I thought it would be interesting to find a report comparing the difference between the efficiency of a vehicle powered by an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and an Electric Motor...but I couldn't find one.
I've known from DOEs site that Gas Powered engines only convert about 20% of the gasoline's energy down to the wheels...while EV's convert about 75% of the battery's energy to the wheels. This is a HUGE difference, but I was wanting to see a breakdown of how they got this number.
Then I found the above graphic on DOEs site under the Energy Requirements menu. This breaks things down nicely, but there's no comparison to EVs...so I made a SWAG at from other data I could find and filled in the table below.
|Internal Combustion |
|Electric Drive |
|Fuel or Electricity|
|Engine Losses |
(friction, heat, charge)
|10% for motor and 5% for power management.|
|Standby/Idle||-17.2%||0%||Electric Motors use nothing at 0mph|
(A/C, Heater, etc.)
|I assumed higher because of cabin heat |
is more expensive in an Electric Vehicle
|Driveline Losses|| |
|Most EVs that I know of have no transmission |
which makes driveline losses much less
|Total Available Energy |
|80%||EVs have 67.4% more energy available to move the vehicle than ICE powered vehicles...that's a HUGE difference in Efficiency!|
So there you are, an unvalidated breakdown of how EVs are much more efficient than ICE vehicles...it's really all about wasted heat. Once the new EVs hit the street later this year, maybe someone will actually compare two similar cars (like a Nissan Versa and a Nissan Leaf) and we can see how close these guesses are to reality.
Given the fact that petroleum is only going to become more scarce in the future, it's only sensible to use this resource more efficiently as time goes on...and using it in ICE powered vehicles is a waste compared to EVs!