A recent poll by the University of Chicago reveals that 41% of Americans will likely buy an EV as their next car. This percentage will undoubtedly grow as the government advocates for full adoption of these vehicles. But this begs the question; are electric cars better than gas cars?

The answer is a big yes. Electric cars have a myriad of advantages over gas-powered vehicles. Most of them are associated with environmental impact, but there’s more.

Let’s see how electric cars outdo their gas counterparts.

 

Environmental Impact

 

Let’s kick off with a breath of fresh air – quite literally! 

Electric cars offer a significant environmental edge over their gasoline-powered counterparts. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an electric car produces about one-tenth of the emissions of a gasoline-powered car over its lifetime

This reduction stems from two key factors. 

Electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions. So, they don’t spew harmful pollutants into the air as you drive. On the other hand, gasoline cars emit a cocktail of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds.

None of that is good for any living thing!

The environmental benefits of EVs are even greater when the electricity used to power them comes from renewable sources. Good examples here are solar and wind power. 

In these cases, EVs can produce negative emissions, meaning that they actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

But if the electricity comes from fossil fuels, electric cars will be bad for the environment.

 

Energy Efficiency

 

Simply put, energy efficiency is the ability to convert energy into motion effectively. In this department, electric cars take the lead. Studies indicate that electric motors are much more efficient than internal combustion engines (ICEs) in gas cars.

To put it simply, electric cars waste less energy during operation. While a gas car only converts about 20% of the energy stored in gasoline into forward motion, EVs boast an impressive conversion rate of around 77%. 

This means more energy from the battery pack powers your electric ride. The result? A longer range per charge and reduced energy losses.

Additionally, when you consider the stop-and-go traffic typical of many US cities, electric cars shine. Unlike gas cars, EVs don’t idle and waste fuel during traffic jams or at red lights. 

Every time you hit the brakes in an electric car, regenerative braking systems kick in. It converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and recharges the battery. This actually increases the range.

Talking of range…

Electric car range is far better than that of a gas-powered vehicle

While it’s true that EVs with long ranges are often luxury cars, even cheaper options have impressive ranges.

Take the Chevy Bolt, for example. They are cheaper but can still go over 200 miles on a single charge. That’s enough to get you to work and back. 

If we consider a more expensive brand like Tesla, that’s where the real magic is. In 2017, some EV owners drove over 600 miles without recharging. 

Tesla Owners Tweet on 600 miles range

You get the point, right? And if you run out of charge, you can quickly recharge the car. 

That takes us to the next thing.

 

Cost Considerations – Electric cars are cheaper to run

Electric car charging cost

EVs have a higher upfront cost than their gas counterparts. But to get the full picture, we need to understand the complete cost of ownership.

Note: The prices of EVs have been gradually coming down. Also, federal tax credits and state incentives are often available to help offset the purchase price. The tax credit goes up to $7,500.

An electric car’s cost efficiency is noticed over the long run. They offer significant savings in terms of fuel and maintenance costs. 

The cost of recharging an EV is much lower than the cost of gasoline. 

Accordion to EIA, the average cost of electricity in the United States is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). And based on AAA’s numbers at the time of this writing, that of gasoline was about $3.5 per gallon. 

So, it costs about $7.20 to charge an EV with a range of 200 miles. But to fill a gas tank with the same range, it costs about $60.

And if you get solar power, it’s even cheaper. That’s what we call real saving!

Moreover, electric cars have fewer moving parts than gas cars. This minimizes wear and tear. So, maintenance and repair costs are reduced over time.

For routine maintenance tasks over a five-year period, here’s what the cost looks like for a gas-powered car.

Maintenance TaskCost
Fuel filter$100.00
Oil changes every 5,000 miles$675.00
Radiator hoses & system flush$350.00
Brake pads$330.00
Engine air filter replacement$50.00
Total Maintenance Savings$1,475.00

With an EV, no more engine oil changes or expensive transmission repairs. 

But don’t get it wrong. The brake pads and tires will still wear out and need replacing. Also, the transmission fluid and brake fluid will need changing.

 

Performance and Driving Experience

 

One thing I love about electric vehicles is their instant torque delivery. 

Unlike gas cars that need to rev up their engines, electric motors generate maximum torque from the get-go. This results in quick and responsive acceleration, which is pretty useful in stop-and-go traffic or when merging onto highways.

Besides the zippy acceleration, EVs provide a smooth and quiet ride. There’s no rumble of an engine, even at high speeds. Such tranquility will be the main reason I buy an electric car.

 

Availability and Model Options

 

The US electric car market is booming with a growing variety of models. Sedans, SUVs, electric pickup trucks, you name them. They are all available.

Iconic automakers like Tesla, Chevrolet, Nissan, and Ford also entered the electric vehicle market. With these already on the bandwagon, we can expect release after release. 

I know what you are thinking. Prices!

There is a wide range of price points available. Last I checked, a new Chevrolet Bolt, one of the most affordable EVs in the US, cost around $26,595.

 Luxury models are also available. A long-range Tesla Model 3 had a starting price of around $40,000 in 2023. Such a car often has a great resale value.

About availability, it varies across different US states. California currently has the highest number of EVs on the road. Others, like Florida, are closely following. 

But with the government’s plan to reduce emissions, the number of electric cars in the US will rapidly grow. So, more choices are likely to become accessible to consumers nationwide.

 

Over to you

 

Are electric cars better than gas cars? I say yes. But you may have a different opinion depending on your individual preferences, circumstances, and priorities.

EVs offer environmental benefits, energy efficiency, potential cost savings, and thrilling performance. However, there are still infrastructure challenges that need to be overcome for widespread adoption.

The future is electric, and the power to choose is in your hands. The government already has plans for the full adoption of EVs. Don’t be surprised when there are no more new gas-powered cars in the US by 2035.

What are your thoughts?