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Do EVs Have a Spark Plug?

EV Electric automobile at charging station with power line plugged in on fuzzy, light background.

No! Since spark plugs Aid in combustion, which electric vehicles do not use, there’s no need for spark plugs in electric vehicles. They are battery-operated and need no help other than an area to plug in and charge. The spark plugs in our vehicles might not get much attention, yet they are crucial to the vehicle’s operation.

Your car probably wouldn’t start at all if the spark plugs weren’t in good operating order. However, that’s not a problem that EV drivers deal with as their fully charged or even partially-charged batteries will do the job. Let’s look at spark plugs and EVs in a more in-depth way.

Does Evs Have a Spark Plug?

They don’t. Spark plugs are crucial in gas-powered automobiles because they initiate the combustion process that generates the energy that drives the vehicle. However, spark plugs are unnecessary in electric vehicles because the battery directly powers the electric motors that spin the wheels.

What Are Spark Plugs Used For?

Technician checks an old spark plug coil that has burn scars.

Using fuel as its source of energy, your engine is a fascinating machine. How, though, does it accomplish this feat? Internal combustion theory explains.

Your car’s engine uses the combustion process to convert the potential energy stored in the gasoline it consumes into kinetic energy that can be used to move the vehicle. This procedure is enabled by the engine process. The valves in the engine open and push a huge amount of explosive air and fuel into the cylinder during the combustion cycle.

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Because of the upward motion of the piston in your engine, this mixture is compressed until it occupies a very small volume, increasing its potential energy. When the piston reaches its highest point of compression, a tiny spark ignites the fuel/air mixture, causing an explosion that pulls the piston back down and spins the crankshaft, generating the power that propels your vehicle forward. A spark from your spark plugs is what ignites the air/fuel mixture in your engine, resulting in the explosion that drives the engine’s pistons. 

These basic plugs generate an electrical arc between two leads that are not physically touching but are near enough together for electricity to “jump the gap.” Ignition systems include spark plugs and related electrical and timing components.

What are Spark Plugs Made From?

Spark plugs on black background.

Spark plugs are typically manufactured from highly long-lasting materials that can endure millions upon millions of explosions before wearing out or requiring replacement. But it’s true that explosions and corrosion cause sparks to get smaller or weaker over time, which decreases your engine’s performance and may cause additional problems like misfiring or failure to fire.

How Often Should I Have My Spark Plugs Replaced?

These days, “extended-life” spark plugs are standard equipment at the factory for most vehicles. Consumers report that they love the improved sound quality at only a small premium over a regular plug. Most manufacturers give extended-life spark plugs a lifespan of about 100,000 miles. 

Near the end of their useful life, these plugs develop a gap between their two leads that reduces their efficiency and increases the risk of misfiring. A plug that has corroded to the point where it breaks could cause severe damage to the cylinder wall, necessitating a very costly repair if it happens to your vehicle. To find out how long your spark plugs are expected to last, check the owner’s manual for your specific car.

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Never drive more miles than recommended on a set of spark plugs.

Guidelines for Buying Replacement Spark Plugs

If your car needs new spark plugs, get ones that are made for it. Almost any car parts store should be able to assist you with this, and you’ll have a wide selection of makes and models from which to choose. Items made from platinum or iridium are indeed more expensive than those made from copper, but they have a much longer lifespan without wearing out.

Explaining How Electric Vehicles Operate

3d render of generic electric car with visible x-ray battery charging at public charger in city parking lot.

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are small but pack a lot of energy, are currently the standard power source for EVs. Their primary means of recharging is through an external electrical source, which can be as basic as a 120-volt wall socket. The main battery is recharged using direct current (DC) power generated by the onboard charger from the incoming alternating current (AC).

An electric traction motor, which is responsible for turning the wheels, receives the power. The procedure utilizes a wide range of high-tech electronic parts.

Battery-Electric

Parts of industrial electric motor, 3D rendering isolated on white background.

  • The battery is charged through an onboard charger that changes the incoming alternating current into a direct current.
  • The battery can be recharged from an external source via the car’s charging port.
  • The car is always moving thanks to the electric motor, which draws power from the battery.
  • The electric motor is powered by a battery pack, which is typically located under the seats for optimal weight distribution. This pack can be as large as 100 kWh.

Availability of Electric Cars

More than 45 different electric vehicle models are currently on the market, and many more are on the way. The sizes and prices of these automobiles vary widely. Use the search bar to look up car makes and models.

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EV Performance

Acceleration is swift, torque is high, and road noise is minimal with electric vehicles.

EV Costs

While the purchase price of an electric vehicle is higher than that of a conventional vehicle, drivers may take advantage of several rebates and lease programs that help offset the difference. In California, the cost to charge an electric automobile is around half that of fueling a regular gasoline car over the same distance. As a result of regenerative braking, the brake pads on electric vehicles can last longer without being replaced.

Most electric vehicle batteries are covered by lengthy warranties that run for 8 to 10 years and 100 thousand miles or more when you buy or lease an electric vehicle.

EV Incentives

The Clean Air Vehicle decal, the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and other state and federal initiatives aim to encourage the purchase and use of clean transportation options by residents of low-income and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Check out the incentive search to learn about local programs.

EV Charging

Plugging an electric car into a power source, such as a conventional 120-volt or 240-volt circuit or a commercial charging station, is the standard method of recharging the battery. Regenerative braking, a mechanism that transforms kinetic energy created by braking into electricity, allows for some charging to occur while driving. The majority of drivers charge their vehicles overnight at home, taking advantage of cheaper electricity rates.

There are charging stations in more and more places, including businesses, parking lots, public venues, and stores. There are three tiers of charging devices, each with its own set of specifications for capacity and charging speed. To charge at Level 1, simply put the car’s charging cord into any standard 120-volt household outlet for eight hours to get 40 miles of range.

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Level 2 charging requires a dedicated 40-amp circuit and operates at 208 volts (commercial) or 240 volts (home) of electricity. Depending on the model, you may expect to get between 14 and 35 miles of range every hour of charging time. The fastest way to recharge an electric vehicle is using DC Fast Charging, which may add up to 100 miles of range in around 30 minutes.

The availability of DC Fast Charging stations and the rate at which they can power a vehicle’s battery are both on the rise.

How Long Do EV Batteries Last?

Electric car charging station for charge EV battery.

After being manufactured, lithium-ion batteries began to deteriorate. You may have observed this in your cell phone, laptop, or even car; it’s a natural byproduct of battery science. They lose effectiveness and power the longer they remain unused, regardless of whether or not they are ever used.

Fortunately, your EV is a lot more complex and advanced than regular batteries. Most experts agree that electric vehicle batteries have a lifespan of at least ten years, and some even say they could outlive the vehicle. How well the oldest electric cars are still running gives us the best indication of how long lithium-ion batteries last.

We have a decade’s worth of data because Nissan’s LEAF was initially on the road in 2011, and many of the original batteries are still functioning today. According to Renault-Nissan, data from 400,000 European LEAF vehicles indicate that even the oldest battery packs should live for 22 years. The Tesla Model S is another electric vehicle that has been in use for quite some time.

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It debuted in 2012, giving researchers an abundance of battery-related information. According to community-sourced Tesla data, Maarten Steinbuch predicted that, in 2020, a Tesla driver’s battery will degrade more quickly during the first 25,000 miles driven, but would degrade more slowly throughout the remaining 170,000 miles.