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Electric Car vs. Gasoline Car: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 15, 2023
Electric cars are powered by electric batteries, emitting no exhaust pollutants, while gasoline cars run on internal combustion engines, burning fuel to power the vehicle, emitting exhaust pollutants.

Key Differences

Electric cars operate using electric motors powered by electricity stored in batteries or fuel cells, representing a clean, eco-friendly mode of transportation that produces zero tailpipe emissions. Gasoline cars, on the other hand, are powered by internal combustion engines that burn gasoline to create the energy needed to power the vehicle, leading to the emission of pollutants. The primary differentiation between electric and gasoline cars lies in their power sources, operational mechanisms, and environmental impacts, with electric cars being more eco-friendly due to their zero-emission nature.
The driving range and refueling processes of electric and gasoline cars also show stark contrasts. Electric cars typically have a shorter range compared to gasoline cars and require charging stations to recharge the batteries, which can take a considerable amount of time. Gasoline cars usually offer a longer driving range and can be refueled quickly at gas stations. These factors make gasoline cars often more convenient for long-distance travel, whereas electric cars are suitable for shorter, everyday commutes, especially in urban settings.
The overall cost of ownership and maintenance is another area of divergence between electric and gasoline cars. Electric cars usually have fewer moving parts, requiring less maintenance and no oil changes, making them potentially more cost-effective in the long run. Conversely, gasoline cars generally incur more maintenance costs due to their complex engines and exhaust systems. This makes electric cars a sensible choice for those looking for lower maintenance and operational costs.
Additionally, the purchasing cost and available models vary between electric and gasoline cars. Electric cars are generally more expensive upfront but may offer savings over time due to lower operational costs. Gasoline cars usually have a lower initial purchasing cost and a wider variety of models available. This availability and price range make gasoline cars more accessible to a broader audience, although the rising popularity of electric vehicles is leading to a more diverse and affordable market.
The noise level and driving experience are also contrasting elements between electric and gasoline cars. Electric cars are known for their quiet operation and smooth acceleration, providing a serene driving experience. Gasoline cars tend to be noisier due to the combustion process and may offer a different, more visceral driving sensation, appealing to those who prefer a more traditional and sensory-rich driving experience.

Comparison Chart

Power Source

Electric batteries or fuel cells
Internal combustion engine burning gasoline


Zero tailpipe emissions
Emits exhaust pollutants

Refueling/Charging Time

Requires charging stations, longer charging time
Quick refueling at gas stations

Maintenance Cost

Generally lower due to fewer moving parts
Higher due to more complex engine and exhaust systems

Driving Experience

Quiet operation and smooth acceleration
Noisier with a more traditional, visceral driving sensation

Electric Car and Gasoline Car Definitions

Electric Car

A vehicle powered by an electric motor.
The electric car silently glided down the street.

Gasoline Car

Typically offers a wider variety of models.
He had many options when choosing a gasoline car.

Electric Car

Typically offers a quieter driving experience.
He enjoyed the tranquil ride in his electric car.

Gasoline Car

A vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine.
The gasoline car roared to life when he turned the key.

Electric Car

Generally has a shorter range compared to gasoline cars.
His electric car needed to be recharged after 150 miles.

Gasoline Car

Uses gasoline as fuel to power the engine.
She refueled her gasoline car at the gas station.

Electric Car

Uses electricity stored in batteries or fuel cells.
She charged her electric car at the charging station overnight.

Gasoline Car

Emits exhaust pollutants.
Gasoline cars contribute to air pollution.

Electric Car

Produces zero tailpipe emissions.
The electric car is a green alternative to gasoline vehicles.

Gasoline Car

Often has a longer range and quicker refueling time.
He drove his gasoline car 300 miles before needing to refuel.


Can gasoline cars travel longer distances without refueling compared to electric cars?

Yes, gasoline cars generally have longer ranges and can be refueled quickly.

Are gasoline cars typically louder than electric cars?

Yes, gasoline cars are generally noisier due to the internal combustion process.

Are electric cars more expensive than gasoline cars?

Initially, electric cars can be more expensive, but they may offer savings over time due to lower operational costs.

Do electric cars have exhaust emissions?

No, electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them eco-friendly.

Do electric cars need oil changes?

No, electric cars do not require oil changes as they lack an internal combustion engine.

Do gasoline cars offer more model options compared to electric cars?

Yes, gasoline cars currently offer a more extensive range of models, but electric car options are increasing.

Can electric cars be charged at home?

Yes, electric cars can be charged at home using standard or specially installed charging equipment.

How long do electric cars take to charge?

Charging time for electric cars varies, ranging from 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the charger type and battery capacity.

Are gasoline cars faster than electric cars?

While many gasoline cars are fast, some electric cars like those from Tesla offer exceptional acceleration and speed.

Can gasoline cars be converted to electric cars?

Yes, with extensive modifications, it is possible to convert gasoline cars to electric.

Can electric cars help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Yes, electric cars can help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to their zero tailpipe emissions.

Do gasoline cars require more maintenance than electric cars?

Generally, yes. Gasoline cars often have higher maintenance needs due to more complex engines and exhaust systems.

Are there hybrid models that use both electricity and gasoline?

Yes, hybrid cars utilize both electric motors and internal combustion engines.

Is the range of electric cars improving?

Yes, advancements in technology are continually improving the range of electric cars.

Are electric cars quieter than gasoline cars?

Yes, electric cars typically operate more quietly than gasoline cars.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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