Electric car vs gas, When electric cars become affordable, how long will it take before you drive one? It’s becoming more and more apparent that the fossil fuel age is coming to an end, and that electric mobility is the way forward.
- What is an electric vehicle?
- What are the key benefits of electric cars over fossil fuel-powered vehicles?
- How can electric cars enable energy transition?
First, let’s begin with a definition of the electric vehicle. It is any vehicle propelled by an electric drivetrain taking power from a rechargeable battery or from a portable electrical energy source like a fuel cell or solar panels, which is manufactured for use on public roads. The main point to be noted here is the electric drivetrain. That is what differentiates an electric vehicle from a conventional fossil fuel drive train vehicle, where the drivetrain is mechanical. What is interesting to note is that the first cars were indeed electric at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
In the intervening time, fossil fuel-powered automobiles with the internal combustion engine grew to become accessible within the early 20th century. Intense competitors that started between the two sorts of automobiles. As you might have accurately guessed, the fossil fuel-powered automobiles received these competitors as a consequence of two principal causes. Because of the inferior battery expertise, an electrical automobile had a low vary in these days and will by no means journey the lengthy distances reached by a gasoline-powered automobile. Additionally, charging them took for much longer than gasoline and gasoline.
The second reason was that the mass production of cars like Ford Model Trade gasoline cars affordable. With abundantly available and cheap fuels, fossil fuel-powered cars became the clear winner over the electric car vs gas. As a result, the internal combustion engine cars have gradually dominated the market since then until this day. However, decades of research and development in batteries, motor, and power electronic technologies have helped bring back electric vehicles to the forefront.
We now have affordable electric vehicles with a 200 + mile range that can be charged in less than an hour.2.2 million electric cars were already on the roads globally in 2019, and this number is only expected to rise shortly exponentially. Electric vehicles soon referred to as EVs, have numerous advantages over conventional fossil fuel vehicles.
Let’s have a look at the four main advantages-
- 2- Efficiency
- 3- Convenience
- 4- Economy
Sustainability of electric vehicle vs gas vehicle
The first one sustainability, As most of you, must be aware, the main driver for moving to electric vehicles is because they have no tailpipe emission, which reduces the pollution due to the carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and improves the livability and air quality in our cities.
Moreover, when electric vehicles are charged with electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind turbines or solar photovoltaic panels, the emissions due to the electricity generation are zero as well. Electric vehicles play a leading role in the transition to renewable energy. This is because the main bottleneck for the expansion of renewable energy is the variability in the generation and the need for energy storage.
Many drivers don’t switch to electric cars because they can’t charge them at home or work, or they don’t have enough time to charge their vehicles at public charging stations. That’s why there is a reason to consider solar cells as a considerable advantage for the already existing electric cars. What are the specifics of using solar energy to power cars? They seem to be one of the best last-mile solutions. They are providing extra energy for reaching home or the nearest charging station. Another great advantage is that the Sun is an inexhaustible source of energy.
But on the other hand, there are many limitations .the efficiency of solar panels directly depends on a variety of conditions such as proper placement dirt and dust and the illumination. As the lack of sunlight significantly reduces the efficiency of the exploitation of the cars.
One of the Dutch startups has tried to solve this problem with its prototype stellar era. This autonomous car is trained to estimate the illumination level on the parking place and, depending on the battery level, independently change its location. The question is how this algorithm will work on a busy parking lot. Despite all these limitations, many companies consider the usage of solar technologies as a promising solution for the nearest future.
Since electric vehicles are mostly a big battery on wheels, electric vehicles can be used to store the surplus renewable energy by charging their electric vehicles with solar energy in the day and wind in the night. In the future, there is another function that the electric vehicle can achieve called vehicle-to-grid or V2G. When the grid is overloaded in the peak time, the electric vehicle can feed that power back to support the grid.
Efficiency of electric car vs gas car
The second advantage is efficiency. Well to wheel efficiency is the specific lifecycle assessment used for transport, fuels, and vehicles considering all energy losses right from the source of the fuel to the wheels of the vehicle. The well to wheel analysis is used to assess total energy consumption, energy conversion efficiency, and emissions, including their carbon footprint. In this flowchart, we can see the well to wheel efficiency for both the electric vehicle and combustion engine that is calculated from the energy efficiency of each conversion stage.
First of all, when comparing the efficiency of the vehicle from the fuel tank to the wheel, the effectiveness of the electric vehicle drivetrain is around 85%, which is much higher than the 35% efficiency of the combustion engine vehicle.
Secondly, the electric vehicle has a well to wheel efficiency of 35%, which is around 50% higher than the combustion engine vehicle relative efficiency of close to 22%. That goes to show the far superior performance of the electric drivetrain. Further, this is a diagram that shows the relative greenhouse gas emissions versus the total vertical efficiency and energy usage.
Ideally, one would like to have a vehicle that is close to the origin, low on emissions, and low on energy usage. From this peak, we can see that the gasoline and diesel engine footprint is located in the right upper corner, which indicates high well to wheel emissions as well as high energy usage. On the contrary, electric vehicles charged by wind and solar are located on the left hand lower corner. And that means lower well to wheel emissions and energy demand.
Hence, we can conclude that electric vehicles have lower relative elevations than combustion engine vehicles irrespective of the type of energy production, even if it is 100% coal-powered. Further, it is easier to manage emissions from the power plant, such as coal or diesel, as emissions are from a single source. Hence, electric vehicles are more health- and environmental-friendly than combustion engine vehicles. Moving on,
Convenience of electric car vs gas
the third profit of electrical automobiles is comfort. Electrical automobiles haven’t any gears and are a lot simpler to drive than standard automobiles. The dearth of a combustion engine and mechanical drivetrain makes electrical automobiles a lot quieter than their combustion engine counterparts, particularly at low velocity.
You possibly can cost your electrical car every time you want at residence, identical to charging a cell phone. That gives the comfort of not having to go to the gasoline station. Electrical automobiles have a far decrease variety of elements and a smooth drivetrain as compared with the combustion engine automobiles. Therefore, electrical automobiles hardly require any upkeep. Solely mechanical components similar to bearings and brakes have to be maintained.
Further, with the smart design, modern electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S have larger internal space with two boots–one in the front and one in the back. Moreover, electric vehicles would have complete self-driving capability in the future, opening a plethora of opportunities.
Economy of EV vs gas vehicle
The final category is the economy. Even though the buying price of electric car vs gas, electric cars, is higher than a conventional gasoline car today, the total cost of ownership over the car’s lifetime is lower for the electric vehicle.Electric cars have a lower total cost of ownership, in short, because of the lower maintenance costs, lower taxes, cheaper fuel, electricity, and due to a subsidy from the government. Even though electric vehicles have many advantages, it is also now faced with severe technical and economic challenges.
We will highlight three of the major ones. The first two are related to the range anxiety of electric vehicles.
- First, electric vehicles require long charging times of a few hours, which is still much longer than the two minutes needed to fill up a fuel tank.
- Secondly, there is limited charging infrastructure available today in public places and along highways.
- And finally, the capital cost of batteries is still high, which hinders the battery size, driving range, and value of electric cars currently in the market. Hence, electric vehicles still have an enormous potential to be improved upon, both in technical and economic terms.
In the conclusion of electric car vs gas, electric vehicles have made a comeback today, owing to great leaps and bounds in the battery, motor, and power electronic technology. The key benefits of electric cars are the zero tailpipe emissions, the possibility to sustainably power them from the solar and wind energy, their superior well to wheel efficiency, low well to wheel emissions, convenience in driving, and lower total cost of ownership.