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Should you drive a gas-powered vehicle or one of the new electric cars in the market? This is the question facing many of us when it’s time to visit a dealership or look for a new vehicle online. Unless strict regulations in your state limit you, this question should continue to be prevalent for a few more years. What are the trade-offs between gas cars and electric cars?

Electric cars have a higher initial cost than gas vehicles

The best Level 2 electric vehicle chargers for your home include these brands
The Chargepoint Home Flex EV charger and the Juicebox 40 | Chargepoint, Juicebox

The lack of electric charging stations in most areas implies you need to install an at-home charger to power your EV. You won’t have to do this with a gas vehicle; you can find a gas station everywhere you go.

Some automakers offer free installation of an electric charger, but this requires that you have an outlet to support the charger. This means installing a separate 240-volt power outlet, which requires an electrician.

Gas cars require more frequent maintenance than electric vehicles

Antifreeze leak
An auto mechanic pours antifreeze into a customer’s car | Ryan McFadden/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

There are far fewer components and parts in EVs than in gas-powered vehicles. This means less maintenance is required. Gas cars require frequent oil changes and fluid replacements. Electric cars generally last longer than gas-powered models because of the lower amount of wear and tear on the parts.

Driving range and towing aren’t a problem with gas vehicles

A row of EVs gaining additional driving range by charging.
EVs charging | Getty Images

Even though electric trucks can tow a heavy load, towing significantly lowers the driving range of an EV. Every electric vehicle has a limited driving range. While gas cars can only go as far as a tank of gas will allow, it only takes a few minutes to refill them with fuel.

Most EVs now have a fast-charging process that can quickly give you more driving range, but this added range doesn’t compare to what you find in a gas car. For this reason, driving range is still problematic for electric cars.

Which type of car offers faster acceleration?

Once we got over the idea that EVs needed to be shaped like the Nissan Leaf, it was understood that using electricity could offer incredible acceleration. The Tesla Model S showed us that the maximum torque level is available as soon as you start going.

In a gas vehicle, you’ve got to go through the gears to get to the maximum torque level, which can take time. When paired, an EV will accelerate much faster than a gas-powered car every time.

Does it cost less to charge an EV than to fill a gas tank?

Yes, it costs a lot less to charge an EV than to fill a gas tank. Time highlighted this fact that showed the cost of refueling a Tesla Model Y for a month costs a driver $62, which is less than some of us spend on one full tank of gas.

Has buying an EV become an impulse based on high gas prices?

Gas prices by year
A customer pumps gas at a service station on May 7, 2007, in San Francisco | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In many ways, yes, buying electric cars has become an impulse buy based on higher gas prices. Although with inflation, we become accustomed to paying more for goods and services, gas prices can cause some consumers to look for alternatives. Over time, the desire for electric cars in response to higher gas prices dissipates.

Are you willing to wait for an electric vehicle?

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E towing a boat
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Ford

One of the greatest challenges to buying electric cars right now is the availability of these vehicles. You can easily find many gas-powered vehicles to drive at dealerships around your town. Because EVs are relatively new, there aren’t as many available for purchase.

The supply chain woes of the auto industry continue to create logjams when ordering and buying electric cars. Impulse buyers may turn away and look for hybrid cars or efficient gas-powered vehicles if EVs aren’t available.

Are the trade-offs between electric and gas-powered cars enough to turn you toward an EV? This is a question only you can answer.

Next, check out the Potential Motors Adventure 1, or watch this video below with some unexpected EV expenses.


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