Electric vs Gas-Powered Cars

While they help the environment, electric cars are not perfect



Is this the direction of cars, or just another idea about to go wrong?

Jacob Cederlund, Staff Writer

The popularity of electric cars has skyrocketed in recent years due to their reduced environmental impact and various benefits. However, some individuals are hesitant to purchase them because of their high cost and the limited availability of charging stations.

Recently, carandriver compared electric cars from the same brand, and they compared the price of the electric and gas-powered cars. They reviewed the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 that starts at $38,790 with the similarly sized, gasoline-powered Volkswagen Tiguan that starts at $27,785. This may be difficult for the average buyer to spend an extra ten thousand, but it’s not all that bad because you can save hundreds on fuel each year and get tax breaks.

Car makers are always racing to make the latest and best electric cars like this Volkswagen (Edmunds.com)

Electric vehicles are particularly advantageous right now given the current high cost of gasoline, which is averaging at around $3.44 per gallon. According to this website, the equivalent cost for electric vehicles is roughly 7.8 cents per kilowatt hour, which is much more economical compared to gasoline at 15.9 cents per gallon.

Another big issue for vehicle owners is the lack of charging stations. This issue is less of a concern today but it’s still apparent. The amount of charging stations has doubled since 2018  and the government is plans to make even more to reach demand. Of many of these ports, 79% of them are level two, which charge at the hourly rate of about 25 miles of driving.

Charging time can be a concern for some as they need to plan ahead and charge their vehicle overnight.

Electric cars offer lower environmental impact and cost-effectiveness, with economical charging and maintenance costs. However, charging time and limited charging stations remain a concern.

WHO data show that 99% of the global population breathes air that exceeds healthy guideline limits and contains high levels of pollutants. Low and middle-income countries are suffering from the highest exposures. Air quality is closely linked to the earth’s climate and ecosystems globally. All gas powered cars are sources of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the problem.

On a worldwide scale, 25% of primary energy is consumed for transport purposes, and 23% of greenhouse gas emissions are energy-related. Air pollution is a significant environmental risk to health and is estimated to cause approximately two million premature deaths every year.

A drawback of electric cars is that the intensive battery production process can result in emissions up to 80% higher compared to building a gasoline-powered car. Obtaining the materials for the batteries also requires significant amounts of resources and mining.

Makers like Kia are keeping the costs realistic for the majority of buyers. (CarandDriver.com)

To make electric cars, companies require a battery that is powered by lithium and other rare materials. This lengthy process limits the production of electric vehicles and causes extensive damage to ecosystems through mining processes. Additionally, the transportation of these minerals from other countries consumes a large amount of fuel and resources, and building the necessary roads and infrastructure further contributes to environmental harm. The extraction and shipping of these materials for electric car batteries is both expensive and damaging to the environment, yet this aspect is often overlooked.

In conclusion, over the past few years, vehicles have become more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, and this trend is likely to persist. Although electric cars initially had a high cost, their prices are decreasing and they are becoming more affordable. Additionally, the growing number of charging stations is making electric cars more convenient. The decision to switch to an electric car ultimately lies with the individual and is based on weighing the benefits and concerns.