Car controversy: Should I buy gas or electric?

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Gas Cars

Many people automatically assume electric cars are better than gas cars, but they fail to recognize that electric cars have many flaws that ultimately make them inferior to gasoline cars.

First of all, gasoline cars are not only cheaper but also have more range than electric cars. While the range of electric cars is increasing, gasoline cars still have over twice the range of most electric cars. With their limited range, electric cars are impractical for road trips or long distance drives. Also, it is very inconvenient to charge electric cars outside of your home. Gas stations can be found everywhere you travel, but it is very difficult to find charging stations for electric cars, especially in a more remote and rural area.

Even though electric cars don’t produce emissions when driving, they pollute the environment in other ways. Electric cars need to be light, and in order to achieve that, they require a lot of high-performing and rare metals. Rare metals only exist in small quantities and are often hard to obtain. As a result, these metals are often sourced in environmentally unfriendly ways. For example, in a rare earth mine in China, the metals extracted from the ground only amount to 0.2 percent of what is actually mined. The other 99.8 percent, which has been contaminated by toxic chemicals during the process, is simply dumped back into the environment.

With the growing demand for electric cars, the demand for power to charge the vehicles is also surging. To start, most electricity is produced by nonrenewable resources like natural gas and oil. In fact, an electric car recharged with electricity generated by coal-fired power plants is actually almost three times more damaging than regular gasoline cars. While certain regions that obtain most of their power from clean sources benefit from electric cars, a lot of densely populated areas, such as China and India, are supplied by fossil fuels.

Some people might criticize gasoline cars for the loud noise of of a gas engine and favor electric cars since they are silent. The sound of a gas engine, however, can alert pedestrians of an incoming car. On the other hand, electric cars provide no warning for distracted pedestrians, and therefore lead to injuries.

With the cost of electric cars slowly dropping and the increase in charging stations, electric cars may be a safe bet in the future, but for now, gasoline cars are still the way to go.


Electric Cars

Everyone knows electric cars don’t pollute the environment like gas cars. But there are many more reasons why electric cars are superior.

When in lots of stop and go traffic, gas cars waste lots of energy by idling the engine. Some cars attempt to fix this issue by having the engine shut down when the car stops, and restarting the engine when you press the accelerator. But, this system doesn’t work when it’s cold or when the car battery is running low. Electric cars don’t have this problem because they don’t need to idle, so no power is wasted when stopped.

Another benefit of electric cars is their ability to provide torque immediately. While gas engines have a specific speed at which they provide the most power, electric motors provide what is called peak torque from a stop. Basically, this means they can accelerate very quickly, which is good for emergency situations, and can make driving more fun for car enthusiasts.

While the long charging times may be a downside, the ability to charge at home is definitely convenient. You no longer need to waste time and energy driving to a gas station to refuel. For the most part, charging your car at home usually won’t be a problem. And for road trips and other long travel, many places have implemented electric car charging stations that are sometimes free.

There are several other minor benefits to electric cars. Having an electric or hybrid car lets you use the carpool lane, which can save time on commuting. There are also electric vehicle parking spots that let you charge your car, all while being closer to stores than many other spots. Electric cars also don’t need oil changes or maintenance for exhaust systems, which can further save costs.

When most people think electric cars, they think expensive and low range. While this is true to an extent, things have recently started to change. Yes, they are more expensive, but prices have started to drop. Tesla’s Model 3 which offers a range comparable to gas cars is only $35,000, which, while more expensive than most gas cars, is a significant improvement. Additionally, the US offers a $7,500 tax credit for any electric vehicle purchase, and many states offer more.

And as technology continues to improve, prices will go down and ranges will increase. So while now may not be the right time to buy an electric car, when it’s time for your next purchase, consider electric. As for right now, although for many people electric isn’t the right option, hybrids offer many of the benefits of electric cars, but at a lower cost and longer range.