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This parts FAQ is intended for those looking to understand what EV components do, at a simplified level.

Motor:

The Motor turns the wheels, specifically the transmission. The smooth shaft of the motor (the part that turns) is connected via an Adapter plate to the original transmission, which then turns the wheels of the car. A Direct drive motor (such as a NetGain TransWarP) couples the motor to the driveshaft itself, without the need of a transmission or adapter.

Motor Blower/Forced Air Cooling

The Blower keeps the motor cool and clean, prolonging the life of the motor and ensuring safe and comfortable use.

Controller

The Controller controls the amount of battery power sent to the motor. The motor is a simple machine that only has on or off functionality. The controller sends signals to the motor to turn off and on at differing frequencies to attain the desired speed.

Controller Cooling

A controller runs an immense amount of power through it, and like a computer, needs to be Cooled in order to operate.

Throttle (Potbox)

The Throttle interprets the pull from the gas pedal into information that the controller can understand. Some, such as the curtis potbox require an analog cable, others, such as the Hall Effect Pedal, relay that information without mechanical equipment.

Batteries

Batteries store all the power that a vehicle has to use.

Charger

A Charger recharges the batteries at an electrical outlet.

Contactor

A Contactor is a safety device separating the power between the motor and batteries. Turning the ignition key connects poles of metal in the contactor, enabling power to run from the batteries, through the controller, and to the motor.

Fuses

A Fuse is linked between each electric component and the source of power to prevent surges of electricity from reaching (and damaging) the component and wiring.

Breakers

A Breaker serves the same function as a fuse, except a fuse must be replaced after it is damaged by a surge, whereas a breaker (ironically) can be reset and used again.

DC/DC Converter

A DC/DC Converter is required to operate the functions that originally ran from the alternator. Such as head lights, radio, windows, etc.

Brake Pump

Power Brakes are retained by the use of an electric vacuum pump. Likewise with a Power Steering Pump.

Speed Sensor

A Speed Sensor Measures the rotations of the motor shaft, enabling calculations to be made for speed.

Interface

The original dash does not have a place for volts, amps, peak amps, etc. The Interface provides this.

BMS Battery Management System/Battery Monitoring System

The individual batteries in the pack will have slightly different voltages. A BMS helps to report and regulate the voltages in the pack to charge or discharge equally.


Others:

Lead-Acid vs. Lithium

Lithium cells weight less, provide more power, require less maintenance, and take up less space. Lithium cells are now available to the public at reasonable prices, making them hugely popular in the EV scene.

Series Motors

Two motors can be linked together in one vehicle to attain better performance.

Cable

High voltage cable is needed to wire the batteries to the controller, and the controller to the motor. Other components use low current wires to connect to the power source.

 
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