Tesla Motors Electric Cars: Principles of Work, Advantages and Disadvantages

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2893 words

Downloads: 91

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Table of contents

  1. How Does an Electric Car Work?
  2. Drawbacks and Shortcomings
  3. Advantages
  4. References

The following is a report on the items we discussed in our meeting last week regarding the future of Tesla Motors as a future of Electric cars not only in the world but also in Pakistan. This short report covers some of the unique quirks of electric vehicles as well as their advantages and disadvantages, future of Tesla in Pakistan in the next decade. I will be talking about the brief history of electric cars as well as Tesla Motors, will discussing how electric cars work and their comparison with gasoline cars, a brief discussion about Hybrid Electrical Vehicle (HEV), Plugin-Hybrid Electrical Vehicle (PHEV) and battery Electrical Vehicle (BHEV).

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How Does an Electric Car Work?

The electric vehicle power source is the battery, which acts as a "gas tank" and supplies the electric motor with the energy necessary to move the vehicle. This gives the car acceleration. When the vehicle is idle there is no electrical current being processed, so energy is not being used up? The controller acts as a regulator, and controls the amount of power received from the batteries so the motor does not burn out. This battery powers all of the electronic devices in the car, just like the battery in a gas-powered car. Everything else in the electric car is the same as its gas-powered equivalent: transmission, brakes, air conditioning, and airbags. Since electric vehicles use an electric motor, the driver can take advantage of the motor's momentum when pressure is applied on the brakes. Instead of converting all the potential energy in the motor into heat like a fossil fuel-powered car does, an electric car uses the forward momentum of the motor to recharge the battery. This process is called regenerative braking.

But how do Tesla's electric cars actually work?. That answer requires a bit more explanation. The basics are straightforward, but real intrigue lies in the details of its futuristic car tech. Electricity charges a battery to give the Model S juice for a certain period, not unlike any smartphone or laptop. In fact, each Tesla electric car has much more in common with MacBook than people might think — the company uses lithium-ion batteries just like the type that powers laptops worldwide. There's just one difference — Tesla's batteries are a heck of a lot more powerful. The battery in each Tesla car is actually made up of thousands of lithium-ion cells that have a combined weight of about a thousand pounds, according to the company. Each pack is built at Tesla's Bay Area headquarters and comes equipped with a heating system that enables the car to function in cold weather.

To get that battery ready to roll, however, you're going to have to charge the sucker. Again, this process isn't much different from the way you charge the portable devices you carry around every day — what's unique here is you're dealing with a much bigger gadget that carries you around instead. And this is the key difference between a Tesla electric car and a hybrid, like the Toyota Prius — it's all electric and has to be charged, whereas the Prius runs partially on gasoline but doesn't have to be charged.

Over the past decade, various initiatives have been taken by the automakers and governments around the world to reduce not only our carbon footprint but also our unwavering reliance on fossil fuels. Since the inception of the motor cars, fossil fuels have necessitated our needs for nearly a century. However, we will inevitably one day deplete these finite resources. Auto Makers are looking towards other sources of energy that will one day facilitate our needs in place of fossil fuels, and for the time being that energy source seems to be electric power.

In the past decade, electric cars have rapidly gained popularity all around the world. Mainstream companies such as Volkswagen, Ford, BMW, Mercedes and Nissan have started offering a range of different electric cars. In addition, with companies like Tesla bursting onto the scene, companies, which are barely a decade old and are already worth as much as Ford (an automaker that is more than a century old) means electric cars, are here to stay. So this begs the question, how viable are electric cars in Pakistan?

Drawbacks and Shortcomings

Currently three Japanese conglomerates who have a stranglehold on the market as of now dominate the automotive sector in Pakistan, but their monopoly may soon end with the introduction of three new manufacturers in the near future. So how would the introduction of an electric car influence the market? As we all know currently Pakistan is facing electricity shortage. Lack of enough electricity is the biggest caveat of having electric cars in Pakistan. Getting a steady stream of electricity to charge electric vehicles would be the biggest hurdle faced by owners, coupled with the long charging hours and load shedding, and it could take a very long time to fully charge your electric vehicle.

In a normal gasoline powered vehicle when you start running out of fuel you just pull into a fuel station, fill up in a few minutes and then possess the ability to drive a few hundred kilometers before needing a fill up again. With electric vehicles it’s not so simple, an average electric vehicle is only able to drive around 160-200km on one full charge, after which they need around 8-12 hours, depending on the size of the battery, charging up their electric batteries again. Driving an electric vehicle also subjects you to anxiety, where you are always worried about how much range you have left and also keep guessing on whether or not you’ll be able to make it back or not with the charge remaining in your electric vehicle. In Pakistan if electric cars are to be introduced, it is unlikely that within the first ten years charging stations be placed at such regular distances around the country, that a person could go where ever he/she wants without worrying about the range.

