How Are Electric Cars Made


Limited Byproducts Or Waste

How It’s Made: Electric Cars

There are limited byproducts from the manufacture of electric cars and waste in the assembly factory is minimal to nonexistent. Parts, components and subassemblies are made elsewhere and delivered to the assembly plants. Trimmings and other waste are recaptured during manufacturing and most are recyclable.

Nothing He Said Made Any Sense At All

Over the weekend, former US president and noted reality TV star Donald Trump went on an unhinged rant about electric cars, presumably to pander to a group of die hard followers in Pennsylvania.

His peculiar conclusion? We should get “rid of this stuff,” because charging infrastructure is still lacking in the country. If you’re scratching your head, us too.

It’s a bizarre perspective that serves to remind us that large swathes of the United States still see the electric car as a pointless and expensive replacement of the gas-guzzling automobile, even if that outlook seems increasingly dated in the era of Tesla and increasingly widespread adoption.

Trump’s comments also just didn’t make any sense. Case in point, he reminded the audience that gas prices were much lower during his tenure. Following that logic, though, in the face of soaring energy prices, why undermine the electric car if it serves as a much cheaper alternative?

Then there’s the fact that the US is a global leader when it comes to manufacturing EVs, as Electrek points out, something that certainly should fall under Trump’s purported efforts to “save America.”

Trump also used his time behind the microphone to tell a confusing and incoherent story about a friend, who complained about having to stop during a road trip to charge his car.

In short, calling for electric cars to be banished is not only counterproductive, but a huge waste of time as well.

Electric Vehicles Define The Future Of The Automotive Industry

So, weve put together a mini series of guides on EV batteries, to give you a better understanding on how theyre made, how they work and what happens to them when theyve done their job and powered your car for the past 10 years.

So, lets start from the beginning at how the batteries are made!

Now, dont worry were not transporting you back to school for a complicated science lesson on how electric vehicle batteries are made. Instead of making it super techy, were going to try and make it simple, whilst still educating you on the heart of your electric vehicle: the battery.

Lithium-ion batteries which are the most common battery types used in electric vehicles are formed of certain elements including carbon or graphite, a metal oxide and lithium salt. These elements make up positive and negative electrodes, and combined with the electrolyte, produces an electric current that makes the battery work to power your vehicle and make them wheels turn. It is also the same battery that you will find in your everyday technologies, such as mobile phones and laptops – just on a bigger scale!

The beauty of how electric vehicle batteries are made is that 80% of the components are recyclable, so when your battery has come to the end of its lifecycle, it can be stripped down to separate the raw materials to reuse them but this will be covered in part three of our EV battery series, so we wont go into too much detail here.

But where are the batteries made?

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Globally What Per Cent Of Cars Are Electric

Electric cars made up 1.95 per cent of new car sales in 2021 in Australia.

The latest information suggests that electric cars accounted for close to 9 per cent of the global car market in 2021, which is triple what their market share was as recently as 2019.

Electric cars made up 1.95 per cent of new car sales in 2021 in Australia, which is almost triple the amount when compared to the number of EVs sold in 2020.

Hydrogen For Long Hauls


Weve covered the differences between battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the past, but this was from a passenger car perspective. The conclusion, in that case, was that battery electric has become the dominant technology. In terms of long-haul trucking, however, hydrogen may have an edge.

If we look at what will become mainstream, probably for smaller mobility it will be EVs, and fuel cells for larger mobility. That is the conclusion so far.-Toshihiro Mibe, CEO, Honda

There are several reasons for why hydrogen could be beneficial for delivering heavy cargo over long distances. These are listed below:

  • Refueling a hydrogen fuel cell takes less time than recharging a battery. Note, however, that charge times are still improving.
  • A fuel cell configuration is typically lighter than an equivalent battery pack. Less drivetrain weight translates to a higher cargo capacity.
  • Hydrogen-powered trucks could achieve a much higher range.

This last point hasnt been proven yet, but we can reference Nikola, which is developing hydrogen-powered semi trucks. The company has two models in the works, which are the Tre FCEV with a range of 500 miles, and the Two FCEV with a range of 900 miles.

Keep in mind that these numbers are once again estimates and that Nikola has been accused of fraud in the past.

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A New Beginning For Electric Cars

While all the starts and stops of the electric vehicle industry in the second half of the 20th century helped show the world the promise of the technology, the true revival of the electric vehicle didnt happen until around the start of the 21st century. Depending on whom you ask, it was one of two events that sparked the interest we see today in electric vehicles.

