Gas or Electric?

I have a decision to make. Should I get gas or electric? Or maybe a hybrid. I’ve always had gas, but maybe it’s time to move to electric. There are so many things to consider before making my next purchase.

First there is the price of gas. Last time I filled up my tank it cost $4.53 per gallon for regular unleaded gas. It cost me fifty bucks to fill my tank.

Wait, what? Oh, you thought I was talking about a cooktop, a stove, right? Sorry if I misled you. I’m talking about an automobile.

My ten year old car is reaching the point that the maintenance cost and the costs to replace failing or severely worn parts on the near horizon are looming. I took my car to the dealership for a routine service and was told that I need new tires all around, the brakes will soon need to be replaced, there are oil leaks, and the turbocharger is on its last legs. The cost for all of that came to…well, a sizable chunk of chain.

So I’m thinking that it might be time to get a new car. But nowadays, the choices are not as simple as they used to be. And at my age, the next car I buy will likely be the last car I buy, so I want to make a smart decision.

Should my next car be a gas powered vehicle with an internal combustible engine, a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or an all electric vehicle (EV)? That is the question.

A gas powered car is less expensive to buy and gas stations for a fill-up when needed are conveniently everywhere. But the price of gas continues to soar and internal combustion cars are pollution machines.

And then there are hybrid cars. These cars are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which uses energy stored in batteries. A hybrid electric vehicle cannot be plugged in to charge the battery. Instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine. These hybrids are more expensive than gas cars, and while they are more “environmentally friendly,” they still produce pollutants.

Another category is plug-in hybrids (PHEV). They use batteries to power an electric motor and gas to power an internal combustion engine. PHEV batteries can be charged using a wall outlet and the car runs on electric power until the battery is nearly depleted, usually from 30 to 50 miles, and then the car automatically switches over to use the gas engine.

For people with short commutes or who only drive to and from the grocery store or to visit local family and friends, these PHEVs, while more expensive than gas cars and regular hybrids, may be a good alternative. However, once the fully electric range is exceeded, we’re back to gasoline.

Finally, there are all electric vehicles (EV). Electric cars function by plugging into a charge point and taking electricity from the grid. They store the electricity in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor, which turns the wheels. Electric cars accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional fuel engines, so they feel lighter to drive.

The advantages of electric cars are:

  • They are better for the environment; no pollution — zero emissions — from an internal combustion engine
  • Electricity can be a renewable resource, gasoline cannot
  • They require less expensive and less frequent maintenance (no oil changes, fewer moving parts, no spark plugs)
  • They are quieter than gas vehicles
  • There are significant federal (and some state) tax credits available for owners of electric cars
  • There are special highway lanes in some places (e.g., California, where I live) for electric cars

The disadvantages are:

  • Electric cars have a shorter range than gas-powered cars
  • Recharging the battery takes time
  • They are usually more expensive than gas-powered cars
  • It can be difficult to find a charging station, which means having to spend $500-$1,500 to professionally install a home charging station.

So here’s what I’m thinking. Full electric. Yes?

43 thoughts on “Gas or Electric?

  1. Nope, Not Pam August 5, 2021 / 1:09 pm

    I think it depends on your mileage. Here in Australia distance can be a deterrent for electric cars, but fuel prices aren’t great. I have to fill up this morning and we’re sitting at 1.36/l for unleaded. Though this is a recent drop it was 1.68/l last week 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 1:48 pm

      Yes, long distances can be a deterrent for all electric cars until public charging stations become as available as gas stations. But these days I rarely drive on long road trips, so nightly charging in my garage should suffice.

      Like

  2. Ruth August 5, 2021 / 1:10 pm

    What about installing solar panels on the garage roof to charge up an electric battery? Plenty of sunshine in California, I think! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn Armstrong August 5, 2021 / 1:28 pm

    My son — the mechanic — and I had this exact conversation. I said they were planning to put in a lot of charging stations cross country. He said it won’t be nearly enough. The only way a purely electric car will be practical is if you have two cars and you use the electric one for local driving. “Range,” he said. He thinks they are going to have to work out a mutant because not every family wants two or more cars — or can afford them. Moot point for us. I’m really happy with our little Jeep Renegade. It gets decent mileage and it goes anywhere we need to go.

    Your gas is WAY more expensive than ours! We are paying a dollar less per gallon — even more, depending on where you shop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 1:50 pm

      Has prices in California are ridiculously high. Highest prices in the USA.

      Like

  4. newepicauthor August 5, 2021 / 1:29 pm

    Is it nobler in the mind to suffer on choking pollution fumes and ruin life on this planet for your grandchildren, or to be constantly looking for a place to plug your car in, that is the question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong August 5, 2021 / 1:37 pm

      I’m all for not polluting the planet. I’m also in favor of not stranding people in the middle of nowhere because there’s no place to charge the car. If it isn’t safe to charge it in the garage overnight — and you can’t for obvious reasons charge it at work — exactly what do you do?

      Personally, I think we should stop thinking CARS and put in rails like they have in Europe. Our rails are in terrible condition and in places like this town, there ARE no commuter rails. We don’t even have a taxi or a bus. We don’t need more place to plug in cars. We need a viable way to go from place to place that doesn’t depend on combustion engines.

      Not to worry. I don’t think we are going to either one. We aren’t going to make electric cars a practical choice for most people OR make the trains a viable way to get from one place to another. More than half this country has NO form of public transportation. available. As long as we depend on private cars, the problem will never get solved.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 2:34 pm

        You certainly can’t count on Republicans to support fixing our deteriorating infrastructure. But I do think more commercial charging stations will start springing up in the near future.

        Like

    • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 2:27 pm

      I’d install a charger in my garage soi can charge the car overnight.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marilyn Armstrong August 5, 2021 / 1:31 pm

    I forgot to mention the recent “exploding” cars! Now they are saying you can’t leave your car to charge overnight because it might explode and burn down your house. If you can’t leave it to charge overnight, exactly when are you going to recharge it? I think they still need to do some serious work on improving batteries, both in how fast they charge AND the safety of charging them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. grogalot August 5, 2021 / 1:44 pm

    Well, I just bought one. I was interested in electrics and I asked a Japanese friend and he told me that the Nissan Leaf was the most popular. I checked many others and it is quite an amazing car. I bought a 2019 Leaf SF former leash car. Driving is amazing. The car has a 150 mile range and it can be charged at home. The tech on the new cars is amazing, cameras and detectors everywhere. The charging station problem will go away as EV’s become more popular. Cheers GROG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 2:36 pm

      I’ve been looking at the Leaf. Also the Hyundai Kona EV and a few of the available plug-in hybrids.

      Like

  7. cagedunn August 5, 2021 / 1:56 pm

    why don’t they make a generator that uses the momentum of the vehicle as/when it’s moving to recharge the batteries on the go? They have the technology, so why aren’t they doing it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 2:38 pm

      That’s how some of the hybrids work, but they only have limited range on the battery before the gas engines take over and recharge the batteries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • cagedunn August 5, 2021 / 3:05 pm

        I’m thinking a non-fuelled generator – something like a small turbine where the radiator used to be, perhaps.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. pensitivity101 August 5, 2021 / 2:04 pm

    We’ll stick with diesel and our new car is low emissions attracting ZERO road tax. Our mileage is about 8000 miles a year, so having an electric car might sound more advantageous. However, we have a few long trips of 300 miles each way so not so good and as you say, charging the damn thing up could prove problematic.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. abigfatcanofworms August 5, 2021 / 3:24 pm

    You have clearly done your research. I agree with your conclusion. We have had a PHEV with a battery range of about 50kms. I mainly used it for driving the kids around. In this small city it was great – we sometimes went for months without buying fuel (or gas as you call it). But we had the freedom to travel long distances and just fill up as most people do. But now we have two fully electric cars. The price of fuel is a distantly remembered nightmare. Our power bill has gone up, of course but here, the cost of electricity is about 1/3 that of fuel per km. Servicing is rare (maybe once every two years) and relatively cheap. And honestly, with a bit of planning, a little Ng trip is no problem. Just have a meal while the car charges. And sounds like your govt is friendlier toward EVs than ours. In Victoria they introduced a tax on electric cars. Unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 3:51 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience with EVs.

      Like

    • Marleen August 5, 2021 / 8:29 pm

      Republicans were trying to add a tax on electric cars as part of their pretense toward a bipartisan infrastructure bill recently.

      Liked by 1 person

      • abigfatcanofworms August 5, 2021 / 8:50 pm

        Huh. I wonder what their reasoning was. Victoria’s state govt is “left”/Labor. ie the equivalent of Democrat. Their reasoning is, everybody else pays petrol excise. As my husband said, it’s like taxing somebody for quitting smoking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 10:05 pm

        What the hell is wrong with Republicans! That’s not a question, it’s a statement.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Irene August 5, 2021 / 4:58 pm

    I thought, wow a hybrid stove?? Heehee. I think if you will not have a problem with range, your decision to go for electric sounds great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen August 5, 2021 / 8:18 pm

      There actually are hybrid stoves… at least there used to be when I was involved with having a home built. You could have electric features and gas features in the same unit. I haven’t checked lately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen August 5, 2021 / 8:20 pm

        I doubt they used the word hybrid though. Perhaps duel fuel?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 9:59 pm

          Dual fuel usually relates to a gas cooktop on an electric oven, but it might also apply to dual fuel or hybrid cooktops as well.

          Like

      • Fandango August 5, 2021 / 9:54 pm

        They still do have them, with a mixture of two gas burners and two induction (electric) burners.

        Like

      • Irene August 6, 2021 / 3:43 am

        Wow, I had gas in Mexico, and now have electric in Canada. I like the electric oven better, but sometimes I still miss the open flame burners.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Lou Carreras August 5, 2021 / 5:09 pm

    Luckily making a decision on this is a few years out for me. Right now with some demand to travel regionally to places where I might not be able to conveniently charge up I’d have to go with a hybrid. Ninety percent of my travel is with a hundred-mile radius, but then there are the longer trips to Northern Maine and the western edge of Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carol anne August 5, 2021 / 8:00 pm

    full electric would be good, I think! I had a friend who had a hybrid! She loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. jilldennison August 5, 2021 / 9:05 pm

    Just keep nursing the old one … it’s simpler and … whether gas or electric, they don’t make ’em like they used to. I got nearly 300,000 miles from my last one, a KIA mini-van. Besides … it’s paid for! Who needs car payments of $300+ a month? You can do a lot of maintenance for what a new one will cost over the course of a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. HowieRich August 6, 2021 / 12:46 pm

    Gas and electric are must high in price than what we paid in the past, so the best thing which will be better in long run as to how much your going to pay in bills

    Like

  15. leigha66 August 19, 2021 / 6:59 pm

    I think a lot of it depends on where you live and what you mainly drive. If you are in town all day everyday, especially in a smaller town an electric car would be great, but if you do a lot of traveling I would lean more to a hybrid, until the charging stations are more available nationwide, you are going to have trouble “filling up.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. HowieRich September 4, 2021 / 7:23 am

    If you have seen what happening to our environment, no brainer, well again as mentioned earlier, if you can find charging point.

    Liked by 1 person

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