is currently the only automaker that offers EVs with over 300 miles of range. The Tesla Model S currently holds the record, with up to an EPA-rated 402 miles per charge.
With 200 miles of range, most people aren’t going to experience range anxiety during their daily commutes. Keep in mind that range varies regardless of the EPA’s estimates. Many factors impact a car’s range, such as your speed, your driving habits, the weather, and the car’s climate control. It’s wise to anticipate having less range than the car’s EPA estimate, just to be safe. If you travel over 200 miles on a daily basis, you may want to steer clear of most EVs.
2. Can I Charge My Electric Vehicle at Home?
One of the most convenient aspects of EV ownership is charging at home. At the end of the day, you simply plug the car in. When you wake in the morning, it’s ready to go. This means no more smelly hands from pumping gas, no more standing out in the cold, and no more pulling your car out of your garage to warm it up.
With that said, there are several important considerations. You can charge your EV using a standard 110-volt wall outlet (Level 1 charging), but it’s going to take some time. Level 1 charging adds about 4 miles of range per hour. If you don’t use many miles of range each day, this may work for you. However, if you deplete a full 250 miles of range, it will take several days to recharge this way.Maskot / Getty Images
Most EV owners hire an electrician to install a 240-volt outlet in their garage. This allows for Level 2 charging, which can add 25 miles of range per charging hour. Make sure to find out how much it will cost to add 240-volt service at your home.
If you don’t have a garage, you can plug in outside. If you have a 240-volt outlet installed outside, make sure it’s up to code, and that your charging cord or station is designed for outdoor use.
3. How Much Does Electricity Cost?
Just like gasoline, the price of electricity varies depending on where you live. The average price of electricity in the U.S. is 13.28 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Louisiana, you’ll pay 9.5 cents, compared to 19.79 cents in California. Regardless of where you live or where you charge your EV, electricity will still cost you much less than gas for a competitor in the same segment. According to the EPA, fuel costs for a BMW 3 Series are over three times more expensive than charging a Tesla Model 3. However, there are details you should know in order to save the most money.
Charging at home is typically cheaper than public charging, though some public charging units are free. Electricity prices can vary based on the time of day. It’s usually much less expensive to charge overnight or on the weekend than it is to charge at peak times, such as weekday afternoons and evenings. Your local utility company can break it all down for you. Some utility providers even offer special plans to accommodate EV owners.
4. Are There Public Charging Stations Nearby?
While home charging is the most convenient way to juice up your electric car, you’ll probably need to charge on the road at some point. Some public charging stations are Level 2, but many offer DC fast charging, which allows you to charge your car rapidly. Some EVs can be charged to 80% in less than 30 minutes at a fast-charging station. However, there are many factors involved.
Make sure you find out if the EV you’re planning on picking up is capable of fast-charging, as well as how many miles you can expect to add in a given time. In addition, you should locate the charging stations in your area and on your typical routes, and then determine what type of charging they support. Atiwat Studio / Getty Images
There are many resources available, including PlugShare.com and PlugInAmerica.org. Charging networks, such as EVgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America also have their own interactive maps. Tesla owners have exclusive access to the Supercharger network, which includes fast-charging stations strategically located nationwide.
5. Can I Take My EV on Road Trips?
Any electric car is capable of road-tripping. Whether it’s convenient or viable comes down to your route and your car’s range. If your EV offers 200 or 300 miles of range, you’ll probably be ready for a bathroom and snack break by the time you’re getting low on battery power.
There shouldn’t be an issue mapping out your trip and making sure there’s a charging station every three hours or so – especially if you’re traveling on major highways. However, you may have to diverge from the usual route to make sure you can DC fast-charge at each stop. Otherwise, your travel time will be extended significantly.
Many EV owners also own a gas car that they use for family road trips. If you don’t go on long road trips often, you shouldn’t worry too much. You could always rent a car for the annual family road trip and still save money using your EV as your daily driver.
6. What Electric Vehicle Incentives are Available?
The federal U.S. government offers electric car buyers a $7,500 tax credit. The full amount only applies to new, fully electric cars. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are also eligible for the credit, though it reduces based on the size of the car’s battery. Longer range PHEVs like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid qualify for the full tax credit, but the Toyota Prius Prime and Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid are only eligible for about $4,500.
Not all EVs qualify for the tax credit. The incentive phases out in increments after an automaker sells 200,000 electric vehicles. For example, Tesla and GM EVs are no longer eligible. It’s also important to note that not everyone’s tax situation will allow them to take advantage of the credit. Before buying an EV, be sure to talk to a tax professional to make sure you’ll get the credit. You can’t get the credit if you lease an EV, but the dealership can get it and apply it to the lease discounts. However, that’s not always the case. If you plan to lease, find out if the tax credit is applied or if the dealership is planning to pocket the credit.Stadtratte / Getty Images
States and cities also offer credits and incentives in addition to the federal tax credit. Make sure to do your homework to find out if you can get a local discount, financial assistance for a home charging system, or any other local incentive for purchasing an electric car.
7. Should I Buy a New or Used Electric Car?
Electric cars are expensive, so buying used will save you money. Interestingly, all new EVs are pricier than new gas-powered cars, but many used EVs are much cheaper than most used gas cars. This is because most EVs depreciate more rapidly than traditional cars due to the tax incentives and limited demand. However, this isn’t true of Tesla’s vehicles, which tend to hold their value better than most cars. Many used electric cars also have low mileage due to being relatively new and having range limitations.
Buying new guarantees your car will have a full warranty, the longest electric range currently available, and up-to-date tech and safety features. While batteries don’t degrade quickly, buying new still gives you the peace of mind that your battery is in tip-top condition. Finally, the federal EV tax credit and other electric car incentives aren’t available on the purchase of used EVs.
