To those of us that can claim to be electric vehicle enthusiasts, EVs are already the wave of the future. However, to those who have not taken the time to consider the difference between an all-electric vehicle and a traditional gas-powered vehicle, the rationale behind choosing the electric over gas may not be so apparent. Of course electric cars often have that sleek, minimalist look that makes us think of the future, but are they really more than just big RC cars? In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of electric cars, and compare that to the pros and cons of gas-power cars. Hopefully, after seeing the comparison and contrasts, readers will be able to determine if an electric is right for them.
Traditional Gas-Powered Cars
Although there were many primitive designs that led to the invention of what we consider to be the modern day car, the global use of gas-powered cars really took off in the 20th century. From the first working steam-powered car designed by Ferdinand Verbiest in 1672, to the modern day wonders like the McLaren P1 which can top 200 MPH with ease, cars have come a long way. Today, many cars are technological wonders that practically drive themselves. There are a lot of great things about gas-powered cars that we have all come to enjoy, but there are a lot of problems with them that can be addressed by electric cars. Here are the general pros and cons of a traditional gas-powered car.
- Convenience: This will probably be a pro for both gas and electric, but in the case of gas, we must consider the fact that there is a gas station on nearly every corner in most major cities. Finding fuel for a gas car is rarely more difficult than driving in a straight line until you see the next fuel point. In the other hand, electric vehicles are charged at home, overnight. Thus, every morning you wake up with a full “fuel tank”.
- Horsepower: Although it is not always true today, for a long time gas-powered cars had the monopoly on high horsepower vehicles. While electric cars are most certainly catching up in this department, this is an area where gas-powered cars stood out for a long time.
- Selection: Put simply, gas-powered cars have been around a lot longer, so there are a lot more to choose from. If you are looking to purchase a gas-powered car, truck, van, SUV, or crossover, you are going to have your research cut out for you when it comes to choosing from the thousands upon thousands of different options.
- Price: Although the price gap between electric and gas vehicles is closing fast, it is often easier to find a bargain gas-powered car, and you will also find deals and sales on gas-powered cars.
- Pollution: Let’s face it, gas powered cars have done quite a bit of damage to the environment over the years. Perhaps it was a necessary evil for the most part, but with the rise of electric vehicles, the amount of carbon emissions being created by the use of fossil fuels in millions of cars all over the world is still bad, but it is no longer as necessary as it used to be.
In the mid 19th century, when the first electric vehicles were hitting the road, the costs were high, the speeds were low, and the cars were unreliable to laughable degree. However, those days are long behind us. Today, electric vehicles can travel nearly as far, or possibly further on a single charge than a traditional gas-powered car can drive on a tank of gas. Electric cars are looking better than ever before, running further on a single charge, and costing less than most people might imagine. Electric cars are catching up or surpassing traditional cars in almost every way, so let’s explore some of the pros and cons of EVs.
- Speed: While electric cars have not caught up completely yet, the gap between the speed of an EV and that of a traditional car is negligible. The fastest all-electric car in the world, the Genovation GXE, has set a record only about two miles an hour lower than the fastest traditional car. Electric cars are getting faster with each new model.
- Pollution: While gas-powered machines are polluting our air and creating problems in the future, electric vehicles are cruising along and leaving virtually no carbon footprint behind. It is so important that we consider what kind of world we will be leaving to our children, and EVs are one way that we can help to reduce the damage we do to the environment today.
- Cost: The actual price of the vehicle is often slightly higher for an electric car than it is for a traditional gas-powered car, but the cost to run an EV is significantly less. In some cases, it can be as much as four times cheaper to keep an electric car charged than it is to keep gas in a comparable traditional car.
- Power: While there are certain aspects of electric vehicle power that easily compare to or even exceed a traditional car, like torque, gas-powered cars often have a higher carry weight and tow-capacity. Larger SUV’s and electric trucks are coming, but they’re still a couple years away.
- History: Many electric car enthusiasts might want to insist that electric cars are reaching their peak performance and style right now, but the fact is that EVs have not been in mass production nearly as long as traditional cars. It will take some time to continue working out the kinks, although the progress we have made in the last decade or so is very impressive.
- Size: Typically, an EV is not going to come with as much seating as a comparable gas-powered vehicle. Like many of these cons, the gap between EVs and traditional cars is quickly closing. Soon, Volkswagan will be releasing the ID4, which is comparable in size to an Atlas, which seats six. That is just one example of how EVs are quickly catching up.
Electric cars are almost certainly the wave of the future, and if the world is lucky, they will eventually replace gas-powered vehicles entirely. That is something to look forward to, but for the time being, we have to compare and contrast to decide which is best for our personal needs.