Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electric vehicles vs gasoline vehicles

  1. Nov 27, 2013 #1
    Will an electric vehicle use less joules going up a hill than a gasoline vehicle, because electric vehicles are more efficient? I've read that electric vehicles use on average 800,000 joules per mile, while gas vehicles use 3.3 million joules per mile. Assuming those numbers are based on horizontal tests, I'm wondering how many joules each would use going up a 15 degree incline, for a total rise in elevation of 600 feet, and both vehicles weigh 3,000 pounds.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2013 #2
    Look up the efficiency of gas vs electric motors, then apply that to the physical energy required to "lift" a car 600ft.

    Will probably come close to your numbers, or at least the ratio.
  4. Nov 27, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    The whole field of transport costs is affected by Tax as much as basic efficiency.The secret of cheap transport is to use a fuel that is not taxed. Of course, you may need to produce a special engine to utilise that fuel. Life is never simple.

    When comparing electric and chemical propulsion, it may or may not be relevant to compare the performance of the whole energy chain, rather than just to compare the energy supplied 'to' the vehicle, depending on what answer you want to get.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook