Nov 26, 2020 | Updated: 10:03 AM EST

With So Many Car Companies Now Leaning Towards Producing Electric Cars, Have We Hit Peak Fuel Efficiency?

Nov 18, 2020 09:42 PM EST

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Have we hit peak fuel efficiency with electric cars?
(Photo : (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)) BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12: An electric car and a plug-in hybrid car charge at a public charging station on October 12, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is hoping to encourage electric car sales as a means to brining down CO2 emissions and combat climate change.

In the traditional days, fuel was what we used for cars to be able to run efficiently. Manufacturers of cars worked hard to produce vehicles that gave great gas mileage and people would learn best practices on driving to save fuel. Nowadays, companies are looking to build electric cars that require electricity or a battery recharge versus needing fuel. In this article we will look at the two different options and see if we have hit peak fuel efficiency.

To start, there are four most common types of fuel. Gasoline, Diesel, Bio-diesel, and Ethanol. Gasoline is the most common fuel made from petroleum and it is used domestically and internationally to power cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, and other machinery. The carbon dioxide in gasoline contributes to smog and pollution. Gasoline is offered by three octane grades. Most cars function fine on the lowest grade of octane but sports cars and SUVS run better on premium or plus. This is one major reason why many people including environmentalists support non gasoline vehicles.

Next, diesel fuel is also made from petroleum but it is made by a different method than gasoline. A lot of the industrial and commercial trucks use diesel and drivers favor diesel over gasoline because they feel financially, it makes more sense and they get better value. Diesel engines are louder due to the complicated combustion, while gasoline is more smooth and quiet. However,  cars that use diesel get better gas mileage, and with the surge in fuel prices for gasoline and diesel, people will choose what they deem to be worth more in the long run. 

Vegetable oils or animal fats are used to create diesel fuel which is called bio-diesel. Bio- diesel can be combusted in diesel fuel or blended with diesel fuel. There are drivers who have reinvented themselves and recycle used oils for use of biodiesel. Biofuels are grouped into three categories based on types of feed stock used to feed them. Agriculture is an important basis of biodiesel due to livestock, soils, etc. Many environmentalists lean toward this type of fuel because of climate control and global warming.

The last fuel not discussed is ethanol.  It is not normally used as an automobile fuel but it does get added to common gasoline as an additive.  Because resources like corn and sugarcane can be renewable, a lot of manufacturers are designing vehicles that use ethanol for power. This is a very cost effective fuel type for that reason. 

What has become quite popular lately are the production of electric cars. What are electric cars? Electric cars run at least partially on electricity. Unlike conventional vehicles that are fueled by gasoline or diesel, these types of vehicles are propelled by an electric motor powered by electricity from batteries or a fuel cell. There are many benefits to driving an electric car. One is you may spend a lot upfront but the cost in the long run is very beneficial. You will save money because it does not cost a lot to run. On the average, a person who owns a conventional fuel powered vehicle will spend more money annually on gasoline than a person who owns an electric car. You need to charge the car not spend money on fuel. Furthermore, these cars do not need motor oil since they do not have a combustion engine. You aren't spending money on oil changes and further maintenance. Also, electric cars are more environmentally friendly. It does not require any combustion and does not contribute to pollution. With most things, there are disadvantages but with an electric car, the main one being the charging time. On a traditional vehicle, you fuel your gas tank with gasoline or diesel in just a few minutes. Conveniently there are gas stations almost at every corner of a street.  With an electric car you must charge to get energy from battery power or electricity. The biggest disadvantage will be the time it takes to get a full charge. Some vehicles may take a few hours whereas some may take even a whole day. On top of that, you will need to research the charging stations and hope there is one in proximity to you. 

Did you also know that electric vehicles may require less maintenance? That means your inexpensive Hyundai choice may not be less expensive in the long run. Consider getting an extended auto warranty if that concerns you: Hyundai Extended Warranty Options | MBI & VSCs | cover it. olive it.

To conclude, regardless of the time it does take to charge an electric car, the advantages most certainly outweigh the disadvantages of owning one. The cost and it being environmentally sound are the two major reasons we can conclude that we may be reaching a peak in fuel efficiency. Regardless of the type of fuel it takes to power a conventional vehicle, it is more damaging to our environment and pockets in comparison to an electric vehicle. 

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