Electric Cars Versus Gasoline Cars: Comparative Analysis

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Team pro electric vehicles

Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster. A quote from Elon Reeve Musk, the entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate, also known as the CEO of Tesla Motors.

Speaking of disasters, let's talk about finances: What are the financial reasons to drive an electric vehicle?

From a financial standpoint, electric vehicles can only be viewed as beneficial. You not only save money, but you also get a considerably better quality of service. A compelling case that speaks for electric cars is the cost of electricity compared to fuel prices. Despite the fact that fuel prices and power costs per kWh vary widely among European nations, one thing is clear. Electricity is less expensive than gasoline and fuel. In this regard, an electric automobile is less expensive than a car with a combustion engine. An electric automobile costs 0.6 CHF per kilometer on average. Of course, pricing discrepancies have an impact on the cost. A Renault ZOE, for example, costs roughly 0.55 CHF per kilometer, but a Tesla Model 3 costs 0.7 CHF per kilometer.

In addition to that, you can even charge many electric cars for free because lots of parking garages have parking spots with chargers that accommodate practically every electric car except Tesla. If you have a Tesla, you have the option to charge it at a supercharger or a conventional Tesla charger. Nonetheless, there is no charge for this service either, which makes electric cars even more appealing.

Another benefit of electric cars is how silent and comfortable they are. Road traffic is the single biggest contributor to noise pollution according to an analysis done by the European Environment Agency. Especially if you live in a city with a lot of traffic many people would appreciate it, if the traffic sounds would reduce to a minimum. Unlike combustion engines, electric motors produce little noise. In addition, electric motors do not produce vibrations and resonance, as is common with combustion engines.

Our last pro is the flexibility you get with driving an electric car. There are nearly no restrictions that you experience while driving an electric car, compared to gasoline cars. That used to be the case a few years ago but nowadays as electric cars get more and more popular you don't really have to worry about long charging durations and difficulties to find a charging spot.

Today, transport is the largest greenhouse gas-emitting sector in many countries, accounting for almost one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

By choosing to drive an electric vehicle, you're helping to lessen exhaust emissions that contribute to climate change and smog. This reduced air pollution improves public health and reduces ecological damage. Research has shown that pollution causes many diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic heart disease, or even a stroke. As a result, many people need more medical attention which cost the economy millions every year.

They are estimated to create emissions that are 66 percent lower than a gas car and 60 percent lower than a diesel car when recharged using electricity from the national grid. If you find ways to produce energy renewably, for example with solar panels, the emissions for driving are close to zero. As electricity generation becomes cleaner, emissions will continue to go down over time. Also: oil is a natural resource, which is becoming rare and one day be gone completely. So, one-day electric cars will be the only option since you can produce them renewably. Additionally, an electric motor achieves an efficiency of approximately 90% whilst the most efficient combustion engines only have an efficiency of about 40%. And they can recover kinetic energy because the electric motor can easily be converted into a generator.

The greatest argument, that speaks in favour of electric cars, is that they are quite a lot better for the environment than gas-powered cars. That is for different reasons:

Carbon emissions are one of the biggest causes of climate change. The fossil fuels burnt by gas-powered cars contribute together with the greenhouse effect to the increasing temperature on Earth. Today, transport is the largest greenhouse gas-emitting sector in many countries, accounting for almost one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. Already 47% of all species have lost some of their population due to climate change. And many animals are expected to be extinct in the future if the temperature continues to increase as it does now. We have to make a change to save the future of our children and all the following generations. Electric cars are estimated to create emissions that are 66 percent lower than gas cars and 60 percent lower than diesel cars when recharged using electricity from the national grid. If you find ways to produce the energy renewably, for example with solar panels, wind, or water energy, the emissions for driving are close to zero. In Switzerland, 66% of the electricity is already produced by water, which is renewable, creates no emissions, and therefore lowers the emissions of electric cars again by a lot. Additionally, as electricity becomes cleaner everywhere with time, emissions will also continue to go down constantly. It is correct that the construction of an electric car produces more emissions than the construction of a gas car because the battery needs chemicals that are quite rare to find and have to be shipped over half of the earth to be put together. But already after a few years of using the electric car, the emissions will be already significantly less than with a gas-powered car.

Another reason why electric cars are better for the environment is because of the smaller number of emissions, they also contribute less to smog and therefore keep the environment healthier. The reduced air pollution improves public health and reduces ecological damage. Research has shown that pollution does increase the numbers of many, mainly respiratory, diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic heart disease, and even a stroke or premature death. As a result, many people need more medical attention which cost the economy millions every year.

Another reason why electric cars are better for the environment is that oil is a natural resource, which is becoming rare and one day be gone completely. Consequently, one-day electric cars will be the only option since you can produce their power renewably. Additionally, an electric motor achieves an efficiency of approximately 90% whilst the most efficient combustion engines only have an efficiency of about 40%, the rest is lost as heat and friction. Electric cars are able to recover kinetic energy when slowing down because the electric motor can easily be converted into a generator. That means that when the car drives down a hill it is actually producing its own energy. These two factors, the efficiency, and the recovery of kinetic energy lead to the car needing less energy from the station and therefore producing even fewer emissions again.

