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Major Differences Between Electric and Gasoline Powered Vehicles for those in Auto Mechanic School

Published on October 15, 2020 by in Blog, CATI

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As the electric vehicle (EV) continues to evolve and flourish in the marketplace, the prices of these eco-conscious vehicles are coming down all the time, making them more alluring to buyers. Of course, up-front costs are not the only consideration a buyer should factor in when pondering whether to purchase an electrically powered vehicle over a gasoline-powered model. 

When making such a big decision, the two vehicle types must be more closely examined. Aside from the unique exterior design often seen on EVs, the most obvious difference between these vehicles is the energy source used to fuel them—with EVs relying on electricity, and internal combustion engines using gasoline. 

To understand more about the differences between these vehicle types and their associated costs, let’s take a closer look!

Fuelling Costs

Although the availability of EV brands and model types are expanding all the time, these types of vehicles are still generally more expensive to purchase upfront. However, these costs are usually offset over time by significantly lower fueling costs. With electricity prices so low across much of Canada, the annual cost of charging an electric car in this country averaged around $277.19 CAD a year according to a recent international survey. That average assumed an annual usage of 1,172 KWh (kilowatt-hours).

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The cost of an electric charge is significantly lower than filling up with gasoline

This is a striking difference when compared to the gasoline-powered car, which can cost anywhere from $50 – $100 CAD plus to fill up depending on the type of car, the size of the gas tank, the cost of gasoline at the time, and the location of the pump. If you’re fueling your car more than once a month, as many Canadians do, you can see how a monthly cost of ownership can quickly exceed the annual cost of fuelling the EV. GasBuddy.com estimates the average annual cost of gas in Ontario to be around $2,098 a year, considering an average annual driving distance of 15,200 km and fuel economy of 9.8 litres per 100 km. 

Maintenance Requirements

As anyone attending automotive college will soon discover, the gasoline-powered car has hundreds of moving parts requiring all kinds of routine maintenance. In between oil changes, tune-ups, and other scheduled check-ups, a gas-powered car is still at risk of having any one of its moving parts fail. The older the vehicle gets, the more its many bits begin to break down, increasing the owner’s overall repair and maintenance costs.

The electric car has only one moving part—the shaft of the car’s motor. This part is known for its reliability, needing very little maintenance, and often none at all. The car’s controller, charger, and sealed lead acid battery also require little to no maintenance. While the battery will eventually need replacing on most EVs, the overall maintenance costs on these vehicles is still substantially lower than gas-powered vehicles.

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The many moving parts on a gasoline-powered car require a lot more oversight and maintenance

Other Differences Students at Automotive College Should Be Aware Of

The EV is the runaway winner when it comes to maintenance and operation costs, but a number of challenges continue to make prospective buyers leery. The biggest problem with EVs is the maximum range on existing battery technologies, limiting a driver to travel distances of between 80 km and 240 km on average between charges. 

Another issue with electrically-powered vehicles is the lack of charging station infrastructure available. Owners may have all the electricity they need at home, but if juice is running out on the road, drivers don’t have access to charging stations at strategic locations as we see with the wide availability of gas stations.

During your auto mechanic career, you’ll see that there are many differences that separate gasoline-powered and electric vehicles. Each come with their own benefits, detriments, and cost considerations. Anyone thinking of buying one over the other should examine these differences closely in order to make a sound, educated decision!

Are you interested in attending auto mechanic school to learn how to diagnose and repair car issues? 

Contact CATI to learn more about its specialized automotive programs!

 
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