The Basic Technical Specification Of RC Electric Vehicles Simplified For Beginners

When you are browsing RC automobiles online and decide to check the details of an RC electric vehicle that you are interested in (let’s suppose it is an high speed on road racing car), this is what you will likely be presented with, if you are on a quality, customer-focussed website, that is:

– SP28404 brushless motor
– SP28405 brushless electronic speed control
– Anodized aluminium centre drive joint
– Compact front/rear differentials
– Suspension arms with adjustable Width
– Anodized aluminium radio tray
– Solid shock towers and front/rear bumper
– High quality on-road tires with chrome sprayed rims
– 7.2v 1100mah Ni-Mh battery power required
– 7.2v 1500mah Ni-Mh battery or 7.4v 1300mah lithium battery pack is optional
– Anodized aluminium motor heat guard
– High duty front bumper foam provides
– Vehicle length: 265 mm
– Vehicle Width: 140 mm
– Height: 80 mm
– Wheelbase: 174 mm
– Track Width: 77 mm (F/R)
– Gear Ratio: 10.6:1
– Ground Clearance: 8mm
– Net Weight: 790g
– Wheel Diameter: 49mm
– Wheel Width: 18mm

How do you make head or tail of this fairly detailed specification for your rc electric vehicle, without it resulting in your eyes glazing over? Help is at hand right here. Let us go through these features one by one and you will be overjoyed with enlightenment.

SP28404 brushless motor
This is the latest, more advanced, powerful type of motor, which is reflected in the overall (higher) starting price of the automobile in which it is fitted. The benefits to you are a potentially speedier, more dynamically efficient RC vehicle, with the added bonus that it should be simpler to maintain. RC automobiles with brushed motors however, are the classic, conventional types.

SP28405 brushless electronic speed control
The RC electric vehicle’s speed is regulated with an electronic speed controller (abbreviated to ESC). This is the component that controls the drive motor mentioned above, together with the general electronics. Most automobiles come integrated with the motor and ESC, but are separate purchases in the more enhanced set-ups.

Anodized aluminium centre drive joint
More commonly known as the RC electric vehicle’s drive shaft, this is the central rod that runs from the front to the rear of the automobile. Being made of aluminium makes it lighter without compromising on the vehicle’s overall stability and sturdiness.

Compact front/rear differentials
A differential is a device that in most cases incorporates gears and is designed to drive each pair of front and rear wheels with equal force, but still allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds. Differentials on good electric vehicles are high performance.

Suspension arms with adjustable Width
The suspension arms provide your RC vehicle with powerful cushioning, as in a conventional car. Being adjustable allows the vehicle to be driven at optimum suspension on different terrains, especially when running over bumpy or rocky ground and when turning corners.

Anodized aluminium radio tray
This is tray that houses the in-built radio receiver in your RC vehicle. Being anodized gives it increased corrosion and wear resistance, making it harder than bare aluminium.

Solid shock towers and front/rear bumper
Integrated with the suspension system, the shock towers provide a damping effect on the overall vehicle suspension.

High quality on-road tires with chrome sprayed rims
The specification for this RC electric vehicle relates to an on road racing car. The makeup of the tires is important here. It is like differentiating between a mountain bike, with its thick, knobbly, high-friction tires and a road bike, with its slimmer, low-friction tires and a less prominent tread. It all comes down to performance requirements on the terrain that the RC vehicle was designed/intended to run on. The chrome rims adds a splash of quicksilver that finishes off the wheels nicely.

7.2v 1100mAh Ni-Mh battery power (required), 7.2v 1500mah Ni-Mh battery or 7.4v 1300mah lithium battery pack (optional)
7.2-volt nickel cadmium batteries are standard power sources, often referred to as battery packs. Although they are identical in size, they differ in capacities ranging up to 3700mAh typically. As the battery pack is extra, it is advisable to go for the largest capacity that you can afford, if you desire more running time (the downside is that you’ll need more time to charge it up).

