EV powertrain

Electric Vehicle Powertrain Explained

Electric Vehicle

EV demand has been increasing since last few years. Electric Vehicle Powertrain is very important part of an Electric Vehicle.

In this article, we will give you all the details about Electric Vehicle Powertrain (EV Powertrain) and its components.

Let’s dive in,

Electric Vehicle Powertrain

What is Powertrain?

A powertrain is a set of components that generate power to move the vehicle.

What is an Electric Vehicle Powertrain?

As the name suggests this is a Powertrain which is required to move an Electric Vehicle.

Electric Vehicle architecture mainly depends on the Electric Vehicle Powertrain design, so Electric Vehicle Powertrain is an important part of an Electric Vehicle.

Electric Vehicle Powertrain Components

EV powertrain

In most Electric Vehicles, the powertrain will have the below components.

  • Electric Motor
  • Battery Pack
  • Inverter
  • DC/DC converter
  • Charger

Battery Management System (BMS) manages the Battery Pack so it is also an important part of the EV Powertrain.

Electric Motor

Electric Vehicle Motor

Electric Motor is an important part of Electric Vehicle Powertrain development because it converts electricity to torque to move the vehicle.

The torque is controlled by varying the current flow.

Its efficiency is above 90% as compared to an engine whose max efficiency is 40%.

Electric Motor provides torque at 0 speed, so a single gear ratio can be used between the Motor and the wheel.

The motor is controlled by an Electric Vehicle Motor Controller.

Battery Pack

Electric Vehicle Battery Pack

Battery Pack is the device for storing energy. It provides current to the electric motor as requested by the driver.

It provides direct current (DC) at the output terminal. Battery manufacturers along with Electric Vehicle Powertrain manufacturers are doing a lot of research on improving the Battery Pack.

Battery Pack is one of the major contributors to the cost of an electric vehicle.

Cost of Battery pack continue to decline, so BEVs will eventually offer a lower total cost of ownership to customers than ICE vehicles.



As mentioned earlier the Battery Pack provides direct current. But the electric motor is controlled by Alternate Current (AC) wave forms, so the inverter is used to convert DC to AC and control the electric motor.

DC/DC converter

Electric vehicles do use the 12-volt power system for the low power electrical components.

The 12-volt system is powered by Battery Pack.

A DC/DC converter is used to convert power from the battery pack voltage down to 12 volts.


Battery Pack must be recharged. The recharge is done usually from the electric grid.

The charger does the rectification of AC voltage to DC voltage and controls the current flowing into the battery pack.

Battery Management System (BMS)

As mentioned earlier apart from the above-mentioned components Battery Management System (BMS) is also important.

It is an Electronic Control Unit that is responsible for monitoring the entire functioning of the Battery.

It monitors cell voltage, temperature, provides thermal and overcharge protection, controls battery charging, etc. BMS also interacts with other ECUs and sensors.

Difference between Electric Vehicle Powertrain and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle Powertrain

vehicle powertrain components
Image source

As can be seen from the above picture, Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Powertrain is very complex and has many more components than an Electric Powertrain.

Some important difference between Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Powertrain and Electric Vehicle Powertrain is as below.

ICE PowertrainElectric Vehicle Powertrain
The number of components is more (Engine, Transmission, Driveshaft, differentials, axels, engine cooling system, exhaust system, etc)Less number of components (Battery Pack, Electric Motor, Inverter, Charger, DC/DC converter)
The engine generates power using Gasoline or DieselElectric Motor generates power
Less efficient (Engine is maximum 40% efficient)Highly efficient (Electric Motor is 90% efficient)
As the moving parts more require frequent maintenanceAs the moving parts less require less maintenance
As the ICE powertrain technology has been there for a long time the design and assembly are readily availableElectric Powertrain technology is relatively new and components require sophisticated assembly.


It’s clear with the recent trends that Electric Vehicle Powertrain is going to grow in demand and would be used extensively.

Keeping the above point in mind, we have covered from what is Electric Vehicle Powertrain to its components to the difference between ICE powertrain and EV powertrain and more.

Now it’s your turn:

Let us know if you need any clarifications or need any further information about Engine Vehicle Powertrain.

Please leave a comment below.

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