In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the chemistry of batteries as they are used to power hybrid and electric cars. Students will learn about the basics of electricity, as well as how batteries function as a source of electricity.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to
- Provide a basic overview of the differences between a hybrid or electric vehicle and a car that is powered by fossil fuel.
- Describe the flow of electrons in a lithium battery in order to generate electricity.
- Identify the meaning of the terms, anode and cathode.
- Differentiate between oxidation and reduction.
This activity supports students’ understanding of
- Galvanic Cells
- Chemical Reactions
- Redox Reactions
- Renewable Energy
Teacher Preparation: minimal
Lesson: 10 minutes
- Hybrid and Electric Cars Video
- Student Handout
- Projector with Volume
- AACT Student Video Pass (optional)
- No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.
- The Hybrid and Electric Cars video was developed as a part of the 2016 AACT-Ford, Chemistry of Cars content writing team project, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company. The entire video series can be found here.
- Additionally, 19 lesson plans related to the Chemistry of Cars theme were developed by the content writing participants. You can learn even more about this project by reading an article from the September 2016 issue of Chemistry Solutions, written by the lead teacher involved in this project.
- The running time of this video is approximately four minutes.
- This video is intended for students to watch, and for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.
- The student questions/answers are presented in sequential order in the video.
- An answer key has also been provided for teacher reference.
- Videos can be shown with the use of a classroom projector, or teachers can generate a Student Video Pass through their AACT membership to allow students to independently access the video.
For the Student
While watching the Hybrid and Electric Cars Video, answer the following questions:
- Hybrid vehicles combine _________ and ___________ power.
- In an electric car, the _____________ ______________ is like the gas.
- You can think of electricity as the transfer of _____________ between atoms of matter.
- What type of batteries do most hybrid and electric vehicles use?
- Inside the battery, what substance is “sandwiched” by the anode and cathode?
- True or false? The compounds used in the electrodes of a battery effect how quickly the battery charges and discharges.
- When the anode loses electrons that reaction is called ________________.
- When the cathode gains electrons and positively charged lithium ions, that’s called ____________.
- When the battery is being charged, the reactions and flow of lithium ions are __________.
- When a vehicle can send energy back to the battery to recharge it, for example, during braking, this process is called ______________ __________.