Overhead view of Volkswagen ID.4 SUV driving on the highway

Electric Cars vs. Gas Cars: What You Need to Know

The global shift to electric is happening now, but is now the best time to make the switch? Is there enough infrastructure to maintain an EV on a road trip? Is the carbon footprint of an electric car actually smaller than that of a gas car? The short answer to all these questions is yes. The long answers are below.

The global shift to electric

Although electric vehicles are not new, the push to go electric on a global scale is. Governments across Canada have indicated a strong desire to move away from gas vehicles and towards electric. They’ve taken action with rebates for EV purchasers in select provinces.

Infrastructure is also being built to support EVs, including easily accessible charging stations along major highways (see the work Electrify Canada is doingOpen external link).

While EVs currently account for a small percentage of overall sales, Volkswagen is committed to making electric a reality for all Canadians.

Volkswagen Canada’s impact

As “the people’s car” company, Volkswagen Canada is committed to making and selling vehicles for everyone, which means making electric vehicles accessible for Canadians.

The first step was the reveal of the ID.4, Volkswagen Canada’s all-new, all-electric SUVW. The ID.4 was chosen as the EV to premiere here because the compact SUV is the most popular type of vehicle in Canada.

However, the ID.4 is just the beginning for Canadians. It’s part of the larger ID. Family which includes other, exciting all-electric vehicles coming soon, including the highly anticipated ID. BUZZOpen external link.

The different types of EV

There are three types of electric vehicles which give drivers options on charging, fuel, and others.  

Battery Electric Vehicles

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

  • Fully Electric
  • No Gas Engine
  • Powered by electricity stored in a battery
  • Fully Electric
  • Gas Engine
  • Powered by split electrons from hydrogen molecules to produce electricity
  • Not Fully Electric
  • Gas Engine
  • Powered by a combination of a gasoline engine and a rechargeable battery

The ID.4 is a battery electric vehicle.

  • Fully Electric
  • No Gas Engine
  • Powered by electricity stored in a battery

The ID.4 is a battery electric vehicle.

The ID.4 is a battery electric vehicle.

So, what’s the difference?

The differences are in what powers them, their impact, and how they feel to drive.

Whereas gas vehicles burn gasoline, EVs are powered by electricity stored in the battery, and they don’t emit hydrocarbons.

One of the biggest differences between an electric car vs gas car is how they feel, An EV has no gears so it’s “whisper quiet”, whereas an ICE vehicle has gears that rotate at high speeds which give it a rumbly feel.

The cost of gas vs electric

At this stage of production, EVs are more expensive than gas cars up front. However, there are government grants and rebates that can make a significant dent in the price. Plus, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts that can break down so there is less maintenance and no gasoline to buy. The total cost of owning an EV is generally acknowledged to be less than owning a gas vehicle. 

Interior of a Volkswagen ID.4 SUV.


Volkswagen ID.4 SUV driving on a cobblestone city street

There’s a lot to know about electric cars vs gas cars and there are many great resources. Join the ID. InsiderOpen external link community for news and updates on electric mobility from Volkswagen.

Disclaimers by Volkswagen

  • † Prices shown are MSRP where indicated. MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price and excludes taxes, freight and PDI ($1,750 (Jetta, Jetta GLI, Golf GTI, Golf R), and $1,950 (Tiguan, Taos, Cross Sport, Atlas, ID.4), levies, fees, optional equipment, license, insurance, registration, and any dealer or other charges (where applicable). If MSRP is not mentioned, prices shown include freight and PDI, environmental levies and a representative dealer admin fee (actual fee amount is set by dealers and varies).  Environmental or related levies and taxes may vary by jurisdiction. Dealer may sell for less. Prices are in Canadian dollars. This is not an offer to sell at a certain price. Actual selling prices and terms are set by dealers.  European or American models may be shown. Specifications, equipment, options and prices are subject to change without notice. Although we endeavour to ensure that the information contained on the website is accurate, as errors may occur from time to time, customers should contact their local Volkswagen dealer for details. Photos for illustration purposes only. Some items, such as wheels, may be unavailable on some trim levels when vehicle is built or may not be available in Canada.
  • Due to supply chain disruptions, certain trim levels may not be readily available and require a factory order from your Volkswagen dealer. Wait times will vary as a result of these supply chain disruptions, with current lead time for factory orders estimated between 6 – 8 months for most models, and approximately 18 months for the ID.4, subject to change without notice. Actual delivery dates could be affected by various factors beyond Volkswagen Canada’s and Volkswagen Canada Dealer’s control. Volkswagen Canada or Volkswagen Dealers will not be liable for any such delay in delivery. Supply chain disruptions can cause changes in available standard and/or optional equipment. The MSRP for a vehicle will be adjusted if specific equipment is not included. Please contact your dealer for more information.