6 reasons electric cars are better than gas cars in 2022

Updated

An electric car and a gas car face off
Electric cars are the better choice in 2022; read on to find out why.

With some U.S. states set to outright ban the sale of gas cars between 2030 and 2050 in order to reduce emissions, the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is a certainty. 

While consumers expect to own an EV in the future, many assume it will be years before they actually make the switch themselves. 

However, we think they might make the change sooner than they think. EVs have already emerged as a viable option — not just for avid motorists, but for commuters, families and others as well. 

In fact, a combination of improvements to battery technology and government incentives mean that EVs are available at more competitive prices, and with much greater ranges, than ever before. 

As such, we believe that as of 2022, electric cars are now superior to gas vehicles. We explain why below.

On this page

    1. Electric car range is better than you think

    Thankfully, electric vehicles are already starting to rival gas cars when it comes to range. 

    The Tesla Model S currently has the longest range out of any EV, with a very impressive 405 mile rating from the EPA. This is not much lower than some of the most fuel-efficient gas cars. 

    EVs with such long ranges are almost exclusively offered by Tesla. But for the sake of fairness, let's also look at shorter-ranged EVs, like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt.

    The Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, which are much cheaper than Tesla, now have ranges in excess of 200 miles. This may seem low at first, but it's actually an ample amount for most people. The vast majority of Americans use their cars mainly for their daily commute, which is on average just 16 miles. That means that after your ride home from work, there’ll be plenty of range left over for any additional trips. 

    If you do find yourself needing more range on a given day, you can easily extend it with a quick recharge. Since electric cars are becoming mainstream, EV charging stations have popped up everywhere. You can find them using apps like PlugShare; it allows you to easily locate charging stations near you, and even includes a trip planner feature.

    In short, current EV ranges aren’t as limiting as they’re made out to be.

    2. Electric cars are much cheaper to run

    EVs are much cheaper than gasoline cars in terms of cost per mile. This is because EVs are able to efficiently utilize their energy input, electricity. Gas cars, by contrast, rely on inefficient gasoline combustion for power. 

    The cost gap between the two widened recently. As gas prices have surged - much more so than electricity costs - gas cars have become even more expensive to run. This has led to increased interest in EVs among consumers in 2022.

    What's interesting is that the savings you'll see from choosing an EV can vary substantially depending on your location. This is due to the nature of electricity prices, which vary much more from state to state than relatively consistent gas prices.

    Table. The cost to fully charge in Tesla Model S in different states
    Location  Electricity rate (per kWh)  Full 100 kW charging cost (405 mile range)
    Arizona $0.127 $12.70
    California $0.256 $25.60
    Colorado $0.136 $13.60
    Florida $0.137 $13.70
    New York $0.216 $21.60
    South Carolina $0.131 $13.10
    Texas $0.123 $12.30
    Utah $0.106 $10.60
    National average $0.138 $13.80

    Electric rate source: EIA, Feb 2022

    Now let’s compare this to the cost of filling up a tank of gas in the same places.

    Table. The cost to fill a gas car tank in different states
    Location Fuel price (per gallon) 12 gallon tank (305 mile range) 16 gallon tank (406 mile range)
    Arizona $4.616 $55.39 $73.86
    California $5.866 $70.39 $93.86
    Colorado $3.961 $46.99 $62.66
    Florida $4.142 $49.70 $66.27
    New York $4.362 $52.34 $69.79
    South Carolina $3.959 $47.51 $63.34
    Texas $3.907 $46.88 $62.51
    Utah $4.357 $52.28 $69.71
    National average $4.242 $50.90 $67.87

    Gas prices (regular) sourced from: AAA, May 2022

    There are two main takeaways from the data above:

    Electric recharges are cheaper than gas refuels

    With gas prices at a national average of $4.242 per gallon, filling up your tank costs on average $50.90 for a smaller gas car, and $67.87 for a larger gas vehicle. 

    By contrast, the average cost to charge a Tesla Model S is just $10.59 - a real incentive for EV ownership.

    Electric running costs are much lower

    The average annual distance driven in the US is 13,500 miles. Based on the average fuel efficiency for a gas car of 25.4 MPG, it would cost $2,255 in gas to drive one for a year.  Fuel costs this high are a major financial burden to the American family. 

    Driving a Model S the same 13,500 mile distance would take 33.33 charges, for a total cost of  $455 in power. That’s a $1,800 saving in running costs every year. The unrivaled fuel economy of electric vehicles saves EV owners a fortune. 

    Of course, if your home has a solar system, you can charge your electric vehicle for substantially less than this. You can gain a free estimate on the cost of a solar system in your area by entering your zip code below.

