No, recharging your electric car will not cost you more than a full tank of gasoline on October 1

No, recharging your electric car will not cost you more than a full tank of gasoline on October 1

Some media suggest that recharging an electric car will cost more than refueling a thermal car from October 1 in Great Britain. But it is false and we explain why.

In France, the price of electricity on the wholesale market soared to €1,000 per MWh from €85 a year earlier. Fortunately we have the energy shield that protects us, at least until the end of the year, with the regulated rate that allows billing a kWh for 17 cents. In Great Britain the situation is much more delicate, since the cost 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 cost of charging electric cars is skyrocketing

A large increase (by 80%), but limited by a device similar to our energy shield. an independent company, CAR, which is why he sounded the alarm by announcing that the cost of recharging electric cars was going to skyrocket. In his press release, RAC takes the example of a Kia e-Niro for which the 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 void indicating that it will be more expensive to travel by electric car than by thermal car in England from next October. Some French media reported the same story. But this is false, and even CAR was forced to publish a denial on twitter to clarify that the organization had not said that.

Thermal vs. Electric: 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. Opposite, in heat, we take the Kia Sportage gasoline and the BMW 3 Series in the 320d diesel and 320i gasoline version.

The idea is calculate the cost of energy (in gasoline, diesel or electricity) to travel 650 km. We rely on theWLTP autonomy electric cars to calculate their consumption (which therefore includes regenerative braking, unlike the WLTP consumption): 460 km for the Kia e-Niro and 510 km for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

Kia Niro Electric 2022
Kia Niro Electric 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 gasoline was noted on the site. CAR on August 15, namely 1.73 pounds per liter of petrol and 1.84 pounds per liter of diesel.

It is also worth noting that we take into account the loss when recharging electric cars at an AC terminal, as shown by a recent German study. So this is 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 the converter loses in heat due to the Joule effect.

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

Cost of a trip of 650 km

Car Cost of traveling 650 km (currently) Cost to travel 650 km (as of October 1)
Kia and Niro €32.6 €61
tesla model 3 €27.38 51 euros
kia sportsage €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 thermal car. However, these results must be taken with a grain of salt, since these are the consumptions announced by the manufacturers, and we know that, in fact, they are often higher depending on the routes made during the trip, as we have seen in our Paris – Marseille .

Hyundai Kona at an Ionity terminal

The result does not change, because if all the cars in the table consume more than indicated, then all the figures will be higher and the electric ones will always cost, a priori, cheaper than thermal ones. The only gray area refers road tripsduring which the consumption of electric cars skyrockets and no longer allows WLTP autonomy to be achieved at all, while the consumption of thermal cars increases more slightly.

And on the road, how does it look?

As we have seen in our records on long-distance electric cars, the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion consumes approximately 18.8 kWh/100 km on the highway, or 122 kWh on a 650 km trip, which would translate into a bill of 74 euros in Great Britain. after October 1. Thus placing it between a BMW 320d and a 318i. But beware, here we take into account the electricity prices of individuals, while motorway recharges usually charge more expensive per kWh.

The same goes for the price of gasoline and diesel, which is usually more expensive at service stations located in rest areas. And that is without taking into account a possible increase in the cost of these two fossil fuels in the coming months, since the price of electricity is fixed in Great Britain until December 31, 2022.

The situation in France

In France, we can fear a big increase in the price of electricity in the coming months. we are in this moment protected by energy shield, but this one could well be made to disappear. However, we must be a bit calm about the figures we see happening. When the wholesale electricity market announces a rate of 1 MWh (that is, 1,000 kWh) at 1,000 euros for the winter of 2023, this does not mean that the kWh will be billed at 1 euro to the private customer in a year.

Tesla Power Wall
A house equipped with photovoltaic panels

In fact, EDF produces its own energy, but must buy electricity on the wholesale market if its production (and that of alternative players on renewable energies) is not sufficient to satisfy the consumption of the French. Therefore, it is the marginal cost that will increasethat is, the cost of the kWh that will be purchased in the wholesale market.

Therefore, France’s energy bill will increase, but not by 30% as we have read. In effect, the electricity tariff is regulated by the State (the TRV) and is calculated based on three variables: the cost of production per kilowatt hour, the cost of networks or infrastructures, and taxes.

For example, EDF sells the MWh of nuclear production at 42 euros. The future cost is difficult to predict, especially as it will vary depending on the degree of government intervention. For Nicolas Goldberg, energy specialist, interviewed by France 24, the final customer’s bill could increase between 30 and 40% in February 2023 with the rise in regulated prices. Lucky those who have photovoltaic panels at home!

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