While electric vehicles (EVs) were once thought of as slower and with less power than gas-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, modern EVs can often match or even surpass the performance of gas cars. This is due to the way electric motors deliver torque. With an electric motor, maximum torque is available from a stop, whereas with an ICE vehicle torque ramps up as the engine spins up. As a result, EVs tend to have stronger acceleration from a standing start. Some high-performance EVs like the Tesla Model S Plaid can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds, faster than almost all gas sports cars.
EVs also tend to have a lower center of gravity than gas cars thanks to the heavy battery packs being located low down in the floor of the vehicle. This provides better handling, balance, and stability when cornering. Some studies have even found EVs able to out-corner gas cars on winding roads due to this low center of gravity and instant torque response from electric motors. While you may sacrifice some cargo or rear seat space to the battery, most EVs still provide comparable interior room to similar gas vehicle models. Driving range for EVs has also increased dramatically in recent years. Top EV models now offer over 300 miles of range on a single charge.
There are some key differences in the driving experience compared to gas cars. One downside is that EVs have more weight from their batteries which can impact things like braking ability and tires may wear out more quickly with the extra pounds. Regenerative braking – which converts some of the energy lost during braking into charging the battery – helps offset this, but hard stops still take more distance in an EV. Without engine sounds, EVs are much quieter, which some drivers may perceive as less engaging or exhilarating, though others see it as a more serene driving experience.
Charging times can also be longer than refilling a gas tank. While most EVs can fast charge up to 80% in 30-45 minutes on newer high-powered networks, it still takes much less time to stop for gas during long road trips. Charging an EV overnight at home is very convenient. And total ownership costs tend to be lower for EVs due to fewer scheduled maintenance needs and very low fuel/electricity costs of around $1 to fully “refill” the battery. Gas prices fluctuate far more wildly. Some governments even offer tax credits and incentives to make EVs more affordable compared to comparable gas models.
In terms of driving dynamics behind the wheel, EV motors provide strong but smooth and linear acceleration. With quick and precise acceleration control at your fingertips, driving an EV can feel lively yet composed. There is no engine noise, so internal cabin silence reigns. Some higher-end EVs even allow for some cool customization of artificial engine sounds if desired via speakers. Sportier models like the Tesla Model 3 Performance or Porsche Taycan Turbo S bring racecar levels of instant throttle response. In contrast, driving a gas performance vehicle requires working with the engine rpm and gear shifts for the most engaging drives. While EVs may need some getting used to for drivers attached to certain aspects of internal combustion, modern electric drivetrains are highly capable and provide their own unique advantages and pleasures behind the wheel. As charging infrastructure expands and battery technology continues advancing, EVs will only continue closing the gap with gasoline counterparts.
Electric vehicles have made tremendous strides in both performance and driving experience to match and even exceed gas-powered cars in many key areas. With instant torque, precise acceleration control, lower centers of gravity for better handling, and high power outputs from leading models, EVs can absolutely satisfy driving enthusiasts. Their operation is simply differen but not necessarily inferior to traditional ICE vehicles. Over time, more convenient charging networks and longer driving ranges will make EVs viable options for most drivers, especially as their total cost of ownership makes increasingly good financial sense as well. As both technologies continue developing, drivers will continue gaining even more choices in finding satisfying vehicles suited to their unique needs and preferences.