Electric Cars Vs Gas Cars for Today’s Market

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Updated: Jun 19, 2023
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Today’s car market is vastly expanding, and with all the options, it is hard to figure out which car or truck to choose. This report compares the differencing between electric and gasoline-powered cars. Using the cost, market, and practicality of each gasoline and electric motor conclusions can be made on which power source makes more sense to invest in for today’s market. The cost to own and drive an electric car is about one-third the cost to drive a gasoline-powered car.

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This conclusion was found using averages among the United States and the current engineering status for an internal combustion engine and electric motor. There is a large economic shift and investments being made currently in the electric car industry. Automakers like Volkswagen, Ford, and GM are investing billions in research and development in electric cars. In the next 5 to 10 years, there will be a lot of different electric cars entering the market from these large investments. In addition, there is an issue of practicality with electric cars today due to their limited range and lack of chargers throughout the United States. The batteries in electric cars take about 30 minutes to charge with a supercharger which is much longer than just filling up a gas tank. Overall, based on the current standing of today’s technology, it does not make sense to purchase an electric car, but in the next few years, when there is more competition, and the technology gets better, it will make more sense to make the investment. If you are willing to wait a few years to purchase a new or used car and are looking to go electric, then that is the best choice. If you want a car right now, then a gasoline-powered car is the way to go.


Over the past 10 years, there has been a slow increase in electric cars in the US market, and most recently, that market has begun to expand rapidly. This comparison will evaluate the differences between a gas and electric car in aspects of cost, efficiency, and practicality. The rise in electric vehicles can owe most of its success to the Tesla Motor Company. Tesla was the first auto manufacturer to bring electric cars to the mass market successfully and pushed the boundary for engineering for the time period. The early electric cars were slow, boring, and had bad designs that were not attractive to buyers. Companies like Toyota attempted to make their car designs stand out in a different way instead of making a normal-looking car that happened to be electric. Tesla was able to bring a car to the market that had a long-range, good design, and was futuristic. Due to the upraise in interest in the electric car market, many large automakers have invested billions into electric car development and research.

Before comparing the gas engine and electric motor, a background in the technology must be established to understand the abilities of both sources of power.

Internal Combustion Engine

An internal combustion engine is a mechanical machine that produces power by burning an air and fuel mixture. The internal combustion engine is popular in automotive vehicles but can be used in other applications, for example, compressors and generators. A gasoline internal combustion engine has four main mechanical parts, which include the piston, cylinder, values, and spark plug (How Car Engines Work). Each component is important to the four cycles of the engine that allows it to make power. The four cycles of the internal combustion engine are intake, compression, power, and exhaust. The cycle is created by the piston moving up and down inside the cylinder. On the intake stroke, the intake valve is open, and the piston is moving downward, pulling in an air and fuel mixture. Next is the compression stroke; the intake valve shuts, and the piston moves upward, compressing the air and fuel mixture. Once the piston has reached top-dead-center, the spark plug ignites, creating an explosion (How Car Engines Work). The explosion then sends the engine into the power stroke, where the piston is fired back downward. Lastly, the engine has to exhaust all the gasses from the explosion. This is the last part of the cycle, where the exhaust valve opens, and the piston moves upward to push the gases out of the exhaust. The photo below shows how the cycles look inside the piston for a better understanding.

Gaukmotors company

To start the four-stroke cycle, there must be an electric starter that cranks over the pistons. In order for the engine to cycle through each of the strokes without the starter, there must be another piston connected by a crankshaft on the opposite part of the cycle. In a diesel engine, the compression stroke just compresses the gasses more. With more compression, the higher the temperature inside the cylinder gets causing an explosion at the top-dead-center. This eliminates the need for a spark plug in the cylinder. In addition, the piston and engine block need to be larger and stronger to take the force from the higher compression. Overall, the diesel engine is more efficient due to the high torque and power it produces with the same amount of fuel.

Electric Motor

The electric motor has four basic components consisting of the rotor, bearings, stator, and housing. The rotor is a shaft that transmits the power from the electric motor to the driving gears and usually consists of conductors that carry a current. The bearings go around the rotor and allow the rotor to spin freely with minimal resistance. These bearings need to be high quality and have the ability to rotate at high speeds. The bearings also serve the purpose of keeping out dirt and other particles that could harm the internals of the motor. The stator goes around the rotor and usually consists of copper windings or magnets that, when current is passed through, will cause the rotor to spin. The more current that is passed through the stator, the faster the angular velocity of the rotor. All of this is housed inside an aluminum housing that keeps the contents of the motor in place.


