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Electric Vehicle Drivetrains Only Have 20 Moving Parts Compared to Over 200 in Conventional Automobiles

This means lower maintenance costs and a radical shift in auto industry job skills

Over the past year, virtually all the world’s established auto makers have announced or accelerated their plans for introducing new electric vehicles (EVs). The range includes everything from high-end luxury models to relatively low-cost entry-level offerings. Also, many well-funded EV startups are building new market entries from the ground up.

While most of the media attention focuses on the big picture issues of how green-energy EVs are destined to help mitigate climate change by eliminating use of fossil fuels and will ultimately lower the costs of driving for consumers, there is another significant impact that deserves more attention too. That is the relative simplicity of EV powertrains and implications for lower maintenance costs.

Many EVs don’t even need a transmission. Those that do use a much simpler, single-speed system as opposed to the multi-speed gearboxes in gas-burning vehicles. For example, Tesla’s electric motors only have two moving parts and use single-speed “transmissions” with no gears. The company says its drivetrain has about 20 moving parts compared with 200 in conventional drivetrains. Similarly, the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt has 80% fewer moving parts than a comparable car with a gasoline engine.

EVs also don’t need radiators, fuel injectors, gas tanks, valvetrains or exhaust systems. You won’t need to go get an oil change, and due to the use of regenerative braking, you won’t need to get your brakes changed as often either.

While all these differences are major benefits to consumers, the impacts on companies and workers in the auto industry are a mixed bag. EVs with simpler designs and few parts are easier to build and more conducive to automated assembly, which can help manufacturers lower costs.

Interplex is proud to be an ongoing innovator in the development of new technologies such as battery systems, power modules, busbars, solderless automotive interconnects, electronic control unit (ECU) interfaces, sensor packaging and many other advances that are helping make new generation EVs even more efficient to build, operate and maintain.

For more information about solutions for next-gen EVs, drop us an email at communications@interplex.com.

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