    See how much it would cost to charge an electric car with solar panels

    3. There are many ways to recharge an electric car

    While charging your EV will never be as fast as filling your tank at the gas station, there are many different options to recharge your EV which vary in speed and affordability. We’ll explore the main EV charging options below.

    Level 1 charging

    This is the 120 V AC power cord that comes with your car. This method is by far the slowest, providing roughly 3 miles of range per hour of charging. We don’t recommend relying on Level 1 charging.

    Level 2 charging

    The Level 2 chargers run off a 240 V connection - just like a washer or dryer - and require an electrician to install in your home. Depending on the model of electric vehicle, this usually costs between $550 to $2,000. 

    Depending on the Model of car and adapter on the charger, you can expect between 14 and 35 miles of range per hour of charging. 

    Installing a Level 2 charger if you’ve purchased an EV is highly recommended. 

    Level 3 charging

    Level 3 charging (often called fast charging) can provide over 100 miles of range per hour of charging. Unfortunately Level 3 chargers are only available at public charging stations. 

    Level 3 chargers are also substantially more expensive costing between $0.28 and $0.69 per kWh. This makes sense, otherwise it wouldn’t be economical for the stations to operate.

    It also isn’t recommended to rely on fast chargers since they are known to damage EV batteries over time. Fast chargers are best for road trips, not everyday use.

    4. Prices are now competitive with gas cars

    A common misconception is that electric vehicles are so expensive that they aren’t viable for the American public, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The average purchase price for a new car in the United States, according to KBB, is $47,077. KBB also states the average price of an EV is over $56,000.

    While EVs on average cost more than gas cars, luxury EVs by Mercedes and Tesla have artificially inflated this number.

    Even if gas cars are cheaper on average it’s important to remember that by purchasing an EV you will never have to pay for gas. 

    It’s also important to know that electric cars usually entitle you to a federal tax credit of $7,500, this drastically reduces the cost of ownership for EV’s.

    In order to claim the tax credit you must have taxable income in the United States. The tax credit also applies to plug-in hybrids. On the down side Tesla and GM’s Chevrolet Bolt are no longer eligible for tax credit.

    Be sure to check EV incentives in your area since many states offer rebates and tax credits alongside the federal program. 

    5. EV performance is far superior

    If you’re someone who likes to get out on the track you’ll be happy to know that electric vehicles accelerate much faster than gas cars. 

    This is because an internal combustion engine must first build up revs before it can move the car forward, whereas an electric motor can begin moving the wheels of the car instantly after the accelerator is pressed. 

    To showcase this let’s take a look at the 0-60 mph times for a few different EVs as well as some different gasoline vehicles:

    Table. Comparing the acceleration of popular electric and gas cars 
    Model  Engine type  0-60 mph time
    Tesla Model 3 (Performance) Electric 3.1 secs
    Ford Mustang (base) Gas 5.1 secs
    BMW i4 eDrive40 Electric 5.5 secs
    2021 Chevrolet Camaro RS 3LT 1LE Gas 5.6 secs
    Nissan Leaf SL Plus Electric 6.5 secs
    Honda Civic 2021 Gas 8.2 secs

    As you can see, even a Nissan Leaf SL Plus, a budget EV, has a 0-60 mph time only 0.9 seconds slower than a 2021 Camaro. 

    And the Tesla Model 3 performance? It leaves the gas cars in the dust.

    6. EVs have much lower maintenance costs

    Maintenance costs are 40% lower for EVs than gas powered vehicles. This is because electric cars have less moving parts - meaning less potential points of failure - and are exempt from routine oil changes. 

    In coming years, the restrictions placed on the sale of gas vehicles will mean automakers won’t bother to improve their lineup of gas cars. Why would they invest in improving something they can’t sell? As a result, gas cars in the coming decades will slowly deteriorate and people will eventually have no choice but to purchase an electric vehicle.

    Conclusion: Electric vehicles are better than gas cars

    The answer is abundantly clear, electric cars are the way of the future. EVs are more cost effective, easier to maintain and range anxiety is becoming a thing of the past.

    Calculate how much you can save by charging an EV with solar panels

    Key takeaways

    • Electric vehicles are rivaling the range of gas vehicles.
    • Although inconvenient to charge, EVs can save you over $1,900 per year in fuel.
    • Electric vehicles have become much more affordable, take the Nissan Leaf which costs just $18,000 after incentives.
    • In terms of acceleration, EVs leave gas cars in the dust.
    • Electric vehicles are easier and much cheaper to maintain.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Alex Sendy

    Solar Reviews Blog Author

    Alex Sendy is a content writer and valued team member at SolarReviews.

    Related solar news