Cars are classified as motor vehicles for a reason: they work with various types of motors. Like a human body needs its bones and muscles to function smoothly, so does a car that needs its motors. Let’s take a closer look at the anatomy of a car and how different motors help it function.
Three Categories of Motors
Depending on the car’s make and model, there could be anywhere between a dozen to about 50 electric motors in its entire system. These motors can be classified into three different categories: performance-related motors, comfort-related motors, and volume motors.
Performance-related motors are those needed for all driving-related operations. Comfort-related motors, as the name implies, are non-essential to driving but are instead used to make the interior more comfortable. Finally, volume motors are low-power motors used in multiple practical applications. Performance-related motors have power ratings from 15 kW to as high as 300 kW, sometimes even up to the thousands of sports and supercars. In contrast, the latter two motor categories usually have power ratings of 5 to 10 W.
If a car is powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE), it needs fuel to run. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need motors. At the very least, it needs a starter motor. Other performance-related motors in automobiles include engine-cooling motors, cruise control and power-steering motors, fuel pump motors, throttle control motors, and those used in anti-locking brake systems.
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The ICE is usually replaced by either brush or brushless DC motors or AC induction motors in electric or hybrid cars. With these technologies’ help, today’s electric cars are up to 80 percent more efficient, and therefore less expensive to drive, cleaner, and easier to maintain.
The younger generation may never know what it means to “roll the windows down” because ofthat make the lowering and lifting of windows possible with just the push of a button. Apart from the windows, comfort-related motors in cars include HVAC blower motors, front and back windshield wiper motors, and seat adjuster motors. One seat, in fact, may have up to five individual in their cars. And as technology continues to evolve and more people demand more convenient and safer options, we can expect to see more motors in automobiles, whether they be ICE-propelled or electric.