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Can an Alternator Power an Electric Car?

by Leo



Why couldn't a regular battery turn over an alternator the size of a gas engine to make the electric car run with plenty of electricity from the alternator? I would think with the knowledge we have today it would work.

Hi, Leo -
As far as technology has come, there's still no such thing as a free lunch.
To get down the road, SOMETHING has to provide the energy to do the work of turning the wheels; if it's an electric car, the batteries provide stored energy from the grid (or your solar panels) to turn those wheels...but the energy came from somewhere, not magic.

Now, if a gas generator provides the energy to charge the batteries of an electric car, then the car runs on gasoline - not an ideal solution, but better than an internal combustion engine (because electric motors are more efficient than ICE-machines), and the range is limited only by the size of the gas tank; )

This is already being done, and it's called a series hybrid.


Comments for Can an Alternator Power an Electric Car?

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by: Anonymous

I would guess a dual alternator system would be needed. one for a 12v battery charge for stop and go and the other for continues use.

Is this thread a wind-up?
by: Canis

A car that propells itself from the power it generates from it's own propulsion? That'd be an ingenious invention indeed *uncontrollable laughter*

Hey, "all it takes is a little ingenuity" *unstoppable guffawing*

And apparently one of you, in miniature at least, has already been doing it! *ouch! hurting! stop it!*

self power electric car
by: Anonymous

I was just wondering the same thing today. The batteries can be charge at home for the initial boost, but after that an alternator can be connected to the electric motor and every time it runs it should power the alternator that will provide charge as the car drive. There is more than one way to power the alternator, for instance the drive shaft have to rotate when the car runs, that rotating power can be connected to something else. I will try it myself if I had the $$$$ means and proper location(shop)

2nd law of thermodynamics
by: Anonymous

Perpetual motion is impossible. An alternator is not 100% efficient -- it produces less power than it takes to run it.

by: Anonymous

Just takes a little ingenuity!

Perfectly possible
by: RJ Gould

I had a PMA (Permanent Magnet Alternator) mounted to my 48vlt 'e-cycle' the charge readings were 53.4vlts.

I then took a three mile Ride before the PMA drive-wheel (skateboard wheel) fell apart.

Re-tested batteries & the reading was 57.2vlts!

Am currently seeking a new drive-wheel (steel) for the PMA so I can give it a better test.

alternator can power an electric car
by: sani

using a high voltage alternator

Yes, I do believe that it can be done!
by: Krystal Suarez

Hi, my name is Krystal Suarez I am from Texas, I went to school in Lyford. Now I live in Harlingen, where I go to college at TSTC, for my associates in mechanics. The first day of class, I came up with an idea on how to use it to power an electric car, but of that is something that at this time I am working on, to make a model. I have a design, the name for the car, everything, just time will tell when that will be produced.


Wondering the same
by: Ross

Instead of using a gas engine to recharge the batteries, use an alternator. The batteries could power the electric motor to drive the car, if one were to mount an alternator on the electric motor that drives the car, then the alternator could recharge the batteries as you drive. On an AC motor one could remove the diode inside the alternator so it's output is 13.8 VAC instead of DC and step it up if needed with a step up transformer in line. However one can not store AC power in a battery so after the power is stepped up to what you need, you would need to rectify it back to DC to use it in the system again. I have done this with RC cars as a young man. If I had the money to do it on a full scale car, I'd do one to show it does work fine with out needing to recharge it ever.

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