The Switch From An Electric Car Back To Gas Can Be Ugly

The Switch From An Electric Car Back To Gas Can Be Ugly

I was recently forced to switch back to a gas car. Luckily it was brief.

I normally drive a 2018 Chevy Bolt. But because it is currently being serviced, I was given a Nissan Versa as a loaner.

The 2021 Versa certainly isn’t fancy. And it’s a far cry from an Infiniti QX55. But the problem is bigger than that.

ICE is dirty, loud, old

I will never voluntarily go back to a gas car aka an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle.

Here’s why:

  • Fumes: I have gotten used to starting up my Bolt in the garage with door closed for reasons I won’t go into here. That’s obviously impossible with a gas car because of the exhaust fumes. But even with the garage door open, the fumes linger (see this report). And if you shut the door too quickly, you can trap toxic fumes that can then enter other parts of your home, particularly if you have an attached garage.
  • Noise: Driving an electric car is essentially a noiseless, vibration-less (i.e., no gas engine shuddering) experience. Driving your average gas car is not. Even a brand new 2021 Nissan Versa is a jarring experience after you’ve driven an electric.
  • Fuel: it costs more to fuel a gas car. I’m living proof of this. When I owned a gas car I was spending north of $200 a month on gas (I live in Los Angeles). That dropped to between $50 and $75 (roughly) — and sometimes less — a month with an EV. And when I got the Versa the timing couldn’t have been worse. Gas prices in Los Angeles were near $4 a gallon for regular at that time.
  • Ancient history: I’ve often wondered how humans 100 years from now will look back on fossil fuels. I can imagine how absurd it will seem that people sat in traffic jams spewing toxic fumes at each other. The ICE car is ancient and deserves its coming demise.

That’s not to say EVs are perfect. The problem that electric cars face is that the battery technology has not been fully vetted. Mass-produced gas cars have been around for over 100 years while mass-produced EVs for about a decade. Battery technology for electric cars simply isn’t there yet. That said, EVs overall are so superior (imo) to ICE vehicles that, in the long run, EVs will win over the majority of U.S. car buyers.

But don’t take my word for it. Just ask executives at GM, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Audi and all the other traditional carmakers that are rushing en masse to switch over to EVs (and trying to catch Tesla).



*I had the Versa for two weeks. Eventually my dealer provided a 2021 Bolt as a replacement. Here’s a longer explanation of what happened to my 2018 Bolt.

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