Are you deciding between electric cars vs. petrol cars the next time you buy a vehicle? Electric cars have benefits that can save you money. However, they also have drawbacks that you should consider when choosing the best vehicle for your needs.
If you’re buying a new vehicle, you may whittle down your choices to an electric car vs. a gas car.
These two types of vehicles have significant differences that can affect the amount of money you spend each month on things like fuel and maintenance. Electric cars – EVs- usually cost more quickly than petrol cars, but have lower maintenance costs over their lifetime. And electric cars are generally more fuel-efficient than pure gasoline vehicles.
In this article, we will look at the main differences between electric and petrol cars. We’ll also examine how purchase prices and average operating costs differ between these two vehicle types, and weigh the pros and cons of buying an electric vehicle.
The differences between electric and gasoline cars
This is the biggest difference between electric cars and gasoline-fueled vehicles: Electric cars run entirely or partially on electricity from the grid, whereas gasoline-powered cars rely on gasoline as a fuel source.
In gasoline-fueled vehicles, the gas tank stores the energy used to propel the vehicle and the internal combustion engine provides the power needed to propel the vehicle. A fully electric vehicle has a different setup. Most electric cars use batteries to store the energy used to drive them, and electric motors provide the energy needed to drive the car.
However, these differences are only the beginning. According to CALSTART, about 70% of EV components can differ from comparable gasoline vehicles. Electric cars have some unique parts that perform the same functions as the common components found in gasoline-only cars.
Types of electric vehicles
Electric cars come in a variety of flavors offered by luxury car makers like BMW and cheaper brands like Volkswagen. Even pickups with electric drive are possible. There are several types of electric vehicles that you should consider when shopping for a new ride.
1.All-electric cars, also known as battery-electric vehicles or BEVs
This vehicle operates exclusively on electricity stored in batteries and produces no exhaust emissions. This electric vehicle is charged by plugging it into a power source.
2.Hybrid electric vehicles, also known as hybrids or HEVs
The vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. You cannot charge the hybrid by turning it on. The battery is charged by a regenerative braking system and an internal combustion engine. Batteries provide additional power which can provide better hybrid fuel efficiency than their pure gasoline equivalents. Because this car has a gas-fueled engine, it produces emissions from the exhaust system.
3.Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, also known as plug-in hybrids or PHEVs
PHEVs are similar to HEVs in that they both have an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. Unlike hybrid electric vehicles, however, the supplied hybrid EV can be charged via a socket or charger. Second, unlike hybrids, PHEVs typically only use electricity until the battery is nearly empty. Once this happens, it automatically uses the gas engine as an energy source.
4.Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, also known as fuel cell electric vehicles or FCEVs
Like other electric cars, the FCEV uses electricity to drive an electric motor. But instead of drawing power from the EV battery, the FCEV uses a fuel cell that uses hydrogen to generate electricity. Compared to other types of electric vehicles, HCEVs are relatively rare.
How much more expensive are electric cars than gasoline cars?
In terms of the purchase price, electric cars tend to be more expensive than comparable conventional vehicles. Toyota Camry petrol engines starting in 2021 only, for example, start at US$24,970; The 2021 Camry Hybrid starts at $27,270. At Hyundai, the conventional Kona SUV will start at $20,500 in 2021, while the Kona Electric will start at $37,390 in 2021.
The cost of the charging station at home should also be taken into account. Buying this station is not always important; You may be able to charge your electric vehicle at work or a public charging station. However, charging at home can be the most convenient option. Home electric charging stations start at around $200.
Some electric vehicles may qualify for federal tax credits and/or state and utility incentives that offset their purchase price. The tax credit is usually between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the vehicle’s battery capacity.
However, for some models, this credit does not apply as soon as the manufacturer reaches a certain sales threshold. Therefore, not all-electric vehicles are classified. For example, any Tesla model purchased after December 31, 2019, will not receive a federal tax credit. Chevrolet Bolt EVs purchased after March 31, 2020, are also not eligible for the credit.
While electric vehicles can be more expensive upfront than comparable conventional vehicles, they typically have lower fuel costs than their gas-only counterparts. To clearly understand this cost difference, let’s take a look at the petrol-powered 2020 Hyundai Kona and the 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric BEV.
Using a calculator created by the US Department of Energy’s Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – and assuming a gas price of $2.88 per gallon and electricity prices for the state of California – a conventional Kona has a fuel cost per mile of 0.29 USD. With the Kona Electric BEV, the price per mile drops to $0.23. Note that costs will vary depending on current gas and electricity prices in your country or state.
Advantages of electric cars
We mentioned earlier that electric cars are more fuel-efficient than conventional cars. Here are some of the more benefits of owning an EV.
- Reduced emissions — Electric cars produce less CO2 than conventional vehicles, which is a huge plus if you care about clean air. Fully electric vehicles produce zero emissions – like an electric supplement if they are powered solely by electricity. Hybrid EVs also have emission benefits that vary by model.
- Better energy efficiency — Electric cars are more energy-efficient than pure gasoline-fueled vehicles. A fully electric vehicle battery converts over 77% of the vehicle’s kinetic energy; for pure gasoline vehicles, conversions vary between 12% and 30%, according to Fueleconomy.gov. This means that compared to traditional cars, you’re getting more bang for your buck when charging an EV.
- Lower maintenance costs — Electric cars and gasoline-powered vehicles differ in the number of moving parts. In essence, an EV has one moving part under the hood: the motor shaft. A gas-powered vehicle usually has hundreds of moving parts. Because of these differences, electric cars typically require significantly less maintenance and repairs than pure gasoline vehicles. This makes them cheaper to maintain, with lower ownership costs.
Drawbacks of electric cars
As mentioned earlier, electric cars tend to sell for more than comparable gasoline cars. Here are some of the other disadvantages of owning an electric vehicle.
- Shorter driving range — The range is the distance the vehicle can travel between refueling and charges. According to the environmental protection agency, electric vehicles have a shorter range than comparable gasoline vehicles.
- Relatively long charging time — Refueling a car only takes a few minutes, but refueling an electric vehicle takes much longer. Fast DC chargers can increase charging time by up to 10 miles per minute; This means that if you charge your EV with a low battery and 200 miles of range, the process will take 20 minutes. Level 1 and Level 2 chargers are much slower. Level 2 charging increases charge time by around 22 to 35 mph, while level 1 charging only adds 3.5 to 6.5 miles per hour.
- Less infrastructure — There are fewer public filling stations in the US than gas stations. That means it’s harder to find a filling station than it is to find a place to refuel. This can be a nuisance if you are on a long trip or don’t have a charging station at home.
Whether you are a new car owner or are looking for a replacement for your current car, the next time you buy a vehicle, consider the pros and cons of petrol and electric cars. Think about the type of vehicle that better fits your lifestyle. Also, do some calculations to get a clear understanding of the costs associated with owning an electric car versus a petrol car to make sure it fits within your budget.