The throttle pedal or throttle control in an electric car or machine is no different from a conventional gas-powered vehicle’s electronic throttle control system (ETCS). In older vehicles, the throttle pedal is physically connected to the throttle body via the throttle cable. In a modern car with electronic drive-by-wire throttle control, stepping on the throttle activates the accelerator pedal module. Pressing or activating the throttle converts the mechanical action to electrical signals. The signal is sent to the vehicle ECU and commands the engine to go faster or slower depending on many outside variables (wheel speed, steering wheel position, and brake pedal position), including the throttle pressure applied. The system also analyzes the air-fuel ratio of the engine and regulates the airflow to make the vehicle go faster or slower.
But an electric vehicle has no gas-burning engine, which means the throttle system has no means of analyzing the air and fuel requirements. The main propulsion components of any electric vehicle or electric machine are the electric motor/s, the motor controller, and the batteries. In essence, the controller feeds the motor with electrical power from the battery pack. The throttle system sits between the driver and the controller system. The throttle pedal in an EV is connected to an array of potentiometers, variable resistors, Hall effect sensors, or any means of reading the changes in the throttle position.
The sensors produce signals that are fed to and analyzed by the controller. Upon pressing the throttle, the controller pulses or adjusts the power electronics to increase the number of electrons flowing from the battery pack to the motor, allowing you to go faster. More power is sent by the controller to the motor then harder or deeper you press the pedal. Alternatively, lifting the throttle pedal signals the controller to limit the amount of power flowing from the battery pack and, in some cases, while engaging energy regeneration to trickle-charge the batteries. Modern EV’s with three-phase AC brushless motors operate in the same manner. However, the controller in this set-up takes the DC voltage from the batteries and reverses the polarity of the voltage up to 60 times per second before feeding electrons to the motor.
The signs of a bad or failing throttle include hesitation, acceleration problems, intermittent throttle outputs, and in some cases, a no-go or no-power situation. Most throttle problems are attributed to age, wear and tear, and sensor issues, while compatibility issues with the controller are also common.
Cloud Electric has a huge inventory of throttles, throttles resistance, Hall throttles, scooter-type throttles, and throttle parts for a wide array of industrial and commercial applications. We carry 0-5V throttle pedals, throttle control box for brushed motor systems and brushless DC motor systems, throttle function control boxes, lever-type throttles, and twist-grip throttles for many types of electric machines.