Irrespective of the car you choose to buy, there are several cost implications associated with car ownership. However, choosing an electric vehicle (EV) over a conventional, internal combustion engine (ICE) leads to significant savings. Electric cars vs gas cars comparisons show that electric cars are better as far as the impact on the environment is concerned. Drivers looking to leave a smaller carbon footprint know driving a fuel-efficient car, or a car that doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses is not only a financially smart move but is associated with environmental protection.
If you are considering buying a new car and looking at an EV as an option, then you should first understand the electric cars vs gas cars comparison so you fully know what benefits you’ll derive from this decision. This article highlights a comparison of electric cars vs gas cars regarding their mechanical differences, their benefits, and their drawbacks.
Gasoline Power vs. Electric Power
A gas-powered car has a gas tank that supplies gasoline to the engine. The internal combustion engine (ICE) turns a transmission, which moves the wheels. An electric car uses a set of batteries that can provide electricity to an electric motor. The motor turns the transmission, which then moves the wheels.
The three main components of an electric car are the electric motor, battery, and controller. Once the car is switched on, the current is passed from the battery. The controller takes power from the rechargeable lithium-ion battery to the electric motor.
Before the current is passed to the motor, the controller converts the 300V DC into 240V AC, 2 phase power with a suitable motor. The electric motor then converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, which moves the EV forward. The controller stands as the buyer of power from the rechargeable battery and gives it to the motor. Variable potentiometers are connected between the controller and the meter which tell the controller how much power is supposed to be delivered. Once the accelerator is released, it delivers 0V, and when they are pressed, they give maximum power output.
A four-stroke gasoline engine works in four steps: intake, compression, power, and exhaust. For the intake, the piston is pulled down inside the cylinder by the momentum of the crankshaft which keeps running as the car is moving along. The inlet valve opens, which lets in a mixture of fuel and air into the cylinder. The second step is compression, which entails the closing of the inlet valve. The piston then moves back up the cylinder and compresses the fuel-air mixture, making it more flammable.
Once the piston reaches the top of the cylinder, the sparking plug fires. The third step is power where the spark ignites the fuel-air mixture causing a mini explosion. The mixture then burns immediately giving off hot gas that pushes the piston back down. The energy released powers the crankshaft. The last step is exhaust where the outlet valve opens. The crankshaft continues to turn, and the piston is forced back up the cylinder which forces the exhaust gases out through the exhaust outlet. The whole cycle repeats, making the vehicle move ahead.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Six Engine Differences
- Environmental impact: Electric engines use renewable energy like wind and solar, which means electric cars have a smaller environmental impact compared to gasoline cars whose engines burn fuel releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
- Energy storage: Electric cars store energy in a rechargeable battery as opposed to gasoline cars where energy is produced by fuel ignition
- Cost: Electric vehicles cost about 2 cents per mile while gasoline-powered cars cost 12 cents per mile.
- Fuel: Gasoline engines burn fuel, but electric engines receive power from batteries.
- Refuel or Recharge: Gasoline cars take less than 5 minutes to fill an empty tank, but it may take an electric car 6-7 hours to charge.
- Speed: Electric vehicles can go up to 100 miles per hour, but gasoline engines can support speeds of up to 300 miles per hour.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: The Benefits of Each
This section highlights the benefits of EVs compared to gas cars.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Cost
EVs cost less compared to gas cars each year. Technological advancements are making the cost of EVs the same or less expensive compared to gas cars. This implies that the choice to go electric is obvious. EVs are affordable, and the operating cost will save you money in the form of the life of a car. In almost every aspect, EVs cost less to maintain and run than gas cars. There is no gas to buy, no smog tests, no oil changes, and the few moving parts means fewer parts are breaking or wearing out. EV owners can go for years without repair or service bills.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Impact on the Air We Breath
EVs are better for the air we breathe since there are no tailpipe emissions, so the air would be cleaner if more EVs were on the road. Cleaner air means that there will be fewer diseases in the world, translating to less stress on public health care systems and hospitals. Less greenhouse gas emissions save the ozone layer and reduce our carbon footprint. More EVs on our roads means we can slow down global warming.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Fueling/Recharging
With EVs, you don’t need to buy gas or oil. You plug in at any convenient recharging location, which means you can skip the gas station and just “fill-up” at work or home. You will also use renewable energy sources.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: EVs Are the Future of Transportation
If you drive an EV, you are planning for the future. You will be counted as one of the coolest people around as you will make a difference to the environment and also save money.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: EVs Pass Similar Safety Tests as Gas Cars
EVs pass the same safety requirements as gas cars, so you are certain they are safe to operate. Many EVs score higher in crash test safety ratings. EVs are also less likely to catch fire than gas cars. On average, gas cars will catch fire at the rate of one fire in every 20 million miles driven. For EVs, that rate is one fire for every 120 million miles driven.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: Low Maintenance for EVs
EVs have less moving parts compared to gas cars, which means less likelihood of breaking or fixing. This will save you a lot of money and time over the years.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: EVs Are Quieter
EVs produce no noise when starting or stopping, so if EVs were to fill the roads, it would be peaceful as noise pollution will be eliminated.
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: EVs Are Performance Vehicles
EVs have a high torque power, so their pick up is quicker and smoother than gas cars. EVs are more comfortable to ride in as they seem less clumsy and clunky. Driving an EV is an absolute pleasure, and most people enjoy them.
More Benefits of Electric Cars
- Technology improvements facilitate an increase in the range of EVs
- You’ll enjoy government subsidies
- Your electric utility will help you pay for charging
Benefits of Gas Cars
- Incredibly high speeds of 300 miles per hour
- Engine technology is mature and well-understood
- Mechanics are familiar with the engine and can repair it
- Produce heat that can heat the cabin and even melt ice
- Covers wider distances
Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: The Drawbacks of Each
Drawbacks of Electric Cars
- Limited speed limits of about 100 mph
- No towing capabilities; they cannot tow an RV or a trailer
- EVs are more expensive as the manufacturer cannot fully recover the cost of the discarded parts
- New parts and technology are expensive
- EVs cannot accelerate, cruise, or climb fast enough to compete with gas cars
- Accessories like radios and AC drain the battery even further
- Long charging hours
- Lack of Charging Stations
Drawbacks of Gas Cars
- Lead to pollution
- Their performance is not better than that of EVs
- They are noisy and contribute to noise pollution
- Require regular maintenance
- High servicing fees
- Lead to air pollution and a high carbon footprint
- Contribute to lung-related diseases including lung cancer
For a car to be useful, it should be able to drive at least 300 miles before refueling. It should be refueled easily and quickly and keep up with the other traffic on the road. A gasoline car meets these requirements, but the problem is that it produces a large amount of pollution and gets poorer with gas mileage. Electric cars don’t pollute the environment. Besides, more Americans are becoming environmentally conscious and preferring to use eco-friendly EVs as an alternative to gas-powered vehicles. You’ll enjoy government subsidies if you buy an EV.
The fact that EVs allow for better performance, better safety, are less noisy, require low maintenance, and lead to no pollution makes them better compared to gas cars. We hope that this article has adequately addressed the comparison of electric cars vs gas cars regarding their mechanical differences, their benefits, and their drawbacks.