Skip main navigation

Differences Between ICE Vehicles and EVs in Daily Life

What are the main differences between ICE Vehicles and EVs in daily life?
An electric vehicle charger and a traditional gasoline dispenser facing each other
© Fleet Alliance

In this article we will look at the differences between ICE vehicles and EVs. Starting with a comparison of their energy efficiency, we will move on to running and maintenance costs. As you will see, EVs have many advantages.

EVs are more energy efficient.

EVs are more energy efficient than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, mainly because of the differences in the way they convert and use energy. The average ICE has a fuel efficiency of only 40% – with 60% lost to heat and friction. As a result, ICEs use far more energy to travel the same distance as EVs.

EVs are smoother to run.

EVs run smoothly and quietly, as the absence of engine noise allows for a quieter ride, contributing to a more comfortable driver or passenger experience and less ambient noise pollution.

EVs offer a more comfortable driving experience. Electric motors provide instant torque for fast acceleration and responsive performance.

In addition, EVs have a lower centre of gravity due to the placement and distribution of their components. For example, the battery pack in an EV is often quite large and heavy, but is located in the lower part of the chassis. This improves handling, stability and responsiveness. For example, the increased stability and improved weight distribution from a lower centre of gravity can contribute to shorter braking distances, making driving safer.

Because EVs don’t need to idle like conventional vehicles to maintain engine operation, they save energy by not burning fuel when stationary. This is particularly beneficial in urban driving, where stop-and-go traffic is common.

Electric buses parked Electric buses. Carro (2020)

Electricity is cheaper than gasoline.

It is usually much cheaper to run your car on electricity than gasoline, especially as you can charge your car at home or an electric bus at its depot overnight.

This means EV owners can start each day with a fully charged vehicle, eliminating the need for frequent visits to gas stations. In addition, the cost of electricity is often lower than that of gasline or diesel, resulting in potential long-term savings on fuel costs.

EVs can also recover energy during braking through regenerative braking systems. When you step on the brake pedal in an EV, the electric motor switches to generator mode, converting kinetic energy back into electricity and storing it in the battery. This recovered energy can then be used to power the vehicle again, reducing overall energy consumption.

Woman using a home charger to charge an electric car Woman charging an EV at home. Elastoproxy (2021)

EVs tend to have lower maintenance costs.

Reduced costs in other areas, such as maintenance, can offset the relatively high initial investment of buying an EV. EVs have far fewer moving parts, cost less to maintain, and last longer due to less wear and tear.

EVs still require maintenance. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, brakes, tyres and other consumables should be checked regularly. These inspection schedules tend to be less frequent than for internal combustion engine vehicles, as the regenerative braking means that EVs wear tyres and brakes more slowly.


From a user perspective, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as a viable alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

In summary, EVs offer numerous benefits in everyday life, including environmental sustainability, lower running costs and a more enjoyable driving experience. As charging infrastructure continues to expand and battery technology improves, the benefits of EVs are becoming more accessible and attractive to a growing number of users. While there are still some differences in the charging and refuelling processes compared to ICE vehicles, the evolving EV market is working to mitigate these challenges and make EV ownership increasingly practical and convenient.

Ultimately, the choice between EVs and ICE vehicles depends on individual preferences, driving needs and the availability of charging infrastructure. As EV technology continues to advance and society embraces sustainable transport, EVs will play a significant role in shaping the future of mobility.


  • EV vs. ICE: Are electric cars worth it? Mer UK. (2022). Retrieved from Link
This article is from the free online

Exploring the World of Electric Mobility: Key Concepts and Strategies

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now