There is a major push in the United States and across the globe to adopt electric cars. Not only are EVs better for the environment, but they also offer significant fuel cost savings (depending on your area’s electricity rates). But for many drivers, there is no replacement for gas cars with an internal combustion engine.
Two major challenges with EVs are the distance you can drive on a single charge and the longevity of the batteries. Of course, environmental concerns regarding batteries and how to recycle them persist. But with rising fuel costs and more environmentally conscious consumers, electric cars are certainly here to stay.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Side by Side Comparison
|Average Life Expectancy
|How to Refuel
|At Home, Charging Station
|Average Car Weight
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: What’s the Difference?
Electric vehicles or EVs, use electricity to make the wheels spin. On the other hand, gas cars have internal combustion engines that burn petroleum to create energy that sets the wheels in motion. Looking at a gas and electric vehicle from the inside or outside, you likely couldn’t tell a difference. Here is how the two types of vehicles differ.
A major concern for many people is how an electric car drives compared to a gas one. This is one of the major differences between the two vehicle types, and the experience may surprise you. Sometimes back, electric cars were slow and couldn’t match traditional gasoline vehicles, but today things are much different.
Electric vehicles can outperform their gasoline-powered siblings thanks to electric motor and battery technology improvements. Newer motors are capable of delivering surprising amount of torque to the wheels. You will notice much snappier acceleration because the second you press the gas pedal, that power is sent to the motors, unlike gas engines with a slight delay.
One critical factor holdin most consumers back from purchasing an electric car is the EV range. EVs still lag behind on how far they can travel on a charge. But this is another place where new technology has made progress. Newer Lithium batteries can store a lot of power that, makes traveling long distances in an EV possible.
However, a significant gap between how far an electric vehicle can go compared to a gas one still exists. A 2021 study of EV and gasoline averages showed that, on average, gas-powered vehicles could go 413 miles on a tank, compared to only 217 miles on a charge in an electric car. Also, gas-powered vehicles can quickly refuel in a couple of minutes, whereas an electric car must stop for several hours.
Some people measure a car’s life expectancy in years, but it is best to look at it in mileage. In general, electric and gas-powered cars have many components that will begin to fail around 100,000-125,000 miles. This doesn’t mean that the vehicles are no longer useful, but they will need part replacement and routine repairs.
However, electric cars benefit from not having traditional engines and gearboxes that need regular service and maintenance. So, the frequency of repairs should be less. You might be wondering exactly how long both will last with proper care and maintenance. Each vehicle type is can provide about the same useful life of 20 years or 200,000 miles.
Cost of Ownership
Numbers often get thrown around when comparing gas and electric cars. To get a full picture, it’s crucial to compare the cost of each aspect of car ownership, and the total. A 2021 Consumer Reports study showed that the lifetime repair costs for an electric car or plug-in hybrid is half of a gasoline-powered car.
Fuel savings is what really adds up for most people. Powering electric cars costs less than half of what gasoline would. Comparing actual vehicle prices with gas ones is a little more complicated. However, the total cost of ownership for a Leaf E+, Bolt, Model 3, and Rav4 Prime each represent over a $ 17,000-lifetime savings over a comparable gas-powered vehicle.
Other Vehicle Types
Aside from electric and gas cars, two other otipns are availan,e and these work well for many drivers. You may be familiar with hybrids like the Toyota Prius. It has both a gas and electric motor. However, it does not have large battery packs like an electric car. Similarly, they are not designed to be charged. Instead, hybrids have small batteries that get recharged by regenerative braking while driving.
Another option is a plug-in hybrid, also known as a PHEV. These are a cross between hybrids and electric cars, giving you the best of both worlds. They have rechargeable batteries but are typically smaller than electric cars. However, plug-in hybrids also have gasoline engines that operate like regular hybrids. That way, you will always have the option of gas, but you can also recharge for your daily commute.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Electric cars have about 50% fewer maintenance costs over their lifespan.
- Gas vehicles can quickly refuel, whereas electric ones must recharge for extended periods.
- You can recharge an electric car at home with a standard power outlet.
- Gas cars have a proven track record of long-term reliability.
- Many electric vehicles offer an incredible driving experience you can’t get with gas.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?
Electric cars have come a long way and are a respectable mod of transportation. However, they are still not everyone’s cup of tea, so you should consider your unique circumstances. While price is very important, it shouldn’t be the only driving force in your choice between electric and gas cars.
Instead, choose a vehicle that fits your lifestyle. If you travel a lot, an electric car probably isn’t the best choice due to its limited range. Not to mention, finding charging stations along the way can be tricky especially, on longer trips. However, if your vehicle’s primary use is for commuting, then an electric car will likely make more sense as you can recharge it at home.
Also, consider factors like whether or not you have a place to charge your vehicle at home. One of the reasons we like electric cars is that most manufacturers are turning the unused engine compartment for additional storage space. Although electric cars are gaining popularity, you are likely better off getting a plug-in hybrid as its more versatile.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Marian Weyo/Shutterstock.com.