Electric vehicles (EVs) are fast gaining popularity, but with so much being written about them, it can be confusing for a casual reader.
Whatever you have heard about electric cars – both positive and negative – has piqued your curiosity. Your interest is aroused enough to invest some time and energy in knowing more about it.
You are not the only one feeling this way. The latest Pew Research Center survey reveals that those who have heard more about electric vehicles are more likely to consider purchasing one. The survey finds 39% of Americans are interested in making the switch to electric cars.
The electric vehicle sector is a fast-evolving market, bringing in innovations to make the technology better and cheaper. Naturally, the environment-conscious buyers are convinced enough to give it a try.
If you want a comparison of electric cars vs gas cars before making the decision, you have come to the right place. Here you will find the pros and cons of both explained in detail. You will find this information useful to decide the car you want to buy next.
Pros and cons of gas cars
Gas cars or conventional cars have been around for more than a century now. It has seen much progress since Karl Benz applied for patent number 37435 for the “vehicle powered by a gas engine” on January 29, 1886. They work on a spark-ignited internal combustion engine (ICE) that mixes air and fuel after compression.
Conventional cars come with a slew of advantages – economical, easier to maintain, better acceleration, longevity, and more. However, it is also easy to see their drawbacks – adding carbon footprints, harmful to the environment, fast-depleting oil reserves, and ever-increasing oil prices.
Here are the pros and cons of gas cars in a nutshell.
- Conventional cars come with an economical price tag.
- Numerous makes, models, and options to choose from.
- Convenient for long-distance travel.
- Tuning the engine and tune-ups are simpler and easier.
- The performance of gas cars, vis-a-vis, speed and acceleration – is the best.
- As internal combustion engines have a longer lifespan, gas cars last longer.
- Gas stations are plentiful and easier and closer to locate.
- Burning gas leads to more carbon dioxide emission and pollution, contributing to global warming and climate change.
- Frequent repairs and high maintenance cost
- Limited supply and spiraling price of gasoline
Pros and cons of electric vehicles
Electric cars were invented and patented around the same period as gas-powered ones. They even enjoyed a decent market share in the United States as soon as they began commercial production. By 1900, almost one-third of the cars on the streets were electric.
However, the invention of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) in 1885 by Karl Benz changed the tide in favor of gas-powered vehicles. Together with the creation of the electric starter in 1912, driving a gas car became easier and the electric car lost its advantage. As they say, the rest is history.
In those days, the drawbacks of the electric car were the time for charging, lack of horsepower, and the runtime offered in a single charge. Despite the waning interest, electric cars continued to be produced by select manufacturers. Also, along with these two variants were hybrid cars, Toyota Prius being the most popular among them.
As the world woke up to the harmful effects of burning gasoline and its limited supply, the electric vehicle market saw a resurrection in the latter half of the 20th century. All the R&D started showing results in the 21st century with the launch of a bunch of new models, better in every way than their century-old predecessors. Now, they can compete with their gasoline-run counterparts in almost all aspects.
Here are the pros and cons of the new-age electric cars.
- Easier to drive as they have no gears.
- No carbon dioxide emissions or pollution.
- No need to go to a gas station to fill up the gas. You can recharge in your garage.
- Fewer mechanical parts mean less maintenance and servicing and less expense.
- Less running cost as electricity is less expensive than gas.
- Electric cars make less sound and accelerate fast.
- Federal tax credits up to $7,500 and financial incentives.
- Electric cars are more expensive.
- Installing a charging station at home is an additional expense.
- Runtime on a single charge known as the range of electric cars is limited.
- Needs to be charged more often.
- Charging time is more than filling gas.
- Fewer service stations and charging stations are available for electric cars.
- Battery replacement is expensive, though the expected lifetime of a battery is 10 years.
Electric vs gas cars: Pros and cons
If you are considering transitioning from a gas car to an electric one, you need to understand the implications on various fronts and not just the price difference. Here is a comparative analysis of gas and electric cars.
At the time of purchase, the price tag is the most important consideration. Electric cars are definitely more expensive. However, the price of both cars varies based on the make, model, features present, fuel efficiency, and other criteria.
2. Running cost
The price of a gallon of gas varies over time and location. Now, it is about $3.29. This means to fill up a 14 gallon ICE engine, it costs just above $46. The distance you can travel on this depends on the fuel efficiency of the car. A gas car with a 25 MPG rating can travel 350 miles on a full tank, while one with a 45 MPG rating can get you more than 600 miles.
On the other hand, electricity costs on average $0.14 for 1kWh. The time needed for charging and the range of the electric car depends on the battery capacity. That is the charge the battery can hold. This can be as low as 20 kWh to 100 kWh. Even for a 100 kWh battery, the cost of charging would be $14. And, this will take you 300 miles before needing another recharge.
3. Quicker vs faster
Electric cars are quicker. They get you from one place to another quickly. However, so far ICE engines are faster than electric engines. This means ICE engines can reach higher speeds. Electric cars make up for this setback by generating more torque. In combustion engines, the conversion rate of the power generated is poor.
4. Choice of models
Here, gas cars win the competition hands down. They have been around for so long that there are too many makes, models, and vehicle types to choose from. There are less than 30 electric car model variants for buyers to choose from today.
Here, electric cars are the clear winners. With fewer servicing requirements, the number of visits to the service station and the expense incurred on maintenance for electric cars is much lower when compared to conventional cars.
Why are electric cars better than gas cars?
If you are concerned about the carbon footprint you are generating and your contribution to global warming and climate change, look no further. You can choose an electric car blindfolded. Besides, doing your bit for the environment, electric cars are easier to drive, cheaper to maintain, and costs you less to run. Even its initial expenditure is offset by the federal and state tax credits and other financial incentives available to electric cars.
When we are looking at the running cost, we are considering today’s gasoline price against the electricity rate. Whether we like it or not, we are fast running out of fossil fuels. This and other factors are driving the price of gasoline up like never before. As the gas prices shoot up, the running cost for gas cars also goes up. In comparison, the increase in electricity rates is not as steep, making electric cars a better choice.
In case you are still not convinced to opt for an electric car, you can consider a hybrid car. You may still have only a few models to choose from but hybrids bring together the best features of both gas-powered and electric cars.
How electric cars fare against the gas-powered ones is something we all would like to know whether we are car-shopping now or not. The knowledge can always come in handy when we eventually decide to replace the current one.