Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Selected E-Mobility Solutions

Most common E-Mobility solutions described.
A bunch of electric scooters parked in a city.

Today, there is a wide range of E-Mobility options, ranging from scooters and bicycles to cars and planes. These EVs are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency and ability to help reduce carbon emissions.

This article will primarily:

  • present E-Mobility solutions
  • explore the different types of electric transport available on the market today.

E-Mobility Solutions

E-Mobility uses electrical energy to power motors in all types of vehicles. Currently, this type of mobility offers solutions for short distances and light weight (with electric cars, bicycles, scooters, and electric motorcycles) as well as for long distances and heavy weight (with electric public transport vehicles) such as electric aircraft and variants. The graphic below shows the correlation between the type of vehicle class and the type of electric mobility solution, including the travel distance typically travelled for each vehicle.

A graph showing a comparison between the vehicle class of different EVs on the X-axis and the mobility solution, including the travel distance on the Y-axisClick to expand

Correlation between vehicle classes and electric mobility solutions. Pictures: (Unsplash, 2021, 2020, 2018, 2022, n.d.)

Let’s take a closer look at the types of EVs:

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

  • Definition:
    • an EV is an abbreviation for ‘electric vehicle’. EVs are vehicles that are powered either partially or entirely by electricity
  • Components:
    • all EVs, also known as battery EVs (BEVs), have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine
  • Operating principle:
    • the vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor, so it needs to be plugged into a socket or charging device, also called an EV supply equipment (EVSE), to be charged.

An electric car is being charged Electric car charging. Unsplash (n.d.)

Electric Scooter

  • Definition:
    • electric scooters are plug-in EVs with two or three wheels. Electric scooters with a standing rider are known as ‘e-scooters’
  • Components:
    • electric scooters differ from motorcycles in that they have a step-through frame rather than a straddle frame
  • Operating principle:
    • power is supplied by a rechargeable battery that drives one or more electric motors. The batteries are at the heart of any electric vehicle. The overall efficiency of each type of scooter depends on voltage, charge, maximum distance, etc.

Young man driving an electric scooter Man driving an electric scooter. Unsplash (n.d.)

Electric Bike

  • Definition:
    • an ‘e-bike’ is a bicycle with an electric motor to help you along. You ride it much like a normal bike, but with less effort
  • Components:
    • e-bikes are powered by a rechargeable battery, but the rider still uses the pedals. However, when going uphill or needing a boost, the electric motor makes the ride easier
  • Operating principle:
    • the rider can adjust the amount of power provided by the engine using a twist grip. Pedaling increases the power (or torque) of the bike.

An electric bike parked is shown. Electric bike parked. Unsplash (n.d.)

Electric Bus

  • Definition:
    • an electric bus is powered by electric motors rather than an internal combustion engine. Electric buses can store electricity on-board or be supplied continuously from an external source
  • Components:
    • there is no engine or fuel tank on an electric bus. Instead, the bus’s electric motor acts as the engine and transmission, while the battery is essentially the “fuel tank”
  • Operating principle:
    • electric buses work by sending a signal to the powertrain system controller when they start. This signal activates the high-voltage battery, where chemical energy is stored, and converts it into electrical energy.

A bus electric bus is parked in a street. Electric bus. Unsplash (2018)

Electric Train

  • Definition:
    • an electric train is powered by electricity from a catenary, a third rail or on-board energy storage such as a battery
  • Components:
    • electric trains collect the high voltage current with a pantograph and use the power to run electric motors
  • Operating principle:
    • electric trains and trams are usually powered by a catenary. The catenary operates at high voltages of up to 15,000 V and up to 1,000 A to provide high power for the heavy train.

A grey electric train in a rail, with some passengers boarding Electric train in a rail. Unsplash (n.d.)

Conclusion:

Electric transport is changing the way we move in the modern world. From electric scooters to planes, there are a wide range of electric transport options available on the market today. EVs offer many benefits, including reduced carbon footprint and increased energy efficiency. EVs are likely to continue to grow in popularity as technologies improve and production costs fall.

This article is from the free online

Exploring the World of Electric Mobility: Key Concepts and Strategies

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now