Anodized aluminium motor heat guard
Unsurprisingly, your RC electric vehicle’s motor will get very hot. The guard thankfully provides protection against heat, which results from high speed running.

High duty front bumper foam
As with conventional, real-world automobiles, the front foam bumper needs to deliver maximum protection to your RC vehicle against impacts.

Vehicle dimensions
Length, width, height, ground clearance, net weight, wheel diameter and wheel width are self-explanatory.
Your RC electric vehicle’s wheelbase will be the length from the leading edge of its front wheels to the trailing edge of its rear wheels.

Track
Track refers to track width, the distance between the center of the left tire and the center of the right tire.

Gear Ratio
This is the relationship between the numbers of teeth on two gears that are meshed or two sprockets connected with a common roller chain, or the circumferences of two pulleys connected with a drive belt.

So, there you have it. We’ve just covered some of the basic technical terms that you are likely to come across when you are enjoying your time shopping for your future RC electric vehicles. Whatever you do, don’t be fazed by these terms – think of it as an educational experience, a journey of discovery that is a part of your enjoyment of RC electric vehicles.

What Is a Hybrid Vehicle and What Are the Benefits?

Over the last few years we have seen electric vehicles taking the headlines across the automotive industry and while there has been a large improvement in the associated technology, many people are also considering hybrid vehicles. While hybrids are often seen as something of a stop gap between traditional fueled vehicles and electric powered vehicles, what exactly is a hybrid vehicle?

Power source

The end power source for a hybrid vehicle is the electric motor which powers the wheels and on-board services. This is a fact which is often misunderstood by many people and indeed it is worth confirming exactly where the hybrid tag comes from.

As electric technology continues to evolve the comparison between journey capacity for traditional fueled vehicles and electric vehicles is moving favorably towards electric vehicles but there is still some way to go. The award-winning Nissan Leaf is able to do in excess of 100 miles per full battery charge but this is still nowhere near the capacity available from a traditional fueled vehicle with a full tank of gasoline/petrol.

Backup power source

As a consequence, many car manufacturers around the world have introduced hybrid systems which are effectively backup power supplies fuelled by gasoline/petrol which are then used to recharge the batteries which then power the electric vehicles. Due to the recharging capacity of the gasoline/petrol motors on many hybrid vehicles this can increase the journey capacity enormously and effectively make the hybrid vehicle as efficient if not better in terms of journey capacity.

There is an argument as to whether hybrid vehicles are in some ways more environmentally friendly although the fact that they do use traditional fuels to recharge the lithium ion batteries used to power the electric motors has caused some confusion.

Developments in hybrid vehicles

As battery capacity with regards to electric cars continues to improve there is the opportunity to replace current hybrid batteries with those offering a longer charge and more capacity. This would then ensure that the traditional fuel backup system is not required as often as it is at the moment and therefore improve the efficiency of the vehicle and also reduce ongoing damage to the environment.

For many people hybrid vehicles are a stepping stone along the track to full electric vehicles, as and when the technology improves and is comparable to traditional fuel powered vehicles, but until they see improvements in technology many people are concerned about charging stations and the reduced journey capacity of a full electric vehicle.

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how the hybrid vehicle is impacted by the ever-growing advances in electric car technology which many believe will at some stage be comparable or better from a journey capacity point of view than their traditional fuel counterparts. How long this will take remains to be seen although there have been some very impressive advances in both electric power technology as well as battery power technology there is still much to do.

More and more experts believe that battery power technology is the key to the future of the electric car market and as such we have seen significant investment in this arena over the last few years. Much of this investment is now beginning to pay dividends and perhaps if the worldwide recession had not occurred we would be in a far stronger position with regards to electric vehicle sales?

PHEV’s Set To Revolutionise The Hybrid Vehicle Market?

Hybrid and electric vehicles have already proven to be a global success; however the economical benefits and environmental gains of conventional hybrid vehicles have always been limited by the restrictions on battery-only driving distances. The use of lithium-ion batteries within Plug-In Hybrids (PHEVs) however could change all of this. More efficient and capable of producing up to 3 times the energy of a NiMh battery, lithium-ion technology is set to revolutionisethe hybrid vehicle market.

