Electric vehicles (EVs) use an electric motor and a large battery on-board the car that stores electricity from a charge. Pure EVs use only batteries while plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) use a small petrol engine to extend their range. The inverter, or motor speed controller, takes the direct current electricity from the battery and turns it into three phase AC. This alternating current is what causes the electric motor to turn, as it produces magnetic fields which push against the rotor, which in turn, turns the wheels. There is no gearbox - just a simple reduction differential. When decelerating, the motor acts as a generator which pushes energy back into the battery, although the recovery is only about 30% efficient.
Production EVs (rather than cars that have been converted) may have two charging options – slow and fast. The slow charge option is the most commonly used at home and there are more of these chargers currently around Perth. For this charge the EVs onboard charger charges the battery and the rate of charge will depend on this onboard charger – 2.5 kW to around 7 kW is typical. The fast charge option involves a publicly accessible ‘fast charger’ like those along the RAC Electric Highway® which provide power directly to the battery. The output from the fast chargers along the RAC Electric Highway® is a maximum of 50kW and can charge a depleted battery, for example a Nissan Leaf, to 80% in around 20 minutes.
Both types of chargers are located at each charging station along the RAC Electric Highway®, DC fast charging and AC slow charging. The Trio fast charging station has three cables, CHAdeMO fast charging, CCS Combo 1 fast charging and an AC cable that can deliver up to 43kW AC to type 2 IEC62196-2 (Mennekes) compatible cars such as the Tesla Model S. There is also a separate wallbox/bollard charger with a SAE J1772 connector with a rated power output of 7.2kW.