We hear and read everything and anything about electric cars and their charging, especially with the energy crisis that we are reluctantly thrown into. First untruth: Electric cars would be more expensive to use than a car with an internal combustion engine. This is true only if…
Only if the electric car is exclusively charged at public terminals, and again at public terminals where the kWh is sold at a strictly unreasonable price. Let’s not throw stones at the entrepreneurs who have started building electric car charging stations in good faith. They could not imagine that electricity, until recently almost free, at least in France, would see its prices rise to such proportions in a few months! Prices that should rise further and rise sustainably..
But let’s start from the beginning by focusing on electricity first. Unlike gasoline or diesel, whose price fluctuates from week to week, less often, from day to day, and only by a few percent more or less…. The price of electricity can double, triple, quadruple, quintuple and more depending on where and when it is consumed.
The price of electric car charging depends on where you plug in
Illogical? But also completely logical. At a motorway service area, the driver of an electric vehicle seeking to recharge the battery in his car first wants the operation to last as short as possible. Some vehicles promise to recover 80% of their autonomy in half an hour, starting from 10 or 20%. This service has a price: for the installation of a powerful terminal, the cost of which easily exceeds 100,000 euros. A terminal that will not give money to the person who installed it for years, as the investment must be repaid.
In other words, when you charge your car at such fast terminals, you pay less for the energy in the car than for the charging service and thus the price of the terminal. Not to mention that the highway concessionaire also demands his tithe on the road, like at gas stations elsewhere. Except the sales volumes are absolutely not the same at all… A terminal can expect to have about ten customers in a day, on good days, about twenty. While a gas pump will serve ten times more motorists, at least!
It is for this reason that the only rational and economically reasonable way to recharge the battery in an electric car is to recharge it at home. This involves living in a single-family home, which is the case for most EV owners today. Or, in the opposite case, in a home with a parking space, where the installation of one or more charging stations for electric cars has been carried out, or is planned for soon.
Electricity can be sold ten times more expensive on the highway compared to the domestic price
To understand the big difference that can be between electrons charged in the electric car at home and those charged at a fast public terminal, it is enough to consult the tariffs. With Total Energies’ “Super Heures Creuses” offer, between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., you can access kWh under 10 cents (9.6 cents to be exact, including tax). With an “electric car” outside peak load periods from EDF, the kWh value barely exceeds 11 øre.
On the other side of the spectrum, the tariffs of some fast terminals offer kWh for more than 80 cents, and some networks even approach the fateful limit of 1 euro! At this price, an electric sedan consuming a respectable 25 kWh will cost two to three times more in electricity than its gasoline or diesel counterpart. Conversely, the same sedan charged at home overnight will cost two to three times cheaper in electricity than its thermal counterpart!
Between the two, fortunately for the city dwellers, there is a network of charging stations installed at the request of municipalities by dealers. In the big cities, the individual house is of course a luxury, and so are the underground parking spaces. Only charging stations installed on public roads offer a solution for electric car owners.
Network of affordable electric charging stations, others not
Here, which is the daily lot of the owner of an electric car, you can find everything, but if you take the example of Paris, you will discover that the prices can remain reasonable. In slow charging (7kWh), which still allows to recover between 30 and 50 km of autonomy per hour, the price that Total Energies, which operates the Belib” network, is quite reasonable. It fluctuates between 31 and 33 centimes per kWh, knowing that we pay for a duration of the parking time, and not for an amount of kWh loaded. Vise versa The Metropolis network in the Grand Paris metropolis, deployed in the suburbs, which in turn charges per kWh, charges the same slow charge… twice as much ! In the provinces you can find a little bit of everything, from the still free charging station for electric cars (but only for two hours) to… the virtual absence of terminals, except for the overpriced ones inserted in underground parking lots. Who charges and charges, and parking time!
In summary, you have understood that charging your electric car is first and foremost a sport, some would say a game, others feel it as stress and an aberration. But by managing your loads well, you can manage to drive 10,000 km in an electric car, for barely more than two large tanks of fuel! When a thermomobile would have used it, between 10 and 20…