The first turning point many have suggested was the introduction of the Toyota Prius. Released in Japan in 1997, the Prius became the worlds first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle. In 2000, the Prius was released worldwide, and it became an instant success with celebrities, helping to raise the profile of the car. To make the Prius a reality, Toyota used a nickel metal hydride battery — a technology that was supported by the Energy Departments research. Since then, rising gasoline prices and growing concern about carbon pollution have helped make the Prius the best-selling hybrid worldwide during the past decade.

Tesla Motor Company: Tesla Roadster And Model S

Tesla Motor Company emerged in the late 2000s with high performance and high cost electric cars. The Roadster was based on the Lotus with an attractive sporty design. It was not cost effective however but Tesla Motors achieved success with the Model S. The Model S appealed to the masses with its standard 4 door sedan design and ease of use. The Model S is so far the best performing electric car ever, and it out performs internal combustion engines in the same class. The single gear high torque Tesla beat out powerful Mercedes and BMWs in acceleration and stability.

Below we talk about the 3 phase, 4 pole electric motor and drive train in the Tesla Model S:

In the next half we discuss batteries, range, charging rate, body construction and components of the Tesla Motors Model S:

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What Happens When Lithium Runs Out

Lithium is a key ingredient for the production of batteries, and with the rise of electric vehicles , increased demand for this resource is reported. One possibility is that the price of lithium will increase, making EVs more expensive.

This can probably lead to a slowdown in the adoption of EVs or even a reversal if people switch back to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. Another possibility is that we will find alternative materials to use in batteries. This is already happening to some extent.

Demanding Ev Parts Be Made Domestically Could Slow Down The Energy Transitionor Alternatively Fall Afoul Of Free Trade Policies The United States Has Worked Hard To Enact

BMW i3 Electric Cars – PRODUCTION

While its been hailed as a historic piece of climate legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act is less a climate bill, per se, than a piece of industrial policy focused on building out domestic supply chains for clean energy that will benefit the climate. Thats a big deal. By international standards, though, the United States is still catching up and relying mainly on the kinds of demand-side incentives that have long speckled the U.S. tax code.

Public and private spending on the energy transition in China last year totaled $266 billion, compared with $114 billion in the U.S, according to Bloomberg. Thats all a far cry from the $9 trillion in annual investments that McKinsey estimates will be needed to reach net-zero by 2050. But the IRAand the shock waves it sends through trade and investment policycould play an outsize role shaping how and whether that money gets out the door.

As Roosevelt Institutes Todd Tucker has noted, the IRA grafts the kinds of provisions usually found in procurement deals onto its broad suite of tax incentives. That is, requirements that would usually be in place only when certain firms sell goods and services to the government will now be inscribed into the tax code.

Even with these gifts to the mining industry, a fleshed-out domestic supply chain for the minerals E.V.s require will take years to build. In the meantime, stringent domestic content requirements could send companies scrambling to snap up limited supplies.

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Electric Vehicles In India

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The electric vehicle industry in India is a growing industry. The central and state governments have launched schemes and incentives to promote electric mobility in the country and some regulations and standards are also in place. While the country stands to benefit in a large way by switching its transport from IC engines to electric motor-powered, there are challenges like lack of charging infrastructure, high initial cost and lack of electricity produced from renewable energy. Still, e-commerce companies, car manufacturers, app-based transportation network companies and mobility solution providers have entered the sector and are slowly building up electric car capacity and visibility.

Total Cost Of Ownership

In the EU and USA, but not yet China, the total cost of ownership of recent electric cars is cheaper than that of equivalent gasoline cars, due to lower fueling and maintenance costs.

The greater the distance driven per year, the more likely the total cost of ownership for an electric car will be less than for an equivalent ICE car. The break even distance varies by country depending on the taxes, subsidies, and different costs of energy. In some countries the comparison may vary by city, as a type of car may have different charges to enter different cities for example, in England, London charges ICE cars more than Birmingham does.

Purchase cost

Several national and local governments have established EV incentives to reduce the purchase price of electric cars and other plug-ins.

As of 2020, the electric vehicle battery is more than a quarter of the total cost of the car. Purchase prices are expected to drop below those of new ICE cars when battery costs fall below US$100 per kWh, which is forecast to be in the mid-2020s.

Leasing or subscriptions are popular in some countries, depending somewhat on national taxes and subsidies, and end of lease cars are expanding the second hand market.

In a June 2022 report by AlixPartners, the cost for raw materials on an average EV rose from $3,381 in March 2020 to $8,255 in May of 2022. The cost increase voice is attributed mainly to lithium, nickel, and cobalt.

Running costs

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Use Cases Of Electric Semi Trucks

Given their relatively lower ranges, electric semis are unlikely to be used for long hauls.

Instead, theyre expected to be deployed on regional and urban routes, where the total distance traveled between destinations is much lower. There are many reasons why electric semis are suited for these routes, as listed below:

  • Smaller batteries can be installed, which keeps the cost of the truck lower
  • Urban routes provide greater opportunities to use regenerative braking
  • Quieter and cleaner operation in densely populated areas

An example of a regional route would be delivering containers from the Port of Los Angeles to the Los Angeles Transportation Center Intermodal Facility . The LATC is where containers are loaded onto trains, and is located roughly 28 miles away.

With a round trip totaling nearly 60 miles, an electric semi with a range of 200 miles could feasibly complete this route three times before needing a charge. The truck could be charged overnight, as well as during off hours in the middle of the day.

This Made In Pakistan Ev Has 210

Luca concept electric car made from recycled plastic

Touted as the country’s first locally-developed and manufactured electric vehicle , the NUR-E 75 was officially showcased as a major statement of intent for Pakistan’s automotive industry that has otherwise been quite slow in its embrace of battery-powered mobility solutions. A manifestation of collaborative work between US-based non-profit organization called DICE Foundation, Pakistani universities and the private sector here, the NUR-E 75 will hit the local market by the end of 2024.

The NUR-E 75 was showcased in Pakistan on the occasion of the country’s 75th Independence Day celebrations last month. According to reports, its battery pack has been built by NED University of Engineering and Technology while chargers for it have been developed by Sir Syed University of Engineering. Its exterior design was completed by National College of Arts.

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The First ‘modern’ Hybrid Electric Car:

Dr. Andrew Burke developed the first computer controlled hybrid-electric vehicle in 1982 as part of the “Joint Feasibility Study of the Hybrid Vehicle” funded by the US government and GE. When GE couldn’t sell the car to the big 3 US automakers, they sold the technology. Toyota later makes it into a profitable technology. The 1982 vehicle used a computer to control the engine and power system, this enabled great cost savings. Also the breaking system helped recharge the batteries. This was all possible due to the computer finally becoming compact enough and powerful enough to work in a vehicle.

VIDEO: The first computerized hybrid car 1982:

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Brief History Of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have been around in one form or another since the invention of the automobile. Many of the first automobiles were powered by a battery and not by gasoline. Electric vehicles even outsold gasoline-powered vehicles in the early 20th century. However, with improvements to gasoline engines and the availability of cheap fuel, electric vehicles fell out of favor. Throughout the 20th century, several models of electric vehicles were produced, but none became widely adopted by consumers.

The 1990s saw a renewed interest in electric vehicles because of increasing concerns about the environment and higher fuel costs. General Motors introduced the EV-1 all-electric vehicle and began leasing the vehicles in 1996. However, the EV-1 was discontinued after several years. In 2000, hybrid-electric vehicles hit the market when Honda introduced the Insight in the United States, and Toyota followed with the highly successful Prius several months later. In 2011, General Motors began selling the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid, and Nissan began selling the Leaf, an all-electric vehicle.

With these and other models, electric vehicles are rising in popularity and sales. In the United States, electric car sales increased from near zero in 1999 to a high of about 350,000 units in 2007. Sales of all motor vehicles, including electric ones, were affected by the 20072009 recession. Electric vehicle sales fell to about 250,000 vehicles in 2010.

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Assembly Of Battery Pack

After the battery pack is assembled, it needs to be tested. This can be done by charging and discharging the pack under different conditions. Once the battery pack passes all of the tests, it is ready to be installed in an electric car.

Pro Tip: Now that you know how electric car batteries are made, you can see why they are such an important part of EVs. Without them, the car wouldnât be able to run. So, if you are looking to purchase an EV, make sure to ask about the battery pack and how it was made.

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But there are new rules, too, for a vehicle to qualify for that credit. The final assembly of any qualified vehicles must take place in North America, and the credit will also hinge on the vehicles size, its total cost, and potential buyers income. Starting before 2024, at least 40 percent of the critical minerals and at least half of the battery components used to build new eligible EVs will need to come from the US or one of its free trade partners to access the full credit.

But for most consumers, the new tax credit could prove elusive. Around 70 percent of the electric, hydrogen, and hybrid cars currently sold in the US wont be eligible for the credit, according to the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, a trade group that represents the car industry. An August analysis of the IRA proposal from the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only about 11,000 vehicles could receive the credit in 2023, and around 60,000 vehicles in 2024, according to an August analysis of the IRA proposal. While the Internal Revenue Service is charged with determining which vehicles are eligible, experts told Recode that they expect very few cars to receive the credit over the next several years, especially since the laws sourcing requirements are designed to become more stringent.

This story was first published in the Recode newsletter. so you dont miss the next one!

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