Catalytic converters are well-known and useful on many types of vehicles, but we commonly get asked if electric cars have catalytic converters too.

Do Electric Cars Have Catalytic Converters 1 Do Electric Cars Have Catalytic Converters? Why Not?

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Do electric cars have catalytic converters?

Electric cars do not have catalytic converters because there is no traditional engine, combustion, and exhaust system. They also don’t release harmful emissions like traditional gas-powered vehicles, so the catalytic converter is unnecessary. However, gas or diesel hybrid cars do have them. 

Since the introduction of electric cars, there has been a lot of debate over whether electric cars have catalytic converters. 

We have worked with these cars and researched how and why electric cars don’t have them. Keep reading to learn exactly why. 

Do Electric Cars Have Catalytic Converters?

No, electric cars don’t have catalytic converters. The catalytic converter is an emissions control device used on most modern automobiles to reduce air pollution.

They are mainly used in cars that run on gasoline or diesel fuel. They are not used on electric cars because they don’t emit any harmful gasses, so they don’t need a catalytic converter.

Electric cars do not use a traditional internal combustion engine for fuel, so they do not emit harmful emissions. This means no catalytic converter is needed because there is no exhaust. 

Hybrid cars and other vehicles that run on gas use a catalytic converter. It’s the best way to ensure cars are eliminating the number of harmful emissions into the air. 

Catalytic converters work with combustion engines too. The combustion engine will create energy by burning fuel and turning it into heat. The converter makes this a safe fume to emit into the air. 

However, electric cars don’t produce any emissions, to begin with, so there is no need for a catalytic converter.

Do Teslas Come With Catalytic Converters?

No, Teslas do not have catalytic converters. This vehicle component is meant to reduce the level of pollutants in exhaust gasses by oxidizing them.

They require oxygen to function and are incompatible with Teslas which run on an electric engine. There is also no exhaust system in any Tesla models. 

This is because no Tesla uses gasoline, so the purpose of a catalytic converter makes no sense with this vehicle. There are minimal harmful emissions produced by this car, and they don’t need this component. 

The same applies to oil changes when discussing Teslas and other electric cars. They are not required because there is no traditional engine, exhaust, and fuel. 

Do Electric Cars Have Catalytic Converters 1 1 Do Electric Cars Have Catalytic Converters? Why Not?

What Types Of Cars Have Catalytic Converters?

All cars and trucks built after 1974 come with a catalytic converter equipped. This was when the change from old, lead-based fuel focused on safer vehicle and fuel practices. 

However, electric cars are one example of vehicles that don’t use catalytic converters. In construction, they also use rare earth metals like platinum, palladium, or rhodium, making them a common target for thieves. 

So we will explain the types of cars that do have catalytic converters. 

Gas And Diesel Cars

All gas and diesel-powered cars built after 1974 come with a catalytic converter. This is necessary, especially on older cars, for safety and performance. 

The catalytic converter is a device that converts harmful gasses from the car’s exhaust into less toxic substances. The catalyst is heated by the exhaust gasses and reacts with oxygen in the air.

Hybrid Cars

It may be surprising to some, but hybrid cars built after 1974 also come with catalytic converters. Both plug-in and non-plug-in hybrids have them. 

This is because these vehicles partially rely on gas or diesel to run, so based on the laws, they must also come with a catalytic converter. However, it gets used less, so thieves target these vehicles more. 

What Does A Catalytic Converter Do?

Catalytic converters are car devices that help reduce air pollution by converting harmful gasses into less harmful ones.

This is done by using a catalyst to speed up chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the exhaust system.

The main benefit of catalytic converters is that they can decrease the level of carbon monoxide pollution and nitrous oxide emissions from vehicles.

It’s used to reduce the number of pollutants in a vehicle’s exhaust. It does this by breaking down the pollutants into smaller particles. These particles are then emitted from the car as water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Because of the purpose of a catalytic converter, they are not needed in electric cars. There is no fuel burn or airborne pollutants to worry about. 

Why Don’t Electric Cars Have Catalytic Converters?

Catalytic converters are often found in cars that run on gasoline, diesel, or natural gas. They are used to reduce the number of harmful emissions that come from the vehicle’s engine. 

No Exhaust

Electric cars don’t have catalytic converters because there is no exhaust or exhaust system with emissions. In a traditional car, the exhaust pulls these fumes from the engine and cabin and releases them. 

Because these fumes don’t exist in an electric car, there is no need for a catalytic converter. This is primarily why the new trend and shift towards electric cars are becoming so important. 

No Combustion Engine

The combustion engine in a regular car creates energy by burning fuel and turning it into heat. Of course, this creates fumes and unnatural emissions, which can be harmful. 

Electric cars don’t have an engine like this because they use advanced batteries instead. Without a combustion engine, the catalytic converter serves no purpose. 

Minimal Harmful Emissions

Lastly, minimal harmful emissions are released from an electric car while driving. The purpose of a catalytic converter is to turn these emissions into less harmful fumes. 

Without any fumes, there is no reason to equip an electric car with a catalytic converter. 

Key Takeaways

  • Electric cars don’t have catalytic converters because there is no exhaust system, combustion engine, or harmful emissions. 
  • Catalytic converters are in all cars and hybrid vehicles that use gas and are built after 1974. 
  • Tesla vehicles also don’t use catalytic converters because the design doesn’t emit fumes or use gas. 
  • The catalytic reduces pollutants by turning harmful emissions from the engine into less harmful gasses released through the exhaust. 

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