Introducing electric cars into Pakistan would also require setting up the infrastructure that is the prerequisite for electric cars. Charging stations would have to set up at acceptable regular distances near areas such as parking lots. This would require the government to dig up the roads/pavements around the area to lay the electrical wiring required for charging electric cars at a decent rate. This startup cost would come at a great expense to the government and would require a continuous stream of capital to install and upgrade these charging stations.

Also as most of us know that over the year’s batteries tend to lose their ability to hold a charge and need to be replaced. In electric cars it is estimated that after just 7-10 years the batteries might need to be replaced and the cost of doing so will cost hundreds of thousands Pakistani rupees. On the other hand, finding facilities to do this in Pakistan would be a feat greater than getting the battery replaced itself if electric cars are to be introduced in near future.


It is apparent that the cost of just bringing electric cars and the basic infrastructure that goes along with it would come at an unreasonable expense to the country, but when viewing this investment in the long run this would help save money in key areas. Oil imports into the country would considerably reduce over the years slightly negating the effect of Pakistan’s ever increasing debt. Petrol/Diesel powered vehicles currently cost nearly PKR 4 per km while current modern day electric vehicles cost approximately PKR 1.8 per km, which in turn will make traveling much cheaper for the masses.

The cost of spare parts in the country for most vehicles is quite taxing on the average person within Pakistan, not only the spare parts are expensive, but the people who possess the skills and knowledge to properly work on these cars are even rarer. Electric cars, on the other hand, are very reliable, in essence they only have one mechanical moving part which is the electric motor, there are no other major moving parts that can be subject to strain unlike petrol/diesel powered vehicles, eliminating costs such as changing the oil to lubricate your engine or changing belts and pulleys in the engine bay, which in turn would greatly reduce the cost of maintenance and service on vehicles.

Global warming is one of the biggest threats that faces us in the modern age and many countries are doing all they can to combat this before the problem gets out of hand. Pakistan has shown little to no gains towards reducing its carbon footprint; the introduction of electric cars into the country would be a big step towards reducing our carbon footprint and a step towards combating global warming.

Nishat Group, which has recently entered into an agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to set up a car assembly plant in Pakistan, is planning to introduce electric cars but the infrastructure and capital required to introduce these vehicles in country’s current state is not achievable. Electric cars do possess many benefits that can prove to be beneficial for both the government and the people and maybe they can prove beneficial sometime within the next decade, but for now it looks we should stick to good old fashioned gasoline.

There are many environmental benefits and personal benefits for having an electric car:

  • Most electric motors can travel up to 250 – 380 km before they need to be charged
  • No tail pipe exhaust means no greenhouse gases such as CO2, NOx and PM10s
  • No oil consumption means less reliance on fuel
  • Cars can be recharged whenever is convenient to the user
  • More cost-effective than regular cars because of long-lasting battery use
  • Cheaper to maintain because they have fewer moving parts
  • Creates less noise pollution because the engine is silent

The above advantages however, will be part and parcel of DemoEV’s analysis, when comparing electric vehicles to internal combustion engine. Research and development in e-car business date back to the 19th century. With the first electrically powered car being produced in 1895 by Thomas Parker, these cars have brought a new hope in the already ailing automobile industry. Over the years, through practical research, new technologies have been introduced in the automobile business and new ones have replaced old carmakers. Tesla being the leader in the e-car business has set a standard for others to follow. BMW has introduced their top of the line electric cars, the i3 and the i8 in Pakistan. Other than the BMW’s e-car line, Nissan, Hyundai, Audi and Renault are already in talks with the Ministry of Industries & Production for producing locally manufactured electric cars. With this growing interest in EVs, and with an increasing emphasis on fossil fuel reduction and carbon pricing worldwide, automobile manufacturers are swiftly shifting their focus on the research, development, and manufacturing of EVs.

Like most of the developing countries, Pakistan too has a strong market for hybrid vehicles, with Honda Vezel, Honda FIT, Toyota Prius, Toyota Aqua, and other such models having a significant presence on the Pakistani roads. Leading automobile manufacturers, including Super Power Motorcycles, have started introducing EV models with a wide range of prices, targeting customers of diverse income groups. One such model is priced at PKR 600,000, which suggest that Pakistani manufacturers are willing to risk investing in this market segment. Several members of the international automobile industry (South Korea, China, and Japan) also believe that Pakistan is a high potential market for EV technology, and local businesses are collaborating with them to bring EVs in Pakistan.

