Electric vehicles (EVs) have been called a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. With their growing popularity, many are intrigued by the fundamental differences between EVs and their gasoline-powered counterparts. One key distinction is the weight of electric vehicles. In this blog, we will explore the reasons why electric vehicles tend to be heavier and how this impacts their performance and design.
HEAVY BATTERY PACKS OF EV’S
The primary reason behind the weight of electric vehicles is their lithium-ion battery packs. These battery packs store the electrical energy needed to power the vehicle. Usually, these batteries are placed in the lower part of the vehicle, often under the cabin floor, to provide a lower center of gravity for improved stability and handling. The size and weight of these battery packs vary depending on the vehicle’s range and performance. The larger the battery, the more energy it can store, but it also adds more weight to the electric vehicle.
A TRADE-OFF WITH WEIGHT
One reason lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in EVs is their relatively high energy density, meaning they can store a lot of energy in a compact space. However, this high energy density also contributes to the weight of an EV. The trade-off between energy density and weight is a challenge that EV manufacturers constantly address to enhance both vehicle range and performance. On top of this, consumers are expecting EV’s to be able to travel more and more distance. In order to please customers, manufacturers increase the energy density of the batteries, which causes electric vehicles to become heavier and heavier.
Safety is a paramount concern in the design of electric vehicles, and one aspect that adds weight is the protective measures for the battery. EVs incorporate robust cooling systems, fire-resistant barriers, and reinforced structures to ensure the safety of the battery pack, which adds extra weight.
To accommodate the weight of the battery pack and ensure the structural integrity of the vehicle, EVs often require reinforced chassis and body frames. These reinforcements add to the overall weight of the vehicle but are crucial to maintaining passenger safety and vehicle performance.
REGENERATIVE BRAKING SYSTEMS
Electric vehicles often include regenerative braking systems, which convert kinetic energy back into electrical energy when the vehicle decelerates. While this system is highly efficient and helps extend the vehicle’s range, it also adds components like electric motors and energy management systems, which contribute to the overall weight.