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Introduction to Electric Vehicle Technology

In this free online course, learn the basic requirements for designing an electric vehicle effectively.

Publisher: NPTEL
This free online course on electric vehicle technology will equip you with the necessary knowledge to start a career in electric vehicle design. With the rise in fuel prices and more electric vehicles on the road, electrical vehicle engineers’ need is growing. The future of the automotive industry is in electric vehicles. So why wait! Start your path on this new and exciting field of electric vehicle technology today.
Introduction to Electric Vehicle Technology
  • Duration

    6-10 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






View course modules


As fuel prices increase and as the world’s fossil fuel deposits become depleted, governments worldwide are pushing manufacturers to design and produce more electric vehicles. As a result, car manufacturers are looking for automotive engineers who have a background in electric vehicles. Are engineering and physics your passions?  This course introduces you to the field of electric vehicle technology and will help you discover how the laws of physics, in the real world, impact the design of any vehicle. Explore the rolling resistance and understand how the vehicle’s weight and the friction between the vehicle’s wheels and the terrain create a force acting in opposition to a moving vehicle. Study how aerodynamic drag, wind resistance, gradient resistance, or the resistance created by gravity as a vehicle climbs a slope and adds to the forces that a vehicle needs to overcome. Learn how to calculate the impact of these forces to understand how much power a motor needs to produce to overcome these forces while remaining energy-efficient.

Subsequently, calculating acceleration and torque and the role these forces play in giving a vehicle traction power will be discussed. In an internal combustion engine, traction power comes from petrol or diesel, but this power comes from a battery in an electric vehicle. This course will teach you how to compute the amount of energy expressed in Watts; a battery needs to provide a motor to produce the torque and traction power required to accelerate and reach specific speeds. You will examine four models to see the impact of opposing forces in each vehicle and the role the battery and drive train play in overcoming these forces. Next, you will learn about the drive cycle’s role in determining how much energy a vehicle will consume per kilometre. This energy efficiency concept is well known in vehicles and internal combustion vehicles. It is expressed in the consumption of litres per kilometre. Electric vehicles, however, use kilo-watt hours over kilometres. A drive cycle helps a designer determine a motor’s energy efficiency through computer simulations, taking into account energy losses and a concept you will learn known as regeneration efficiency.

Finally, you will learn about the vehicle’s subsystems, including the drive-train, the battery, DC to DC converters, auxiliary and main control units. You will investigate the role of gears in multiplying torque and power. You will calculate for continuous and nominal power. And you will understand how to achieve Thermal Equilibrium to avoid overheating and failing. Finally, you will learn important concepts concerning the vehicle's battery, such as battery capacity, depth of charge, and charge and discharge cycles. You will examine how to prolong the battery’s life and calculate a battery’s operational life to determine when to replace the vehicle’s battery. Suppose you are interested in a career in automotive design. In that case, this course will give you a head start in the path of electric vehicle design in the same direction the automotive industry is beginning to take. If you are already in the automotive industry, as an engineer, automotive technician, or mechanic, Alison’s introductory course on Electric Vehicles will give you an edge and provide you with the tools needed to push your career to the next level. So why wait! Start this Introduction to Electric Vehicle Technology course today!

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