Electric Car Development and Technology

A Brief History of the Development of Electric Cars

The first innovative use of electric cars was introduced in 1828 and the first produced in 1884. In 1897-1900 there were 28% of electric cars from the total vehicles on the market. At that time electric cars were more popular, but cars with fuel oil had the opportunity to steal the market due to low world oil prices. Electric cars were forgotten and abandoned until in 1996 emerged an EV1 concept from General Motors which was very popular and became one of the moments of the revival of electric cars. The success of General Motors has also encouraged other leading automakers to participate in introducing their products in the electric car sector including Ford, Toyota, and Honda with their respective advantages.

Toyota with its Prius product which is the first commercial hybrid car launched in 1997 in Japan, was successful with total sales of 18,000 units in the first year of production. Currently the electric car market is controlled by the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and Tesla Model S , while the Chinese market is in the grip of BYD Auto Co., Ltd. (Xi’an National Hitech Industrial Development Zone, Xian, China).

Image of the Toyota Prius as Asia’s first commercial hybrid electric car.
Launched in 1997 in Japan
Source: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/1997-2000_Toyota_Prius

Electric Car Technology

There are at least 4 types of driving technology and power sources from this electric car, as follows:

  1. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

This type of BEV car, also known as an All-Electric Vehicle (AEV) is a vehicle that operates completely using electricity in the battery. This type of BEV does not have a combustion engine (ICE). Electricity is stored in the battery pack. Charging the battery is done by connecting it to an external power grid.

Examples of BEV Electric Cars:

Volkswagen e-Golf, Tesla Model 3, BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Spark, Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus Electric

  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

This type of electric car is also called a standard hybrid, or parallel hybrid. This type of HEV has two drive systems, namely a combustion engine (ICE) and a traction motor. ICE gets energy from fuel. The motor gets power from the battery. The gasoline engine and motor simultaneously turn the transmission to drive the wheels.

The difference between the type of HEV car compared to the type of BEV and the type of PHEV is where the battery in the HEV is only charged due to engine rotation, wheel movement or a combination of both. This car does not have a charging port, so the battery cannot be recharged from outside the system such as the PLN electricity network.

Examples of Types of HEV Electric Cars:

Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid.

  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

The PHEV car type is a hybrid type that has a combustion engine (ICE) and an electric traction motor. From a technological aspect, the working principle of a PHEV electric car is referred to as a series hybrid. The PHEV type offers fuel options. This type of electric car can be powered by fossil energy sources (such as gasoline) or alternative sources (such as biodiesel) and by batteries. Unlike the HEV, the battery in this type of car can be recharged from an external power source by connecting the external power source to the inlet (charging port) of the car at an electric car charging station (EVCS).

A PHEV can usually operate in at least two modes, namely:

  • All-electric mode, where only electricity in the battery is used as energy to drive the car
  • Hybrid mode, where electricity and gasoline are used together.

Examples of Types of PHEV Electric Cars

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid , Ford Fusion Energi, Mercedes C350e, Mini Cooper SE Countryman

  • Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

The type or type of FCEV electric car is also known as a Fuel-Cell Vehicle (FCV) or Zero Emission vehicle. This type of FCEV uses fuel-cell technology to generate electricity. Electricity is used to activate the motor to run the vehicle. The working principle of the FCEV type electric car is almost the same as the BEV type electric car. It’s just that this type has a system that converts chemical energy in the fuel cell into electricity.

FCEV Electric Car Example

Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Tucson FCEV, Riversimple Rasa, Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, Hyundai Nexo.

In summary, the system architecture of the four types of electric cars above can be seen in the following figure:

Source: https://www.omazaki.co.id/tipe-mobil-listrik-dan-principle-work/


M. Aziz, Y. Marcellino and et al, “STUDY ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT OF THE INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT RELATED TO ELECTRIC CAR,” TESLA: Journal of Electrical Engineering, vol. 1, pp. 45-55, 2020.

IH Sadiyah, “Here Are 4 Technologies In Electric Cars,” November 3, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://accurate.co/ini-dia-4-technology-yang-ada-pada-mobil-listrik?page=1. [Accessed June 22, 2022].

OYE Solution, “Types of Electric Cars and Their Working Principles,” 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.omazaki.co.id/tipe-mobil-listrik-dan-principle-work/. [Accessed June 22, 2022].




The Development of Electric Motors in Indonesia Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) where the engine driving a conventional car was replaced with an electric motor-powered drive.

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