Whereas the battery pack in a conventional hybrid is charged exclusively from the on-board internal combustion engine and regenerative braking, a plug-in hybrid can be plugged into the mains and charged to give extended travel time running on battery power alone. PHEV’s are able to give drivers the best of both worlds, providing the performance and journey distance of conventional hybrid cards, whilst offering the substantial fuel economy, emission reduction, and petroleum displacement benefits of pure battery electric vehicles. With today’s ever increasing oil prices, electric and hybrid vehicles have never been so relevant, and with performance figures of over 100mpg it’s easy to see why PHEV’s are being hailed as the future of the auto industry.

Lithium-Ion Technology

Previous hybrid vehicles used nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which can be engineered for relatively short battery-only driving distances. The larger energy storage and electrical power capacity that lithium-ion battery technology provides however, means that next generation plug-in hybrids will be capable of travelling much further using battery power alone. PHEV designs currently beingtrialledboast top speeds of 62mph in EV mode and an electric-only range of 12.5 miles, a significant improvement on the previous 2 mile range of conventional hybrids.

The environmental gains and economical benefits of PHEV’s are significant, the increased power, endurance and acceleration in EV mode means that during town driving the vehicle is able to perform using battery only power, leaving the combustion

engine to kick in for higher speed driving or when battery power runs out. When the battery power does run down, PHEV’s operate like conventional hybrids and use the engine power and regenerative braking to charge the battery and drive the vehicle, eliminating the practicality issues with pure electric vehicles and their restricted travel distances.

The Future of Hybrid Vehicles

This extended battery-only power means reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions, especially when powered using electricity from renewable energy sources. Offering the best compromise between efficiency and usability, PHEV’s are predicted to be popular with consumers looking for increased economical benefits and environmental gains while retaining the function and performance of a conventional hybrid. Toyota are alreadytriallinga new plug-in hybrid version of their popular Prius, and with other manufacturers following closely in their lead and indicating the release of PHEV vehicles in the next 2 years, plug-in hybrids could soon be commonplace on our roads.

How Are Electric Vehicles Charged?

Before buying an electric vehicle it is essential to gain familiarity with the necessary on-board equipment to prevent “charging” or, to use a current term, “top-up” problems.

It is important to check that the electric vehicle is fitted with a battery charger with a “standard” connection, i. e. suitable to draw electrical energy directly from ENEL’s grid and therefore from the power outlet in our garage. If it’s not then there is something wrong and you need to contact the seller.

This solution in the standard equipment fitted on an electric vehicle allows to charge the batteries in any place with mains electricity. Indeed electric cars have other various types of battery chargers. However, these do not allow to draw electricity from the mains supply but need special adapters or need to be connected directly to the charging points in service stations now available in large towns. The ideal solution is to have a battery charger on board the car with a high-frequency standard socket without the need to resort to external devices.

When taking into consideration an electric vehicle one needs to examine the costs to bear for the energy required to power the set of batteries. Models that allow to reduce energy costs are definitely the ones that allow to charge the batteries directly from the national domestic mains supply. Usually a full energy charge for a complete set of traction batteries for vehicles that draw energy directly from the mains supply does not cost more than 2 euros.

Vehicles fitted with a standard battery charger allow to optimise the time spent at home to charge the batteries. Indeed on average it takes 8 hours to fully charge a set of traction batteries. We recommend charging the entire set of batteries overnight, after the vehicle has been used during the day, in conjunction with the cheapest electricity tariff. It is also possible to charge the batteries for less time during the day for partial charges.

Partial charges do not result in problems affecting the runtime and/or efficiency of the set of batteries, as they are not subject to the memory effect. Precisely because they do not suffer from the memory effect, the set of batteries of electric vehicles has an average life of about 4 years.

A fully charged set of batteries of an electric vehicle allows for an uptime that varies between 70 and 100 km, depending on the model and set-up selected.