The 2016 Auto Industry Development Policy (AIDP) and the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are encouraging foreign investments for the new automobile brands to enter Pakistani market. It will enhance competition in the automobile industry while at the same time provide a wider range of options for consumers. The heightened competition will mean competitively lower price range for customers and influx of more efficient, up-to-date engine and technology. In addition, the constant race between EV/hybrid cars with fuel powered vehicles to establish their market share will create a technology battle in the local industry which will eventually lead to the continuous introduction of not just new but better models by all brands.

On one hand, we have obvious advantages including cost-efficient fuel mileage, less maintenance requirement, reduced oil import, agreeable fuel economy and good riddance from pollution for the entire country. On the other hand, the cons include relatively low-speed limit, short range of travel on a full battery, and lack of options in the newly emerging market. It is also questionable whether Pakistan will be able to support the rising electricity demand that will, without a doubt, accompany this anticipated technology transition.

The country has long been battling with energy shortages. With unreliable and expensive energy supply in the country, the auto industry has never been interested in electric car projects. However, the situation seems to be changing now. EVs present two major problems in Pakistan. Firstly, the severe shortfall of electricity and the frequent power cuts due to ‘load shedding’. Secondly, the consumer mindset and their reluctance to invest in EVs as compared to them investing in conventional fuel cars. Electric cars, despite demanding high maintenance once every few years, are extremely fuel-efficient and save up significantly on fuel costs. It is high time that people are made aware of the use of electric vehicles in Pakistan, especially in urban areas, to decrease the carbon footprint. Although people have been intrigued by the idea of hybrid cars, they are majorly still reluctant to completely transform their garage into fully electric cars due to long driving hours, even within cities. The technology is neither cheap nor simple to construct.

Working on sustainable charging systems for EVs is one way to limit the increase in electricity demand that EVs will contribute. Research on hybrid and electric car charging systems and renewable-energy based EV charging docks is necessary to eliminate our complete dependency on fossil fuels. The government, through collaboration with universities, should encourage, support research projects related to renewable and alternative sources of energy, and introduce technology competitions. Entrepreneurs should also establish innovative businesses that tap into the rising demand for electricity. One such example could be to convert parking spaces and garages into parking plus solar charging stations. In addition, the government needs to introduce tax rebates and custom incentives for people investing in such environment-friendly green stations. Above all, consumers need to be motivated to use renewable charging docks instead of the charge-at-home facility most EV and hybrid car models come with. In addition to awareness programs, governments and businesses will need to come up with financial incentives to attract people to travel the road of sustainability.

EV producers, importers, and investors can explore the possibilities of making ‘charging stations’ in Pakistan, whilst setting up plants that produce auto parts for these EVs. As compared to 43,000 charging stations in the US, Pakistan has just a few, not more than 100. In addition, the price is an issue for many consumers. Cheapest electric car available in Pakistan is the Nissan Leaf, which stands at roughly Rs2.7 million that is excessively much for masses. There is a requirement for locally manufactured electric cars that are cheaper than their imported counterparts are. Still there is room for discussion left, as the late adopters may prove beneficial since it is a new technology. In this case, time will play a deciding role because there is always a start to a success model.

In summary, this short repot has discussed the rise/future of electric cars within the Pakistan. It began with a historical overview of the technology, and then it proceeded to discuss three key fronts of the regulatory battles surrounding the rise of electric cars within the nation. Some of the key issues that are involved in these battles include prices, technology, competitors in Pakistan, electric vs gasoline cars. In general, it would seem that electric cars manufacturers, led by Tesla, are in a good position to expand their operations and reach out to broader and broader segments of the public with their technology. However, a great deal clearly hinges on the regulatory environment. If the national government pass laws encouraging the proliferation of electric cars, then this could well happen in the near future; but of course, if they do the opposite, then the opposite could also occur, same will goes with import taxes.


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3. Hari, Johann. "Big Oil's Vendetta against the Electric Car." Common Dreams. 7 Apr. 2014.

4. Koopman, Christopher. "Tesla: Free Market Antihero." U.S. News & World Report. 30 Jun. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

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6. Ramsey, Mike, and Christina Rogers. "California Spurs Electric Cars." Wall Street Journal. 19 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. .U.S. Department of Energy. "Timeline: History of the Electric Car." The History of the Electric Car. 15 Sep. 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

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Tesla Motors Electric Cars: Principles of Work, Advantages and Disadvantages. (2018, October 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
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