Gas and electric cars are vastly different in the way they operate, but when it comes down to driving each car, most people will only notice the difference in sound. But comparing the two, there is an acceleration and brake pedal with a steering wheel. Automakers like Tesla do a really good job at making their cars seem nearly identical to their gas counterparts. That being said, there are various positive and negative differences between the two that have contributed to the ownership of each.

Cost of Ownership

The first aspect of owning a car is the original purchase of the car, assuming that there was no financing or leasing involved. Although in this report, we will not be looking at the original purchasing price due to the varying factors. There are many different cars out there that could be any price, used and new. So, based on the information provided in this analysis, the purchasing price needs to be chosen by the buyer of the car. This includes the insurance of the car because a car with more horsepower and built for performance will have a higher insurance rate than a slower car. In addition, the insurance also depends on the owners driving record. The most important cost that we will look at is the cost to run each car, and this is the best way to compare the gas and electric motors. This also brings in factors such as today’s economy and the average efficiency of the gas and electric motor. Assuming that the average person who owns a car will drive 15,000 miles a year and as of December 2, 2018, the average cost of gas for 89 octanes in the United States is priced at $2.88 a gallon. In addition, the average car gets about 30 miles per gallon based on the current max thermodynamic efficiency of an engine. Using these assumptions and facts, the cost of driving a gasoline-powered car will be $1440 a year. The same information described above can be seen in Table 1. In today’s market, the current average cost for electricity on the American Grid is 0.12 cents per kWh. Assuming the same average of 15,000 miles driven by a person per year, the cost to charge an electric car is $540 a year on a home charger. This price can go up and down based on where you live and if you use quick chargers that are spread throughout the United States. It is also important to note that right now, Tesla offers free supercharging to their customers at official locations. Overall, the cost to charge an electric car compared to buying gas is about a third of the price per year.


One of the most important aspects of buying a car is the practicality that it offers to the driver. This reason alone is why the gasoline internal combustion engine has been so popular over the years. Engineers have come to near perfection in the gas engine, and every year, they seem to get better. They offer long ranges and quick times to refill the tanks with millions of gas stations all over the United States. The drawback is the fluctuation of gas prices and how much they have gone up over the years. Overall it is the most practical and fastest way to get around. An electric car today offers a decent range but nowhere near the range that you can get out of a gas-powered car. There are also very limited charging stations around the United States which means that many people get range anxiety and don’t want to drive far with their car. It also takes much more planning when it comes to road trips. Right now, the charging network has ________ chargers spread throughout the United States, with most of them near major cities. As time goes on, there will be more chargers installed, and gas stations will begin to install charging stations. With a 240W power charging source, you can charge your electric car in about 30 to 45 minutes, but it still does not compare to the speed of filling up a gas tank. I will take a big breakthrough in engineering to cut down the charging time to something more reasonable for roundtrips.

Interview – Todd Picken

In order to understand what it is like to switch from a gas to an electric car, I interviewed Todd Picken. Todd is the treasure of MassMutual, and back in 2011, he switched from a Toyota Corolla to a Chevy Volt. He says he did this because he “wanted to go electric but didn’t want to deal with any range anxiety” (Todd Picken). It is important to note that the Chevy Volt is an electric vehicle that has a gas motor that purely acts as a generator for the batteries when the car is low on charge. This is different from hybrids because the gas engine is not directly connected to the drivetrain. Technically the Volt never needs to be charged, but it also never needs to have gas in it either. Todd says that he mainly “only uses the Volt on battery power because his work is just within the range of the battery for the Volt” (Todd Picken). The range on the 2011 Volt is about 35 miles on average. He says that he wishes “the volt has a longer range so he never needs to use the engine to charge it” (Todd Picken), but it, unfortunately, doesn’t. In regard to the financial influence, ‘the Volt has completely cut his need to buy gas on the way to work’ (Todd Picken), and he can charge at work for free, so he gets a free commute on the way home. He claims that he will ‘never switch back from an electric to a gas car’ but doesn’t want to buy an electric car unless it has a range extender or generator. He likes to take the Volt on long-distance trips to Vermont, so an electric car with a low mileage range will cause him more headaches.

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Electric Cars vs Gas Cars for Today's Market. (2023, Jun 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/electric-cars-vs-gas-cars-for-todays-market/