Team contra Electric vehicles

While we acknowledge the various advantages an electric car has compared to the conventional gasoline car, there are some major disadvantages that heavily speak against owning one of them. We will present the most important arguments for why it is not worth investing in an electric car and support our arguments with convincing facts.

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Electric cars are in many ways not as easy to handle as gasoline cars. Since they have a limited range, one cannot travel as free as is the case for conventional cars. The range offered heavily depends on the car itself: expensive cars can reach up to 500 kilometers while more affordable models have a driving range of around 150 kilometers. This suggests that you should rather not plan longer trips or even holidays with your EV can be complicated and require detailed planning in advance.

One can argue that there are plenty of charging stations to refuel the car, but this is only partly true. Since the plug of the car depends on the brand, the availability of stations of your particular charging brand may be limited. In addition to that, the charging infrastructure may be adequate in some modern cities, but this may not be the

case everywhere. Especially in less populated areas and poorer countries, the infrastructure can be really limited. If you do manage to find a suitable place to charge your car, you had better bring a book with you! The refueling process takes some time and is very lengthy compared to the conventional. If you are not in possession of a supercharger, which can cost up to US$2’000, you may have to wait three hours in order to be able to continue the journey.

Owning an electric car comes with a steep price. Compared to fuel-based vehicles, the retail is pretty high. This means that it certainly is not an affordable option for everyone. But why are the costs so high? Around 50% of the price is due to the battery. Battery components consist of rare earth minerals such as manganese, nickel, cobalt, and lithium which need to be mined and processed into high-purity chemical compounds. The electric car also uses the same rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are found in mobile phones and laptops but just in bigger quantities.

Furthermore, the car itself is not the only thing that is pricey. While one saves on money for gasoline, there is another source of spending: electricity. Depending on where you live, electricity costs might be lower than the ones for gasoline but are still an important factor to take into account if considering the switch to an electric car. Take, for example, the situation the world is facing with the Russian-Ukrainian war. A high percentage of Europe's electricity supply comes from Russia. With the world placing pressure on the Russian Government with various embargoes and cutting off supplies, Russia may limit or even halt its energy supply to the rest of Europe making electricity prices higher.

Have you considered, moreover, where the power which runs the electric car actually comes from? It is important to know the source since this highly influences how eco-friendly driving actually is. Unless you live in Norway, where nearly all energy is sourced from renewables, you need to take into account that the energy source you use is not sustainable or environmentally friendly at all. Taking that into consideration, owning an electric car might not be as green as one might expect.

Besides that, it is common that the insurance premium increases when buying an electric car by an average of 23 percent. This occurs because the insurance provider wants to be covered in case of an accident due to the fact that electric cars are generally on the more expensive side.

While less significant but still interesting to take into account is the fact that your choices when buying an electric car will be limited. Today we have around 40 electric vehicle options on the market with more variety being added by innovations in such models as minivans, sports vehicles, and SUVs. But in comparison to the wide range of options offered for gasoline cars, EVs have a long way to catch up.

Now that the most important reasons which argue against electric cars have been presented, let's dive deeper into some of the more important arguments.

The probably most significant reason why people decide to purchase an electric car is to reduce the environmental impact they have on the planet. In fact, it is not true that driving on energy is more eco-friendly than doing so with gasoline: a recent study by Christoph Buchal of the University of Cologne has shown that EVs produce even more emissions than diesel cars. How come? This is mostly due to the battery: twice as much energy is required in order to manufacture an electric car compared to a conventional one.

The battery of most electric vehicles consists of rare earth materials. Their mining requires a lot of energy and has already resulted in conflicts and human rights abuse.

There are some more problems with lithium, an indispensable component of every battery. While it is contained in smartphones and other electronic devices, usually in very small quantities, the average Tesla holds 12 kilograms of it. This high consumption only worsens the issues of the extraction of lithium: the process of drilling and mining requires lots of water and energy. In addition to that, chemicals involved in this process such as hydrochloric acid leak into farmland and water supply. Hence, if visiting such a mining area, don't be surprised to come across dead fish and a destroyed ecosystem.

There might be some electric cars that produce less carbon dioxide, but be cautious here! Since the production of the battery is so energy-consuming, it takes about 15 years of driving to compensate to bring it to a neutral level. Therefore, it is of great importance to always keep in mind that whether or not a car can be considered green depends on more than one factor.

There is more than just the ecological side of the battery that can be criticized. Most suppliers offer a warranty of eight years, but many batteries need to be replaced after an average of 12 years. This means that the customer needs to pay for the new piece themself, which is very costly. A new battery costs somewhere between $6 000 - $20 000. If the warranty is not valid anymore, this means that the used, older car is not worth much anyway. Thus, oftentimes it financially does not make sense to invest in a car whose value is under that of the battery.

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Electric Cars Versus Gasoline Cars: Comparative Analysis. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/electric-cars-versus-gasoline-cars-comparative-analysis/
“Electric Cars Versus Gasoline Cars: Comparative Analysis.” Edubirdie, 21 Apr. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/electric-cars-versus-gasoline-cars-comparative-analysis/
Electric Cars Versus Gasoline Cars: Comparative Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/electric-cars-versus-gasoline-cars-comparative-analysis/> [Accessed 18 Apr. 2024].
Electric Cars Versus Gasoline Cars: Comparative Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Apr 21 [cited 2024 Apr 18]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/electric-cars-versus-gasoline-cars-comparative-analysis/
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