If you are in the market for a new vehicle, chances are you may be entertaining the thought of an electric car or a hybrid. But, are they really that much better than a traditional gas vehicle?
Not all vehicles are environment-friendly and fuel-efficient at the same time. That is why many individuals shopping for a new car face are having to decide between gas-powered, electric, or hybrid automobiles. And while gas vehicles are the most traditional option, electric and hybrid cars are receiving high accolades lately. Here you will learn the difference between each — and the benefits of going electric or hybrid.
Choosing Your Next Car
Gas-operated vehicles are no longer a no-brainer choice. You now have electric and hybrid options to choose from as well. Here is the difference between the three to hopefully help you make the decision of which one is best for your lifestyle.
Both diesel and gasoline are used for powering internal combustion engines. They ignite to create an explosion inside the engine cylinder, essentially turning the wheels of your vehicle.
An electric vehicle (EV) does not use an engine at all. Instead, it is powered exclusively by an electric motor, sometimes more than one. A significant drawback for EVs used to be a limited range; however, ranges have increased recently.
A hybrid vehicle uses at least one battery-powered electric motor and an internal combustion engine to help move your vehicle's wheels. How they replenish and save battery energy does vary between cars. Still, you will find some standard technologies in many hybrids.
Benefits For Going Hybrid or Electric
Electric and hybrid vehicles provide energy-efficient transportation as well as:
- Cut noise
- Lower emissions
- Reduce operating costs
While the initial price tag is higher for electric and hybrid vehicles, it is cheaper to run electric vehicles than their gas-powered counterparts. But electric and hybrid cars are different; therefore, you must understand the differences and benefits of each before you choose your next vehicle.
Electric vehicles come with a big battery bank and no combustion engine. The range of the car is controlled by the charge and capacity of the battery. Most electric vehicles do provide enough range for daily use, and there are available charging stations all over the nation.
As battery and electric engine technology improves, EVs can
drive more and more miles off of a single charge. Available ranges are often enough to satisfy most individual driving patterns, especially when coupled with a home battery charging station. As a result, the EV is gaining traction and becoming the preferred way of driving. Since they do not rely on the combustion of gas, EVs are seen as a more intelligent and cleaner system of transportation.
Hybrid vehicles can offer the best of both worlds with both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. EV motors provide up to three times the efficiency as gas engines, which means they use a third of the energy for performing the same work.
Gasoline, on the other hand, packs a lot more energy in a given volume, while doing a lot more cost-effectively than electric storage and battery solutions. By combining a battery pack, electric motor and gas engine, hybrids can leverage the practicality of gasoline engines, and the convenience of electricity when it will be the most efficient. And since gas stations are abundant, fueling up is fast.
The Impact of Traditional Gas Cars
Traditional or conventional vehicles have internal combustion engines. They burn gasoline or diesel to operate the car. And, they consume the most gas per mile.
It is important to limit burning diesel and gasoline. Why? Well for one thing, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the use of gasoline contributes to air pollution. Plus, gasoline is a highly flammable and toxic liquid. When gasoline evaporates, it emits vapors and substances that contribute to air pollution such as:
- Nitrogen oxides
- Carbon monoxide
- Unburned hydrocarbons
- Particulate matter
Burning gasoline also produces greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide.
Along with this, the cost per mile when using electric and/or hybrid is substantially cheaper. Without battery power or hybrid technology, traditional vehicles burn the most gasoline per mile and create the most water, air, and land pollution out of the three types of cars.
While battery technology is not perfect, electric and hybrid vehicles appear to be the most viable low-emission technologies that the world can use at the moment.
Electric vehicles are a lot cleaner and environmentally-friendly than gasoline vehicles. Even if you consider that the electricity you use may be generated at a coal or natural gas plant, overall emissions are generally lower. And, that gap is widening as our electric grid continues to move away from dirty fuel sources.