Gas vs Electric Car: Weighing the Pros and Cons

2021 saw a 60% spike in the sales of electric vehicles. By the end of 2030, there will be more than 350 million electric cars in the world. Still, there is a long way to go before reaching the Net Zero Emission Scenario (NZE Scenario).

Gas-powered cars have been around for over a century, so it is natural for people to have concerns before shifting to electric cars. Right now, we’re being bombarded with the virtues of electric cars. Though many of those are true, electric cars are not without downsides.

This article will provide a true comparison of gas vs electric car. So that you can conveniently decide between the two options. So, let’s dive into the pros and cons of gas and electric cars.

Pros of an Electric Car (Cons of a Gas-Powered Car)

Electric cars carry many benefits over conventional gas-powered cars. In this section, we will discuss all the pros of an electric car which also happen to be the cons of a gas-powered car.

Positive Impact on the Environment

Go green has been the motto of electric car manufacturers all along. It is true to the core. Lately, we have been dealing with issues like climate change and man-induced natural disasters. All because we are unable to preserve this planet as it was.

Burning gasoline in engines produces harmful byproducts such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and benzene. In addition to that, gas cars emit 1.4 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year.

All our natural resources are being used in the form of fossil fuels. Burning a single gallon of fuel produces 20 lbs of greenhouse gas. With this average, each car annually produces 5 to 9 tons of greenhouse gas. If we continue at this pace, the planet will become unhabitable in 100 years or less.

There was a dire need to prevent these consequences. Electric cars are a blessing to the environment. They will not reduce emissions. Rather, they will completely eliminate them. So, the biggest advantage of an electric car is that it’s making this world safe for future generations.

No Maintenance Costs

There are two types of car maintenance. One is called periodic or scheduled maintenance, and the other one is called unscheduled maintenance. Periodic maintenance includes items such as oil and filter changes, fluid top-ups, tire rotation, and all other periodic things.

On the other hand, unscheduled maintenance accounts for all the items that are not on the regular maintenance list. For example, a cracked driveshaft or failed starter motor. Sudden failure of any part in your car that calls for maintenance comes under this type.

Gas cars need both types of maintenance. However, electric cars require negligible maintenance. An average gasoline car would cost you $500 per annum in maintenance. On top of that, add the amount of time (8-10 hours typically) you had to spend at a mechanic’s shop.

On the other hand, the annual maintenance cost of an electric car is under $100. In an electric car, you just need to do fluid top-ups, brake maintenance, and tire rotation. This $100 maintenance cost also includes the random unscheduled maintenance cost.

The reason behind such low maintenance costs of EVs is the fact that they don’t have an engine. An internal combustion engine has more than 10,000 moving parts. Few of them are bound to fail. However, an EV only has a motor, drivetrain, and batteries. Lesser moving parts mean that you have to worry about less mechanical failure.

So, you can reduce your annual maintenance cost by up to 80% by switching to an electric car.

Swift Acceleration and Amazing Performance

Many were skeptical regarding the replacement of internal combustion engines with electric motors. But things have turned out pretty well for those who like high-performance cars. Just recently, an electric supercar, Rimac Nevera, has achieved a top speed of 258 mph.

Swift acceleration is one thing I personally love about electric cars. You sit in the driver’s seat, push the throttle, and it feels like you are flying in a Boeing 747. Electric cars, even with not-so-powerful motors, have admirable acceleration. Most EVs can beat the 0-60 mph scale in 3 to 5 secs.

This is because electric cars don’t have any lag in their drivetrain. The power produced by motors is directly fed into the transmission and onto the wheels. However, in the case of an internal combustion engine, the generated power has to go through several chain links before reaching the wheels.

Hence, greater power losses mean sluggish acceleration. Had it not been for the weight of batteries, electric cars could have achieved more speed and acceleration.

Learn about the fastest electric cars in the world.

Say Goodbye to Fuel Costs

American Automobile Association (AAA) has concluded that an average American spends no less than $3,000 on gasoline every year. This is a significant deduction from their earnings. Electric cars can help ease this burden on the majority of working-class people.

According to our own research, a single mile of a gas car will cost you between 8 and 12 cents. While on the other hand, the same mile on an electric car will cost you between 3 and 5 cents. Obviously, there are a lot of variable factors at play here, but still, these figures comply with the bigger picture of the gas vs electric car comparison.

You can save up to 70% on your annual fuel costs by turning to an electric car.

To find out the cost of charging electric vehicles, you might want to check out the article on pricing for electric car charging.

Pros of a Gas-Powered Car (Cons of an Electric Car)

Gas-powered cars cannot compete with electric cars in certain aspects. But there are things where they are still in the lead. Let’s discuss the pros of a gas-powered car in this section. It will also give us information about the areas where electric vehicles are lagging behind.

Been Around For a Century

Gas cars have an established network of dealers and mechanics across the globe. No matter which part of the world you’re visiting, you will find a Toyota, Honda, or Ford Mechanic. Things aren’t that good for electric cars at the moment.

Although electric cars require the least maintenance, people have still faced certain issues with batteries, motors, and drivetrains in general. In this case, they found it very hard to find a skilled mechanic for their electric car.

Some companies are growing their own networks, but they are charging a fortune for small issues. So, it is a long way before electric cars become as common as gas cars.

No Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is the biggest downside of driving an electric car. Even the best electric cars can give you a range of 300 miles. In real life scenario, the actual range will be even less than that. But the major issue is that it isn’t easy to find a charging spot in far-off locations.

On the other hand, gas cars offer a longer range, and it is very easy to find a gas station, even in the most remote locations. You can also store a few gallons in your car, just in case you cannot find a gas station. While electric cars offer no such luxury.

No Time is Required for Refueling

A gas-powered car hardly takes a minute or two to refuel. On the other hand, an electric car takes at least 20-40 hours to charge at a level-I charging station. Though you can reduce this time down to 10-12 hours for a level-II charging station, it will burn through the saving you planned on getting from your brand-new electric car.

Some people bring up the argument of DC fast charging. But we all know that the price per kWh at a level-III charging station is 200-300% more as compared to the level-I charging station. So, the total cost of charging would even surpass the fuel costs of a gas-powered car when you have to pay $0.45 per kWh at a DC fast charging station.

You Don’t Need to Change the Batteries

Electric vehicles draw their juice from battery packs. It costs between $3,500 and $14,500 to replace an EV battery. It can cost more also if the car is powered by a bigger battery.

The batteries used in electric vehicles are mostly lithium-ion cells. The lifetime of the best lithium-ion batteries is 10-12 years. But once they are dead, you have to replace them.

So, the amount you saved on maintenance and fuel will be even once you have replaced the batteries. Old batteries also have some salvage value, but it would be negligible.

Final Word, Gas vs Electric Car

This article has highlighted the less stressed facts about electric cars. We’ve not only discussed the benefits of owning an electric car but also the disadvantages.

On the one hand, you will enjoy the benefits of lower maintenance costs, positive environmental impact, and negligible running costs. While you have to bear the disadvantages like range anxiety, slow charging problems, and battery replacement costs.

We hope that this article has been helpful in shaping your opinion about gas vs electric car. What are your thoughts on this matter? Do let us know in the comment section down below.

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