Electric Vehicles Vs Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles

The volume of traffic on the roads has a lot to do with the pollution levels that are increasing exponentially over the years. Vehicles that depend on conventional fuel sources lead to the rapid depletion of non-renewable sources of energy that gives the vision of a bleak future for the earth. Innovative technologies have led to the development of greener ideas for transport including electric cars.

In this session, we are making a comparison of electric vehicles and internal combustion engines.


The fuel used in electric cars and internal combustion engines is the crucial factor that differentiates them. While electric cars use electricity as its energy source, internal combustion engines use conventional fuels like petrol, diesel, LPG, CNG etc. Electricity that powers electric vehicles can be generated from hydroelectric plants, thermal power plants etc.

Fuel Costs

A 2018 study found that the cost of running an electric vehicle is much less than that of an internal combustion engine. In the US, the average cost of running an electric vehicle is about $485 annually whereas the average cost of running a gasoline-powered vehicle is about $1117.

The exact difference in fuel prices depends on the location you live as well as the type and size of the car you drive. The fuel efficiency of your vehicle decides the fuel expenses you incur.

The fuel cost of electric vehicles is a bit complicated as you don’t pay the fee every time you charge your electric vehicle like in the case of gasoline-powered vehicles. Instead, the electricity used to charge your battery adds up to your home electricity bill. The cost of electricity is decreasing with time as the advancements in technology are leading to the discovery of more renewable sources of electricity.

Maintenance Cost

The cost of fuel is just one among the numerous costs associated with car ownership. As time passes, the maintenance cost of vehicles keep on increasing and this trend is more common with internal combustion engines that usually have high engine maintenance costs. You have to change the engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and belts, all of which adds up to the vehicle maintenance cost.

As electric vehicles do not have internal combustion engines, their cost of maintenance is relatively low when compared to that of gasoline-powered vehicles. That said, costs associated with insurance, tire and brake changes, structural repair are universal in nature.

Electric vehicles have complex rechargeable batteries that should be recharged continuously once they drain out, leading to its degradation over time. The largest possible maintenance expense associated with electric vehicles is battery replacement that is often covered with a battery warranty. However, if your car doesn’t have a warranty, battery replacement will be really expensive.


Federal governments encourage people to switch to greener ways of commuting like electric cars, by offering several incentives to those who wish to purchase electric vehicles. The incentives change continuously and hence it is important to know the incentives offered by your state government if you have plans of buying an electric car.

In addition to the incentives offered for electric car purchase, their costs are falling thereby making investment in best electric vehicles a smart and energy efficient decision.


When compared to their internal combustion counterparts, electric vehicles are much faster as they can produce high torque in short time while gasoline-powered vehicles reach that torque after they have gained speed. The lightweight nature of electric vehicles also contributes to its speed.


Internal combustion engines work by the ignition and combustion of fuels inside the engine. The energy from the combustion is the partially converted to work by the engine. Internal combustion engines consist of a moving piston and fixed cylinder. The piston is pushed by the expansion of the combustion gases and the piston in turn rotates the crankshaft. The motion then drives the wheels of the vehicle through a system of gears.

Electric vehicle contains an electric motor in place of a combustion engine found in gasoline-powered vehicles. The large traction battery pack of the electric vehicle powers the electric motor. The controller performs the role of regulator by controlling the power supplied by the batteries to prevent the motor from burning out.

Impact On The Environment

As gasoline-powered vehicles are associated use fossil fuels as the energy, the  combustion of these fuels in the combustion engines release oxides of sulfur, nitrogen , carbon etc that leads to air pollution and environmental degradation. Oxides of nitrogen and sulfur cause acid rain that affects soil and vegetation.

Electric vehicles do not produce any tail pipe emissions, indicating that they do not release greenhouse gases like CO2 NO2 etc into the atmosphere.

Property Electric vehicle Gasoline-powered vehicle
Fuel Electricity Gasoline
Maintenance cost Less More
Speed More Less
Impact on environment Do not contribute to air pollution Causes air pollution
Fuel costs Less More

Taking all the above factors into consideration, electric vehicle is a better alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles and governments across the world are encouraging people to choose electric vehicles over gasoline-powered vehicles.

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