Alternator to Generate Electric Power for EVs?
Alternators are AC Electricity Generators
To generate electricity to power an EV, couldn't an alternator of the proper given voltage be used instead of batteries?
Alternators turn mechanical energy into AC electrical energy. If you have an electric motor of some type moving your car, you can recapture some of that mechanical energy (regenerative braking, for example) to put back into the battery...but you can't get a generator or alternator to put back MORE energy than you've already provided.
This is the law of conservation of energy. It hasn't been broken yet, although not for lack of trying!
You could, however, use a gas-powered engine to generate electric power for the car's traction motor; however, without any kind of storage device, you'd need a whopping big generator for acceleration and hills. Half the time your electric car would either be underpowered by your generator (if you chose a smaller one) or the generator would be running at twice the capacity necessary (if you chose a larger one). Batteries provide a place to put the extra juice so that you can choose a generator sized right down the middle.
It's been done.
P.S. Read about a home-brewed hybrid here.