Many of the same pros and cons of buying a new or used gas-only vehicle applies to EVs, too. Read our guide on choosing between a new or used model to learn more.
8. Is it Better to Buy or Lease an EV?
If you’re in the market for a new EV, you’ll have to decide whether to buy or lease. EV leasing is much more popular than buying since electric cars are so expensive. While buying a car, especially with a low interest rate, is generally a more sound financial decision, it’s not a good idea if you can barely afford the monthly payment.
A $40,000 car loan with zero APR over five years will set you back almost $700 per month. You can often lease that same EV with a monthly payment that’s half that. Moreover, new electric cars are coming to market regularly, and current models are getting better every year. Many EVs get new technology and more range with each new model year. Leasing assures that you can take advantage of the newest technology or swap your car for an even better EV every few years. If your tax situation won’t allow you to get the federal electric car tax credit, you may benefit from the dealership applying it to your lease as a discount.Maskot / Getty Images
In the end, you have to ask yourself how long you plan to keep your electric car. Will you eventually pay off the loan? If you plan to sell it, realize that EV resale value may work against you. However, leasing means having a monthly car payment for a long period of time. Also, exceeding the car’s mileage restrictions or damaging the car may end up costing you when it’s time to turn it in.
Choosing to buy or lease an EV is similar to any vehicle. Our article on buying versus leasing can provide you with more information.
9. What Do I Need to Know About EV Maintenance?
Overall, electric cars require less maintenance than gas-powered cars. There are virtually no fluids to change, and the friction brakes last longer since regenerative braking assists with stopping the car. An EV’s battery and motor have the potential to last longer than the life of the car. In the rare event that an EV’s battery needs replacing, it can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $16,000, and that doesn’t include labor. For comparison, replacing the engine in a gas car can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the size of the engine and the hours of labor.
Fortunately, federal regulations require that automakers cover an electric vehicle’s battery for eight years or 100,000 miles. Keep in mind warranties can be packed with exceptions and exclusions, so make sure you understand exactly what’s covered.
10. How Much Does it Cost to Insure an Electric Car?
Insurance tends to cost more for electric cars than traditional cars. However, it has nothing to do with the vehicle’s safety. Instead, it’s because EVs are more expensive than gas-powered cars. More expensive cars typically cost more to repair. In addition, insurance companies take into account the high cost of EV battery packs. If an accident causes damage to the pack, and it needs to be replaced, it’s one of the most expensive repairs insurance companies will have to cover.
On average, you’ll pay 23% more to insure an electric car than a gas car. Some insurance companies are more forgiving than others, and rates vary widely depending on many variables. For example, State Farm’s rates don’t seem to increase much for electric cars, but Allstate charges a hefty premium. Regardless of the car you drive, be sure to shop around for the best insurance rate. Our auto insurance guide can help you find the best options to insure your EV.
most reliable electric and hybrid cars
10. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014-present)
Reliability rating 97.8%
Although 14% of Outlander PHEVs suffered a fault, most of these were minor niggles relating to bodywork, interior trim and non-engine electrics. All cars could still be driven and a third were repaired in a day or less, with two-thirds of work done for free under warranty. Some owners were charged up to £750, though.
8=. BMW i3 (2013-present)
Reliability rating 97.9%
Just under 13% of i3s have caused their owners trouble in the past 12 months, with these mostly suffering from problems with their infotainment/sat-nav systems and interior trim. All of the affected cars could still be driven, with a third fixed in less than a day, but another third took up to a week and the rest more than a week to put right. At least all repairs were done under warranty.
8=. Honda CR-V Hybrid (2018-present)
Reliability rating 97.9%
Only 8% of CR-V Hybrids went wrong and non-engine electrics were the only problem area. All cars could still be driven and were fixed the same day under warranty.
7. Toyota Corolla (2018-present)
Reliability rating 98.4%
Just 5% of Corolla owners reported a fault with their car and the only problematic area was the 12-volt battery. Although all cars were off the road for more than a week, all work was done for free.
6. Hyundai Kona Electric (2018-present)
Reliability rating 98.5%
Just 7% of Kona Electrics went wrong, with the ancillary battery being the only area affected. All of those cars could still be driven and the repair work was done under warranty, although this took more than a week in each case.
5. Lexus RX (2016-present)
Reliability rating 99.1%
A mere 4% of the RX Hybrids we were told about had developed a fault in the previous 12 months. Non-engine electrics were the only issue and all work was done for free, in most cases in a day or less.
4. Toyota RAV4 (2019-present)
Reliability rating 99.2%
Toyota is renowned for its reliability, and the latest RAV4 shows why; just 7% of cars went wrong, with the battery being the only area that was affected. All of the cars could still be driven and were repaired in a day or less, and all work was carried out for free.
3. Lexus NX (2014-present)
Reliability rating 99.3%
Only 6% of NX owners reported a fault on their car, with issues with the infotainment/sat-nav being the most common, followed by the bodywork. All of the cars remained driveable and were put right in a day or less, with the cost covered by the warranty.
2. Tesla Model 3 (2019-present)
Reliability rating 99.4%
Tesla’s newest model is not only the most dependable executive car but also the highest-scoring electric car. Just 5% of cars suffered a fault, according to owners. What’s more, they could all still be driven and were fixed in a day or less at no cost to owners.
1. Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2011-2020)
Reliability rating 99.5%
As reliable as the Model 3 is, it’s beaten to top spot by the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. This small car is incredibly dependable, with a mere 5% of the cars we were told about having suffered a fault. Again, all of the affected cars could still be driven and were fixed in a day or less for free.