Gas-powered cars will rule for a while

Alan Rawles, [email protected]

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Zero to 60 in just over two seconds, 840 horsepower and  770 pound-feet of torque. When people start talking about electric cars replacing gasoline cars, I will be pointing them towards these numbers of the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. If companies are still making these ridiculous performance cars, then this shows that gasoline cars aren’t slowing down their progress anytime soon.

The recent rise of electric cars shows promise in the automotive community. Companies like Tesla have made strides in electric automotive technology over the years. Tesla has made innovations including semi-autonomous capabilities and electric power instead of traditional combustion engines. The semi-autonomous capabilities allow Tesla’s vehicles to drive without driver interaction. According to Tesla, that means their cars will match speed with surrounding traffic, stay in one lane, change lanes without a driver prompt and even park on their own.

Some may see these as great strides in safety, but others see this as an invasion of their right to drive. The advancement of autonomous driving means that those who like to be involved with the experience of driving might see a favorite activity taken away in the name of safety.

With electric cars, the argument of fuel economy comes into the picture. Of course, electric cars won’t have to use gas, so the only issue is their charge. I’ll use Tesla as an example again. The Model S can get anywhere from 210 miles to 315 miles of travel from its battery. Is this impressive? Yes. Now we need to look at the time to charge the battery. Tesla says that drivers should expect 52 miles of charge per hour at a home charging port. Keep in mind that your car won’t always be charging at home. Tesla has Supercharger stations along popular travel routes. Notice how I said popular travel routes. I hope you don’t get caught in a small town that doesn’t have a place to charge.

This argument is about the superiority of gas-powered cars, though. Let’s look at the glaringly obvious point, gas mileage. We saw how a common electric car can go, on average, 262.5 miles in one charge. Then, the car would have to charge for about five hours before it could go again. My four-cylinder Mazda midsize sedan can go over 400 miles on one tank of gas. It gets around 29 miles per gallon in mixed driving conditions and takes about three minutes to fill the tank when it needs gas. I’d say the gas cars win that battle.

Now, let’s look at a new category: Price. A basic Tesla Model S costs $68,000. Factor in some pricy options though, because you’ll want them, and that price will reach over the $70,000 mark. The current price of a midsize Mazda or Toyota sedan is $25,000 or around $30,000 with a nicer trim.

While electric cars may show a promise for the future of driving, I don’t see enough innovation for a full takeover of the automotive industry anytime soon.