Electric vehicles and Internal combustion vehicles cater to the same basic purpose i.e., transportation, although they differ significantly in their ways of functioning and their impact on the environment. It is highly crucial to understand the difference between the two as their environmental impact and energy efficiency. In this article the differences have been highlighted on multiple basis.


Power Source:

One of the most crucial differences between EV and IC vehicles is their power source. The power source for an electric vehicle (EV) is a battery that stores electricity which is used as a source to power the electric motor. The battery is charged by plugging the vehicle into an outlet or a charging station The electric motor present in the vehicle converts the electric energy into mechanical energy which is then used to move the put the vehicle into motion.


In contrast, the power source for an internal combustion vehicle is fuel, generally gasoline or diesel. The fuel is burned in the engine which in turn creates mechanical energy that is used to move the vehicle forward.


Energy Efficiency:

The efficiencies of electric vehicles and IC vehicles vary by a huge amount, The power source is important but the efficiency of the vehicle model to convert the power into mechanical energy is also highly important. It is to be noted that on average IC engines are only about 20-30% efficient, which means that 70-80% of the energy the fuel contains is wasted/lost as heat.


In contrast, electric vehicles are much more efficient in converting energy into motion, with efficiency rates up to 80-90%. The reason for this efficiency is because electric motors can convert the electrical energy from the batteries into mechanical energy with very less loss of energy and because they don’t have the inefficiencies that IC vehicles have such as combustion inefficiency.



Internal combustion vehicles emit a variety of pollutants including greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and other harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. These emissions are released upon the combustion of fuels, and they are highly harmful not just to the environment but also to human health.


Whereas electric vehicles produce zero direct emissions of pollutants. Although they can add to the emissions of pollutants indirectly at times in case the electricity that is produced to charge the EV is generated from fossil fuels, however this can be avoided by generating electricity from sources that are renewable like solar power and wind. Therefore, the emissions that an EV emits depends on the source of the electricity is generated from. Overall, EVs have the potential to decrease emissions caused by emissions significantly, even more so if the electricity is generated from renewable resources. Finally, EVs are also more sustainable in terms of their overall lifecycle impact.




Electric vehicles are the future, EVs promote sustainability, as mentioned before they waste less energy, emit no pollutants directly and are also more efficient when compared to IC vehicles. They can mitigate climate change by significantly reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases associated with transportation. Electric vehicles are also contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Specifically, SDG 7 i.e., Affordable and clean energy and SDG 11 i.e., Sustainable cities and communities.


In conclusion, the differences between EVs and IC vehicles are quite clear, with EVs offering a range of advantages in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency, while there are still changes to be made in the infrastructure to facilitate a smooth transition from traditional vehicles to EVs, EVs represent a brighter and a more sustainable future and highlight a major opportunity to reduce the environmental impact.





2. https://www.firstpost.com/auto/opinions-auto/fuel-of-the-future-how-electric-vehicles-will-drive-us-to-sustainable-development-goals-10939061.html


3. https://www.motortrend.com/news/evs-more-efficient-than-internal-combustion-engines/


4. https://sciendo.com/pdf/10.2478/rtuect-2020-0041


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