Electric Vs. Petrol Technology in Cars

Updated April 17, 2017

The whole world watches the oil war and different countries scramble for control over oil resources. Sensex and share markets depend heavily on crude oil pricing in the International market. The U.S. is one of the largest users of gasoline next to Europe. People have been using cars for ages and filling tanks with gasoline while grumbling about the increasing prices. On the other hand, global warming and environmental health and safety concerns effecting our earth are debated heavily. Emission controls and safety rules are being strictly implemented with an aim to bring down the emission levels.

Electric Car Technology

Improvement in research and technology in the automotive industry has led to the birth of newer methods of using alternate fuels. Recently, we have seen the birth of hybrid vehicles followed by electric cars and other cars fuelled by gas, compressed air and alternate fuels. Electric cars have caught on in Europe in a big way with active government support. In 2009, the U.S. Government announced a huge subsidy set aside to help people buy hybrid cars and scrap old gasoline cars.

Petrol Cars vs. Electric Cars

For now, the main competition seems to be between petrol/gasoline cars vs. electric cars. The main difference between these two cars is the technology that powers the cars to run. Petrol driven cars are built using internal combustion engines that use petrol or diesel as fuel, whereas electric cars run on battery power that is recharged.

Principle of Operation

A petrol combustion engine works on the principle of combustion, or the mixing of fuel with air to release gasses that cause the vehicle parts to move. The heat energy produced inside the engine is transmitted to propel the outside mechanical parts. These parts transmit the movement across the chassis to finally move the wheels accordingly. Petrol cars used to be fitted with carburettors and now use fuel injection systems.

An Electric car is fitted with batteries that are rechargeable. The batteries are placed across the entire system in a balanced way to manage equivalent weight dispersion and are connected with cables. These batteries power the mechanical parts to move forward.


Both the petrol and electric technologies work on different principles and hence cannot be compared on an apple to apple basis. However certain important comparisons can be made in terms of the rate of conversion between a petrol engine and electric batteries which shows higher efficiency in the case of electric batteries. Secondly, the petrol combustion process produces a lot of smoke and dust, while electric batteries do not produce such pollutants. The energy transmission is better in electric battery driven vehicles when compared with petrol vehicles resulting in lesser wastage and transmission loss.

Future of Car Technologies

On the whole electric battery cars are here to stay. Though people argue in favour or against and grumble over the frequent charging requirements, lesser power and speed, the emerging situation demands that we move away from petrol cars. Electric battery car technology is still in its infancy. More and more research and process improvements will bring advancements in the technology and the product.

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About the Author

Deyanda Flint has been writing professionally since 2001. Her articles have appeared in “Spigot Science Magazine”. She holds a Master of Arts degree in creative writing from Georgia State University.