Electric Cars vs Gas Cars: What is Best For You

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

electric versus gas Buying a new car is a process of weighing needs, wants, various features and, of course, price. Once upon a time such decisions hinged on the look of the car, color, size of the engine, power, and stereo system. Today, we also weigh environmentally friendly factors very heavily and that includes electric versus gas powered. But, which option actually performs better? Your auto collision repair experts at Accurate Auto Body service all sorts of vehicles – from electric to hybrid and your standard gas powered vehicles. So, we have the lowdown on what performs better out there on our Colorado roads.

Distance Needs

If you are weighing an electric versus gas powered car,  it will largely depend on your needs. For example, it takes a little more planning when you drive an electric vehicle (EV) as it will need to be charged more frequently than filling up a gas powered car. But, the majority of people in the US drive less than 35 miles per day, and a fully charged EV will go between 70 to 130 miles on a full charge. However, that is significantly less than gas powered cars which average about 250 to 300 miles between fill-ups. So, if you are someone who has frequent and longer trips, then you may be better suited for a gas powered car. If you just live around the city and you spend most of the time driving from home and work here in the immediate Denver area, an EV may be right up your alley.

Cold Weather Performance

Let’s face it, it can get cold here in Denver during the winter. That is why we all love our heated seats and steering wheels. When it comes to vehicle performance in the snow, there are reports of many EVs struggling. For example, to make the cabin warm, gas powered cars simply pull excess heat from the engine block into the car. You essentially have the engine providing you with heat. However, an EV has no engine. So, it has to supply heat through an electric heating system. That heating system draws more energy from the car’s battery when it is cold, reducing how far you can drive on a charge. Also, when EV batteries get cold, they have seen greatly reduced performance in how far you can go on a single charge. Some car manufactures, like Nissan, have added a heating unit to sit by the battery to help keep it warm during cold weather and help boost its performance. But, that extra battery heater also draws power from the same battery, which does reduce overall cold weather performance.

Snow and Ice Driving

EV vehicles are designed to be light. This helps get them the maximum performance and mileage on a single charge. However, that lighter design can compromise traction in snow. Also, they are designed for maximum torque and their traction control systems can work against them when on snow and ice. The purpose of their systems are to prevent wheel slip and loss of traction, but EV motors provide maximum torque from zero rpms. On ice and snow, this maximum torque can cause the wheels can spin easily and skid. So, on snowy Colorado days, if you are an EV driver, it could be best to work from home or take RTD into work.

 Environmentally Friendly and Cost Savings

Without a doubt, an EV is more environmentally friendly than gas powered cars. People have tried to point out that when you have an EV, you are trading in using oil for coal (as coal is used for a lot traditional electricity) to power your car and as a result you are not reducing CO2 and green-house gases. Or they try to point out that your electricity bill will skyrocket. But, the fact is studies have shown significant reduction in CO2 pollution with EV. This is especially true in the West where more and more of the power grids are made up of hydro and wind powered electricity. Plus, more and more coal power plants are being substituted for more environmentally friendly power which continues to further reduce the already small carbon footprint of an EV. Further, others have claimed that the batteries of EV cars are bad for the environment. However, EV’s lithium ion batteries have more valuable and recyclable metals compared to internal combustion vehicle batteries. Lastly, when it comes to savings, the average EV owner reported only a $500 increase in their yearly power bill. Based on driving about 15,000 miles per year, an EV can save an average of $1,900 compared to what they would have spent on fuel to drive the same distance.

 How to Use This Information

Again, deciding between electric versus a gas powered car will greatly depend on you. If you need something that will ensure you have better and more reliable performance in cold weather and on snow, a gas powered vehicle will better meet those needs. If you are looking for efficiency, green-friendly and you simply drive around town, then you could use an electric vehicle. What we do know is, if you have any need for auto body repair, dent removal or paint, we can help. Call us at 303-344-2212 or reach out to us online.

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