tested gas vehicles vs electrics

Car and Driver

When we meet a strange new creature, we do what humans have done since the beginning of time: observe it, categorize it, and maybe see what it tastes like, but not necessarily in that order. In the kingdom of Automobilia, that means stomping the don’t-call-it-a-throttle pedal and sliding past the limits to see what electric vehicles are capable of and how that’s different from the combustion-powered vehicles we know and love. Here’s the tale of the modern EV, as told through the data from 47 electrics and more than 2200 gas, diesel, and hybrid vehicles we’ve tested since Tesla introduced the Model S in 2012.

How We Test

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On average, internal-combustion-powered vehicles are slightly quicker.


The real-world swiftness of electric motors and single-speed transmissions shows in our passing tests.

But the lack of gearing in most EVs hinders top speeds.


No surprise: EVs are vastly more energy efficient. But you’ll have to plan for extra time if you’re pushing past their limited ranges.


EVs are quieter at max-attack acceleration as well as while cruising at 70 mph.


EVs are heavier than comparable combustion models; for example, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E weighs 500 pounds more than an Edge. But EVs have yet to appear in the heaviest vehicle categories, such as pickups and large SUVs, so, for now, their average curb weight is still slightly less overall.


EVs better balance their pounds, which are concentrated in battery packs mounted low and near the center of the vehicle.


But that weight-distribution advantage doesn’t offset the effects of efficiency-oriented tires running higher pressures (average cold inflation of 40 psi for EVs versus 37 psi for all others).

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