An electric car has a device called an inverter/charger which converts direct current (DC) from the battery into alternating current (AC) to run the electric motor. The inverter/charger also charges the battery when needed.
The inverter/charger is similar to the alternator in a gasoline car. Both devices generate AC power to run the car’s electrical accessories and both charge the battery. The main difference is that the inverter/charger in an electric car does not run on engine power.
There are advantages and disadvantages to having an electric car with an alternator.
1. Alternators are more efficient than inverters/chargers.
2. Alternators are less expensive than inverters/chargers.
3. Alternators are more reliable than inverters/chargers.
4. Alternators are easier to troubleshoot than inverters/chargers.
5. Alternators can be used to generate power when the car is not in use making them ideal for backup power systems.
1. Alternators require a gasoline engine to operate which means that electric cars with alternators are not truly emissions-free.
2. Alternators are less efficient than inverters/chargers meaning that they will use more gasoline and produce more emissions.
3. Alternators are less reliable than inverters/chargers and can break down more often.
4. Alternators are more difficult to troubleshoot than inverters/chargers.
5. Alternators can’t be used to generate power when the car is not in use making them less ideal for backup power systems.
Does an electric car have an alternator?