Why Do Electric Vehicles Use 12V Battery?

The technology behind lithium-ion batteries continues to advance at a rapid pace, which is good news for the range and performance of electric vehicles. We are already seeing electric pickup trucks with acceleration that, not very long ago, would have been considered supercar acceleration. We are also seeing an electric sedan with a range of 520 miles, as well as Hyundais and Kias that employ 800-volt charging. And yet, the majority of electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the road right now, regardless of their range or how quickly they can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour, depend on a relic to start them moving: a 12-volt battery, typically of the lead-acid sort. Your Tesla Model 3 Performance might have two motors and the ability to drift, but its lithium traction battery is useless unless it is paired with a battery like the ones that can be found on the shelf at your neighborhood O’Reilly’s. And if you destroy it, you won’t be able to use it again, regardless of how much charge is still present in the high-voltage battery. The Bronco is seen in the shot that is being used to jump-start the Leaf, rather than the other way around. Water, water, every which way you turn, yet not a single drop to quench your thirst. Why is it the case?

There are a few explanations for this. To begin, when it comes to the distribution of electrons, an electric vehicle has two unique requirements: one for actually driving the automobile, and the other for everything else. The enormous, pricey, and technologically advanced high-voltage battery is responsible for the vehicle’s propulsion. This is because achieving a quarter-mile time of 9.4 seconds requires something like to capturing lightning in a bottle. When it comes to charging, having a higher voltage is preferable. However, 800 volts are not necessary in order to turn on the stereo. You also wouldn’t want that going through every circuit in the automobile for a bunch of different reasons, so don’t worry about that. First and foremost, safety.

Why Do Electric Vehicles Use 12V Battery?

We inquired about the continued use of the 12-volt battery by Hyundai’s electric vehicle (EV) engineers, and Ryan Miller, manager of electrified powertrain development, provided us with a response. “All of the electronic control units (ECUs) in the vehicle are powered from the low voltage,” he explained. “The power relays that split electricity from the high-voltage battery pack and the rest of the high-voltage network in the automobile also receive their power from the low voltage.” When the car is not being driven or if there is an accident, we are able to safely disconnect the high voltage from the low voltage thanks to the separation. It is not a good idea to put first responders in the position of having to deal with door locks that are powered by Doc Brown’s Mr. Fusion.

There is also a scenario involving a legacy at stake here. Everyone, including manufacturers and suppliers, is aware of the steps necessary to make a 12-volt system function in an affordable and dependable manner. Even if you manage to run down the 12-volt battery, you can still remedy the problem in a matter of minutes by pulling out the jumper cables or using Weego. It makes perfect sense to use a 12-volt system for the automobile’s computers and other electronic components, considering all of the other monetary and technological obstacles that must be overcome in order to construct an electric vehicle. This is especially true in the case of plug-in hybrids, which typically keep as many similarities as they can with their more conventional relatives powered by an internal combustion engine. The plug-in version of the Ford Escape Hybrid has a battery pack that has a capacity of 14.4 kWh and has an EPA-estimated range of 37 miles. However, the entire vehicle is powered by a lead-acid 12-volt battery that is located in the spare tire well and is bolted under the rear cargo floor.

The 12-volt system is currently the dominant one, but it remains to be seen whether or if another common voltage, such as 24 or 48 volts, will become the standard in the future. There is still some doubt as to whether or not this will always require a separate battery that is capable of performing equally well in a 1968 Chevelle. When Hyundai, for example, considered the absurdity of having to jump-start an electric car or hybrid, the company connected its low-voltage systems to the large traction battery. This allows electrified Hyundais to jump-start themselves when the “12V Batt Reset” button that is located on the dashboard is pressed. In spite of the fact that pressing that button conjures up an image of a typical AC Delco lead-acid battery, the low-voltage systems are in fact powered by a lithium-ion battery that has a voltage of 14 volts and is housed within the high-voltage battery pack. You won’t be able to get that at your neighborhood car parts store.

Therefore, it is not completely out of the question that the 12-volt system is still in use. But what about the battery itself, which has 12 volts? That brings up a different point.

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Josh Phelix

A journalist and editor with a decade-long career in journalism and criticism,I'm a journalist who loves to write about Tech, Automobile,Entertainment,Sports and Finance things that are true. I love to tell stories that are meaningful and make you think.

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