Many western countries have started putting deadlines as to when they will stop selling gas-powered cars. Our dependence on fossil fuels to power our vehicles will be coming to an end, and the trend set to take over from the traditional combustion engine will see us getting into electric vehicles of all sorts, from personal transportation to delivery vehicles and public transport. We have had a look at how the numbers stack up to see if electric cars are viable for those in the public looking to get ahead of the trend and what the differences are in costs for those looking to buy soon.
Electric, Hybrid and Gas-Powered Cars
A traditional gas-powered car uses fossil fuels to power an internal combustion engine which then creates a drive to power the vehicle — this has been the standard for production cars since the first model made its debut in 1886.
A hybrid vehicle is a gas-powered car that can generate battery power which can then be used either when the car is low on gas or when in built-up areas to lower pollution. The technology for hybrid vehicles is not new, but the first big hit came in the form of the Toyota Prius which first hit the streets of Japan in 1997. Hybrid cars can also regenerate additional power when braking, which helped to give the car a greater range and overall better-combined fuel economy.
An electric car is powered only by battery power which is charged using charging stations or at home through your mains power grid. Electric cars have been around for ages, but it is only recently that the battery technology has allowed for electric vehicles to have the range and affordability to make the cars feasible to the general public.
Fuel Costs of Gas vs Electric Cars
There are more than just fuel costs to consider when deciding to buy an electric or gas-powered car as they both have costs attached, albeit in different ways. Petroleum prices vary depending on where you live and how expensive it is per barrel on the open market, electricity charges can vary also depending on what state (or country) you live in, but these are more consistent when compared to crude oil prices.
The decision for people to drive electricity is not just about cost savings; it is the environmental impact that resonates with many buyers. In a recently conducted survey, it was revealed that 54.1% of Australians would drive electric cars because of the negative implications gas-powered cars have. Along with the environmental benefits, an electric car will achieve approximately 100km on less than five dollars of electric power, whereas a gas-powered car will set you back over fifteen dollars for the same distance traveled. This means that an electric car will cost 66% less than a traditional combustion engine. For those who do a lot of driving each year that is a considerable saving, and crucially, better for the environment.
Maintenance Over the Cars Lifespan
One of the major stumbling blocks that manufacturers have is convincing the public that electric cars are affordable to maintain. The actual numbers seem to indicate that they can be a lot cheaper in comparison. The saving grace is that there is practically no engine maintenance, with no fluid changes or annual servicing. An electric car has very few moving parts and so needs little maintenance to keep it on the road. Both types of cars will require the same maintenance on items such as brakes and tires, but the yearly saving for electric vehicles, in general, is huge.
As we are all used to the upkeep prices of gas-powered cars, it is often thought we should stick with what we know. Battery packs are seen by many as a considerable cost if there is a problem. Although the cost of getting a new battery pack is expensive and batteries do deteriorate over time. If you buy a new electric car you will get a substantial warranty that covers any problems and these warranties can be as long as eight years. The fuel cost savings along with lower yearly maintenance makes electric vehicles a sound alternative.
The Future of Electric Vehicles
Now we know that the fuel cost and maintenance are favorable for electric cars, the only real stumbling block is the infrastructure. As people turn to electric, we will see many more charging stations offering quick charge filling to electric vehicle owners all over. In America, who are the current world leaders in electric car infrastructure, EVgo has over 1200 stations covering most metropolitan areas.
As the networks grow, we will see many more drivers opt for electric vehicles to save money and the environment. Regardless of our love of gas-powered cars, the future is electric, and it will only be a matter of time before you too will be part of the next stage of the automotive evolution.