The debate about the superiority of electric cars over gas cars has been raging on for the last several years as the number of electric cars continues to increase. According to Pistoia and Liaw, cars have become essential items that one needs to facilitate movement from place to place (90). However, environmentalists have been warning against the massive emission of greenhouse gases, which have devastating consequences on the environment. As such, various car manufacturers have come up with new electric cars to help solve the problem of environmental degradation. Since their emergence, there has been a debate comparing electric cars to gas cars to determine which is more effective and preferable to modern-day users. Denton admits that each of the two types has its strengths and weaknesses that one must consider before making the purchase (71). In this essay, the researcher supports the argument that electric cars are better than gas cars. It is necessary to look at both arguments to understand why the electric car option was considered the best.
When one is planning to purchase a car, various factors have to be taken into consideration. As environmentalists fight for the introduction of electric cars and the elimination or reduction in the use of gar cars, they must take into consideration the popularity of each type of car in the market (Mi and Masrur 39). When electric cars gain recognition, there will be an automatic shift in demand as people move away from the use of gas cars. It is necessary to look at the pros and cons of both types of cars.
Arguments for Electric Cars
One of the main benefits of electric cars is that it is environmentally friendly. Unlike gas cars known to emit massive amounts of carbon to the environment, electric cars are known to have almost zero greenhouse gas emissions. When people shift from the use of gas cars to electric cars, the air will be cleaner (Denton 29). Besides, electric cars will also help in reducing pollution resulting from oil spillage. Leakages in fuel tanks of gas cars often lead to soil pollution. These cars will help in addressing the problem of global warming and climate change.
Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases also has a positive impact on health. Contestabile argues that a significant number of respiratory diseases are caused by massively polluted air (64). As the level of air pollution goes down, it is expected that some of these respiratory diseases will become less common. This will become beneficial not only for individuals but also for the government. As Gómez explains, the government spends much money to hire medical staff and to construct more healthcare facilities to take care of the increasing number of people in need of healthcare (89). When the pathogens responsible for respiratory diseases are eliminated or reduced, there will be a lower number of people seeking medical services. The government can use the money on other developmental projects.
Reduced expense in fuel is another major benefit of electric cars. According to Pistoia and Liaw, individuals and companies often spend a lot of money to refuel their cars (85). This problem is always compounded by fluctuating international oil prices. When the cost of gas goes up, one is forced to spend more on gas cars. Switching to electric cars solves this problem. One no longer needs to spend much money on fuel. Most of these electric cars run on solar power, which is free. When there is not sufficient sunlight to provide sufficient energy, they can recharge at various stations at a significantly low cost (Mi and Masrur 78). These recharging stations are not affected by the fluctuation in the global oil prices.
Maintaining electric cars is significantly cheaper than maintaining a gas car. According to Gómez, the engine and the entire system of an electric car may not require as regular servicing as that of a gas car (54). As such, it further reduces the cost of running the car for the user. Pistoia and Liaw also note that increased usage of electric cars also helps to improve energy security within the country (72). As the demand for gas drops, the country’s industrial sector, which may require oil to run normally, will be protected. It will be assured of enough energy, especially at a time when many scientists have predicted a possible depletion of the major oil reserves around the world.
Arguments against Electric Cars
Despite the above benefits of electric cars, it is important to note that they also have some major challenges that make them less popular among some people. One of the most common issues that have been raised is its high initial cost. When compared to the gas car, one will be forced to pay more for the electric car (Denton 22). It means that it is currently unaffordable to a significant number of people. Besides the high cost of purchase, the unique battery packs used in driving the engine for these cars are relatively expensive to replace (Contestabile 43). Although the general cost of maintenance is low, the owner will be forced to pay more to replace the battery pack.
