Electric cars VS Petrol cars - A technical comparison

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Which is better; electric or petrol cars? It is a debate that seems to get hotter and hotter as more and more manufactures are entering the space with their EV models. Here are some technical comparisions and additional information to help better determine which is better.

10 years ago, when the Tesla Roadster was launched, no motor vehicle enthusiast or petrolhead would have thought that the debate of electric versus petrol (internal combustion) cars would become a real thing. However, today the debate, that seems to get hotter and hotter as more and more manufactures are entering the space with their EV models, has become a serious one. With much conflicting and contradicting information being added to the already heated fandom driven debate, we feel it is important to bring some science and engineering into the mix.

With the following technical explination via Learn Engineering, a real world drag race by Motor Trend and a few insightful infographics, we hope to inform and provide some real 'science' to the debate of which is better; electric or petrol cars.

Electric cars vs Petrol cars by Learn Engineering

Electric cars were in their heyday back in 1900, but a sudden rise in petrol engine cars, accompanied by battery technology inefficiencies killed electric cars by 1920. However, with recent improvements in battery technology and power electronics, electric cars have made a strong comeback. We will compare these totally different technologies scientifically, and come to understand which is superior. Here we are using Tesla model S as electric car to compare with its petrol engine car counter part.

World's Greatest Drag Race #7 2017 by Motor Trend

In September 2017 Motor Trend returned with their ever popular annual 'The World's Greatest Drag Race' with 12 of the world's best supercars and sports cars facing off in an epic quarter-mile sprint for glory! The 12 contenders featured were from Motor Trend's 2017 Best Driver's Car competition.

The 12 featured vehicles included in the drag race were: the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Aston Martin DB11, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, Ferrari 488 GTB, Lexus LC500, McLaren 570GT Mercedes Benz AMG GTR, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 718 Cayman S, Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Tesla Model S P100D - all gathered together on the Vandenberg Air Force Base to find out which car is the fastest.

Additional information

Here are infographics which provide more information to debate on.

 2e4c2ac72354f9b7b2af87b28996ddce california plug in electric vehicle driver survey results ca ctr for sustainable energy mar 2013 100458148 l Electric Car vs Gasoline Car Power2Switch1 


What are your thoughts on electric and petrol cars? Let us know in the comments below.


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Alain McRae

Freelance motor racing and sports blogger. Loves supercars, football, video games and action movies. When not writing, he can be found reading comics or playing video games.


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