Do Electric Vehicles Have Radiators?

Electric cars have big battery packs and fewer moving parts in the motors meaning different maintenance routines. You might be wondering, do electric vehicles have radiators?

Radiators are heat exchangers, removing thermal energy produced in a vehicle and transferring it to the outside environment. They are a standard part of internal combustion engine vehicles, but most electric cars are different.

Do Electric Vehicles Have Radiators?

Yes, some electric vehicles have radiators! However, most of them have different cooling techniques.

Some electric vehicles have water-cooled motors, meaning they need a radiator to keep the motor from overheating. Others have air-cooled motors, which don’t require a radiator.

Jaguars, for example, use an air-cooled motor in their I-PACE model. The Tesla Model S, on the other hand, has a radiator that is used to cool the power electronics.

So, it depends on the make and model of the electric vehicle as to whether it has a radiator.

Many electric vehicles don’t have radiators because they don’t produce heat in the same way as gasoline-powered cars. The main source of heat in an electric car is the battery pack, which needs to be kept at a constant temperature to maintain its optimal performance.

There are several ways to keep the battery pack cool, including using fans or water-cooling. Some electric cars do have radiators, but they are used for other purposes such as cooling the power inverter or motor controller.

Do Electric Vehicles Need Coolant?

Most electric vehicles utilize a cooling loop that has an ethylene glycol coolant. An electric pump circulates the coolant through the batteries.

The cooling loop has a radiator that releases heat to the outside air through a fan.

The cooling system is essential for electric vehicles because the batteries generate a lot of heat when they’re being charged and discharged. The coolant helps keep the batteries at a consistent temperature, which prolongs their life.

Electric vehicles also have onboard chargers that convert AC power from the grid to DC power to charge the batteries. The onboard charger also generates heat cooled by the coolant loop.

The cooling system in an electric vehicle is crucial because it helps to prolong the life of the batteries and the onboard charger. Without a proper cooling system, the batteries and charger could overheat and be damaged.

Types Of Cooling Techniques In Electric Vehicles

EV brands use numerous cooling techniques. They include;

Air Cooling

The air-cooling technique is a simple one to regulate heat. Common in old electric cars, the technique gave way to more efficient methods in the newer models.

With this technique, the principle of convection is handy in dissipating excess heat. It circulates air around the battery pack using a fan or natural convection. Air helps lower the pack’s temperature by absorbing heat and eventually dissipating it into the atmosphere.

Liquid Cooling

With liquid cooling, different coolants regulate the heat inside the cell. Of all the techniques, this is the most efficient. Most modern EVs use it.

Liquid coolants boast high capacity and density to store thermal energy. Additionally, they have good thermal conductivity and can dissipate heat quickly. The working principle of this technique is simple; it involves circulating the coolant around the battery pack using a pump.

The coolant helps to transfer heat from the pack and eventually cool it down.

Phase Change Material

Manufacturers utilize various coolants for heat dissipation with the phase change material technique. As the temperature rises in the battery, the car’s coolant changes its state (solid to liquid).

As the state changes, it absorbs the excess thermal energy. Moreover, it can absorb energy because of its high latent heat value.

The material is often in a gel form and efficiently circulates the pack.

Phase change materials boast high thermal conductivity for efficient heat dissipation. They are also non-toxic, durable, and eco-friendly. However, the only downside is their high initial cost.

Fins Cooling

Fins are handy in some electric cars to transfer excess heat energy outside. Cooling fins with high thermal conductivity increase the power cell’s surface area.

They use both convection and conduction methods to dissipate heat. The fins circulate air around the battery through conduction and transfer heat to the atmosphere through convection.

While this technique is quite adequate, it has a few demerits. First, the fins are fragile and can easily break. Secondly, they require high maintenance due to corrosion.

Thermal Management Systems

TMS is an advanced cooling technique that automatically regulates the temperature inside the battery pack. The system uses sensors to monitor temperature changes.

As the temperature rises, it activates the cooling system to bring it down and vice versa.

With this technique, you don’t have to worry about your battery overheating. The system is efficient and doesn’t require human intervention.

Is There A Heater In An Electrical Car? How Does An Electric Car Keep You Warm?

An electric vehicle does not have a heat-generating engine. Instead, it generates interior heat with electricity, usually with a single or several resistive heating elements.

These work similarly to the heating elements in electric baseboard heaters and generate interior warmth by converting electrical energy into heat. Some electric vehicles have heat pumps, which are more efficient than resistive heating elements.

Heat pumps move heat from one place to another rather than generating it directly. A heat pump can act like an air conditioner in warm weather, transferring heat from the vehicle’s interior to the outside.

A heat pump can move heat from the outside air into the vehicle’s interior in cold weather. Some electric cars also have solar panels on their roofs.

These can generate electricity to power the vehicle’s heating system and help keep the battery charged.

Do Tesla Cars Have A Radiator?

Yes, Tesla cars have one or several radiators. They help the coolant system dump waste heat from the inverters, motors, and batteries.

The radiators are part of an efficient cooling and heating system to protect the functionality and longevity of the battery pack.

One of the radiators plays a vital role in the HVAC system for the comfort and safety of passengers.

Without a radiator, the battery pack would overheat and cause damage to the car. Tesla cars are designed with safety in mind, and radiators are essential to that design.

Radiators are standard in most electric cars. Apart from Tesla, many other automakers also use them, including BMW, Audi, Chevy, and more.