The limited car range has also been identified as a major challenge for the car. When one is traveling to a place where there are no charging stations, it may not be advisable to use this type of car. On the other hand, one can easily store petrol in jerry cans when traveling to places where there are no gas stations (Mi and Masrur 37). The limited range of electric cars has made them less popular in rural settings. As a new technology that is yet to penetrate different parts of the world, the number of charging stations is limited to specific urban settings. It means that those in regions that lack these stations cannot use such cars. One cannot fully rely on solar energy, especially when it is necessary to use it at night.
Another major complaint that users of these cars have is about the time it takes to charge the battery at the stations. It takes about 8 hours to fully charge the battery from empty to full (Denton 117). That is basically the entire night. When one wants a top-up charge for approximately 100 miles, it may take about 35 minutes (Pistoia and Liaw 96). The problem is compounded when it is a fleet of cars that needs to be refueled. One may be forced to wait in line for several hours to recharge, causing massive inconveniences to many people. It is significantly different from gas car users who spend less than five minutes filling their tanks and continuing with their journey.
Arguments for Gas Cars
Gas cars are still more popular than electric cars. One of the main reasons for that is their low price (Mi and Masrur 63). Compared to electric cars, it is cheaper to purchase a gas car. It may be true that gas cars require regular maintenance, but the cost of service is equally low. One can easily find someone who is specialized in repairing the engine because of its wide usage. Gas cars do not have a problem with range (Pistoia and Liaw 56). Filling stations are widely spread both in urban and rural settings around the world. One can also store additional fuel just in case it may be necessary. As such, gas cars can be used almost in any part of the world and at any time.
It takes less than 5 minutes to refill the fuel tank, unlike the electric car that requires hours. Hence, its users are not inconvenienced when they run out of fuel but only have a few minutes to spare. A comparative analysis of the engine of electric cars and that of gas cars has revealed that gas cars are more powerful (Gómez 112). They can be used in terrains that require greater engine power. It is also more appropriate for race cars and vehicles that carry heavy loads because of the great power of the engine. Replacing the car battery or even the entire engine for gas cars is relatively cheaper than replacing the battery or engine for electric cars.
Arguments against Gas Cars
Gas cars have been in use for over one century and they helped revolutionize the transport sector. However, Denton says that these cars have major weaknesses, which led to the emergence of electric cars (121). One of the biggest arguments against gas cars is their massive emission of greenhouse gases. They produce a lot of carbon gases, which pollute the environment. These gases are known to have negative health consequences on people as they are associated with various respiratory diseases (Pistoia and Liaw 44). These diseases cause a financial burden not only to individuals and families but also to the government in terms of the increased need for the expansion of healthcare facilities. When fuel spills from its tanks, it may cause soil pollution.
It may cost less to purchase a gas car, but the cost of maintenance is relatively high. A user of such a car would need to service it more often than the one using an electric car. It is also more expensive to refill the car compared to an electric car (Contestabile 48). It is also important to note that users of gas cars are often affected by the fluctuating international oil price. Some of these cars are known to be very loud, which makes them inappropriate for major urban centers, especially close to schools and healthcare facilities.
Electric cars are gaining popularity around the globe even though gas cars are still widely used in various parts of the world. The comparative analysis of the two types of cars shows that each has strengths and weaknesses. However, electric cars have a greater potential than traditional gas cars. They are environmentally friendly and cost less to run. Some of the weaknesses, such as limited recharging stations and the time it takes to recharge its batteries, will be addressed by emerging technologies.
Contestabile, Marcello. Who’s Driving Electric Cars: Understanding Consumer Adoption and Use. Springer, 2020.
Denton, Tom. Electric and Hybrid Vehicles. Routledge, 2016.
Gómez, Vilchez. The Impact of Electric Cars on Oil Demand and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Key Markets. Baden KIT Scientific Publishing, 2019.
Mi, Chris, and Abul Masrur. Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Principles and Applications with Practical Perspectives. Wiley, 2018.
Pistoia, Gianfranco, and Boryann Liaw. Behavior of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Electric Vehicles: Battery Health, Performance, Safety, and Cost. Springer, 2018.