Does a car's A/C use gas or electricity?

If I get an electric car, it needs to have air conditioning, but someone told me A/C’s run off gas, so electric cars can’t have air conditioning. Does a car's A/C use gas or electricity?

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Answer provided by
Emily Jansen
Answered on May 10, 2022
Great question! In a gas-powered car the air conditioner is powered by the engine. Since the engine is powered by gas, yes, in a gas vehicle, A/C uses gas. However, electric vehicles can still have A/C. An electric car’s motor will still power your A/C, it will of course just swap gas for electricity.
Car air conditioners are a vital part of your car if you live somewhere warm and sunny. Car manufacturers know this, and they made sure that in new electric vehicle models the good old A/C system would still work, even without the benefit of gas power.
In a gas-powered vehicle your air conditioner is powered by the alternator, which is in turn powered by gas. So in order to have cold air blowing out the vents, you need gas.
In an electric vehicle, they’ve designed the air conditioner to work sort of like your refrigerator does. The electric motor in the vehicle helps to power the air conditioner so you get nice cool air.
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