No, charging your electric car costs no more than a full tank of gas on October 1

Some media outlets are suggesting that recharging an electric car will cost more than filling up a thermomobile from October 1 in the UK. But it’s false and we’ll explain why.

In France, the price of electricity on the wholesale market rose to a point where it reached 1,000 euros per MWh against 85 euros a year earlier. Fortunately, we have the energy shield, which protects us, at least until the end of the year, with the regulated tariff that makes it possible to bill a kWh for 17 centimes. In the UK, the situation is much more delicate, as the price per kWh will go from 0.28 pounds (about 0.32 euros) to 0.52 pounds (about 0.61 euros) on average for individuals from 1 October 2022 .

The costs of charging electric cars are skyrocketing

A huge increase (by 80%), but limited by a device similar to our energy shield. An independent company, RAC, therefore sounded the alarm by announcing that the costs of charging electric cars were going to increase. In its press release, RAC takes the example of a Kia e-Niro, which is full of electrons will go from 18.37 pounds (about 21 euros) to 33.80 pounds (about 39 euros).

Many media have jumped into the breach and indicate that it will be more expensive to travel in an electric car than in a thermal car in England from next October. Some French media reported the same story. But this is false, and even RAC was forced to publish a rejection on Twitter to clarify that the organization had not said so.

Thermal versus electrical: we do the math

To see more clearly, we decided to take out the calculator to check the situation. We take the example of the Kia e-Niro, but also the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion. On the contrary, we take in thermal gasoline the Kia Sportage and the BMW 3 series in the 320d diesel and 320i gasoline versions.

The idea is to calculate the energy costs (in petrol, diesel or electricity) to travel 650 km. We start fromWLTP autonomy electric cars to calculate their consumption (which therefore includes regenerative braking as opposed to WLTP consumption): 460 km for the Kia e-Niro and 510 km for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

Kia Niro EV 2022
Kia Niro EV 2022

For thermal cars, we take into account their WLTP consumption. That is, 5l/100 km for the Kia Sportage, 5l/100 km for the BMW 320d and 6.6l/100 km for the BMW 318i. The cost of petrol was noted on the spot RAC on August 15, namely £1.73 per liter of petrol and £1.84 per liter of diesel.

It should also be noted that we take into account the loss when recharging electric cars at an AC terminal, as shown by a recent German study. It is thus about a 10% loss for the Kia e-Niro and an 18% loss for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion. A kind of “phantom” consumption which is lost by the converter in heat due to the Joule effect.

Here, the result is over 650 km, between two electric cars and three thermal cars, petrol and diesel.

Price for a trip of 650 km

Car Cost of traveling 650 km (currently) Price to travel 650 km (from 1 October)
Kia and Niro €32.6 61 euros
Tesla Model 3 €27.38 51 euros
Kia Sportage €65.7
BMW 320d €70.2
BMW 318i €86.7

As can be seen in the table, trips in electric cars will always cost less than the same distance traveled in a thermomobile. However, these results must be taken with a grain of salt, as it is a question of the consumption announced by the manufacturers, and we know that they are often higher in fact depending on the routes taken during the journey, as we have seen in our Paris – Marseille.

charging_hyundai_kona_02
Hyundai Kona at an Ionity terminal

It does not change the result, because if all cars in the table consume more than stated, then all figures will be higher, and the electric ones will always cost, a priori, cheaper than thermals. The only gray area concerns motorway tripswhere the consumption of electric cars explodes and no longer makes it possible to achieve WLTP autonomy, while the consumption of thermal cars increases more slightly.

And on the highway, how does it look?

As we’ve seen in our long-range EV records, the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion consumes approximately 18.8kWh / 100km on the motorway, or 122kWh on a 650km trip, which would translate into a bill of €74 in the UK after 1 January. October. This places it between a BMW 320d and 318i. But be careful, here we take private persons’ electricity prices into account, while refilling on the motorway is often charged more expensively per kWh.

The same applies to the price of petrol and diesel, which are generally more expensive at petrol stations located in rest areas. And that is without taking into account a possible increase in the price of these two fossil fuels in the coming months, as the price of electricity in the UK is fixed until 31 December 2022.

The situation in France

In France, we can fear a large increase in the price of electricity in the coming months. We are currently protected by the energy shield, but this could well be made to disappear. However, we must be somewhat reassured by the numbers that we see pass. When the wholesale electricity market announces a tariff of 1 MWh (i.e. 1,000 kWh) at 1,000 euros for the winter of 2023, this does not mean that the kWh will then be billed for 1 euro to the private customer in one year.

Tesla Power wall
A house equipped with solar panels

EDF does indeed produce its own energy, but must buy electricity on the wholesale market if its production (and its production (and the renewable energy production of the alternative players) is not sufficient to cover the consumption of the French). It is therefore the marginal costs that will increasethat is, the cost of the kWh that will be purchased on the wholesale market.

France’s energy bill will therefore increase, but not by 30, as we have read. In fact, the electricity tariff is regulated by the state (TRV) and is calculated according to three variables: the production cost per kilowatt hours, the costs of networks or infrastructures and taxes.

For example, EDF sells nuclear production’s MWh for 42 euros. It is difficult to predict the future costs, especially since they will vary depending on the degree of government intervention. For Nicolas Goldberg, energy specialist, interviewed by France 24, the bill for the end customer may increase by 30 to 40% in February 2023 with the increase in regulated prices. Lucky are those who have solar panels at home!

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