Conventional Vehicles vs. Electric Vehicles: Which Is Cheaper to Drive?

by Mar 16, 2023Car buying, Electric cars0 comments

The automotive industry is rapidly evolving with new technology and advancements in electric vehicles (EVs). More and more people are considering switching to electric cars as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional cars. There are numerous environmental and pollution-level reasons to buy an electric vehicle, but is it less expensive to drive? It’s the deceptively simple question that has plagued vehicle buyers for years for good reason. 


When it comes to choosing between conventional vehicles and electric vehicles, there are several factors to consider, including cost, range, convenience, environmental impact, and more. Whether you want to reduce your carbon footprint or choose the ideal vehicle for your needs, we’ve broken down the most basic distinctions between conventional vehicles and electric vehicles. Everything from fuel prices to maintenance can impact the cost of an EV, as well as whether you’ll save money in the long run. Let’s explore these factors together and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Conventional vehicles vs. electric vehicles prices

One of the main factors that people consider when choosing between conventional vehicles and electric vehicles is the cost. When it comes to price, conventional cars are usually less expensive than electric cars. However, the EV market is rapidly expanding, and this price differential is projected to narrow significantly in the future as manufacturers offer more affordable models and battery technology improves. Additionally, you can offset part of that price by taking advantage of EV incentives, which can slash thousands off the price of an EV.

On the other hand, electric cars have a lower operating cost, making them a better long-term investment. This is because electric cars have fewer moving parts than conventional cars, reducing maintenance costs. Conventional cars tend to be cheaper upfront, but they can be more expensive to operate and maintain over time, especially if you drive a lot. Moreover, the cost of charging an electric car is lower compared to the cost of refueling a conventional car.


Conventional Vehicles vs. Electric Vehicles



Charging an electric car can be a time-consuming process, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the charging station’s speed and the car’s battery capacity. However, electric car owners can charge their cars at home, using a standard wall outlet or a dedicated EV charger. Charging for eight hours from a conventional 120-volt outlet can add approximately 51 kilometers of range, which is usually sufficient for daily driving needs. 

Consider the possibility of upgrading your EV charging system. Installing a Level 2, 240-volt outlet in your garage can let you add 321 kilometers or more overnight if you wish to make frequent longer trips. The installation in Canada will cost, on average, $2,000, although the provincial government will provide incentives to help reduce the cost. Moreover, electric car owners can also use public charging stations, which are rapidly increasing in number.


Conventional vehicles vs. electric vehicles maintenance cost

As previously mentioned, electric cars have fewer moving parts than conventional cars, reducing the maintenance costs. Electric vehicles have an obvious benefit in terms of maintenance expenses because they do not require the replacement of spark plugs or the changing of oil. Basic maintenance, such as service inspections and tire rotations, is still required for electric vehicles. Yet, electric vehicles typically cost half as much to maintain and repair as gasoline-powered automobiles. Electric vehicles do not require oil changes, air filter replacements, or other traditional maintenance items; however, EVs require battery maintenance, which can be expensive. Most manufacturers offer warranties on the battery, which should cover any defects or issues that may arise.



Another important factor to consider when choosing between conventional and electric cars is range. Conventional cars can travel longer distances on a full tank of fuel, while electric cars have a limited range, depending on the battery capacity. If you frequently drive long distances, a conventional car may be a better choice for you. Since conventional cars can be refueled quickly at gas stations, electric vehicles take longer to charge, although this is changing as fast-charging stations become more common. 

However, if you mostly drive in the city and have access to charging stations, an electric car may be a better choice. Electric cars are more convenient in other ways, such as not having to go to gas stations or worry about oil changes. Electric cars can also be charged at home, which means you can start each day with a full battery. Moreover, the availability of charging stations is rapidly increasing, which means that it’s easier to charge an electric car on the go.



Another significant difference between conventional cars and electric vehicles is their performance. Electric cars offer instant torque, making them faster and more responsive than conventional vehicles. They also have a lower center of gravity, providing better handling and stability. Moreover, electric vehicles produce little to no noise, providing a smooth and quiet driving experience.


Environmental Impact

When it comes to environmental impact, electric cars have a significant advantage over conventional cars. Electric cars produce zero emissions, meaning they do not pollute the air with greenhouse gases or contribute to global warming. In contrast, conventional cars emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change and air pollution that is harmful to human health and the environment. Overall, electric cars are a better choice for the environment, especially if they are charged with renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.


Electric cars are a better choice for the environment and offer several advantages over conventional cars, such as lower operating costs, better performance, and fewer maintenance requirements. While conventional cars may be cheaper upfront and have a longer range, electric cars are more energy-efficient, cheaper to operate and maintain over time, and better for the environment.


Ultimately, the choice between conventional cars and electric cars depends on your personal preferences and needs. To do your math properly, you can calculate your savings estimate by subtracting the upfront costs of your specific model from the ongoing charges. They should take into account the efficiency of your model, how much you intend to drive, regional electricity rates, charging habits, and annual maintenance expenditures. Then compare the numbers to the gas-powered option.

With the rapid development of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, the future looks bright for electric cars, which are becoming an increasingly attractive option for many people. You not only can expect to save money over the life of an electric vehicle, but you’ll also save the environment thousands of pounds of carbon emissions throughout the life of the EV.

As always, Carnex can provide you with detailed information about buying and owning electric vehicles in Canada.

Carnex is the top online EV expert in Canada for buying and selling used EVs.

Looking for the best electric vehicles for winter? Visit Carnax today and discover the best deals on EVs.

Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.

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