No, recharging your electric car won’t cost more than a full tank of gas on October 1

Some media have suggested that recharging an electric car will be more expensive than filling a thermal car from October 1 in Great Britain. But this is false and we explain to you why.

In France, the price of electricity in the wholesale market has increased to the point of reaching 1,000 euros per MWh against 85 euros last year. Fortunately, we have the energy shield that protects us, at least until the end of the year, with the regulated tariff that makes it possible to invoice a kWh for 17 cents. In Great Britain, the situation is even more dangerous, because the cost per kWh ranges from 0.28 pounds (about 0.32 euros) to 0.52 pounds (about 0.61 euros) on average for individuals, until October 1, 2022.

The cost of charging electric vehicles is rising

A big increase (by 80%), but limited to a device similar to our energy shield. An independent company, RAC, therefore sounding the alarm by announcing that the cost of charging electric cars will rise. In its press release, the RAC took the example of a Kia e-Niro full of electrons from 18.37 pounds (about 21 euros) to 33.80 pounds (about 39 euros).

Many media rushed to the breach showing that it will be more expensive to travel in an electric car than a thermal car in England from next October. Some French media reported the same story. But this is false, and even RAC forced to publish a denial on Twitter to clarify that the organization did not say that.

Thermal versus electric: we did the math

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

The idea is calculate energy costs (gasoline, diesel or electricity) to travel 650 km. We base ourselves onWLTP autonomy electric vehicles to calculate their consumption (which therefore includes regenerative braking, unlike 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 consider 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. Fuel costs are recorded on the site RAC on August 15, was 1.73 pounds for every liter of gasoline and 1.84 pounds for every liter of diesel.

It should also be noted that we consider the loss of recharging electric cars at an alternating current terminal, as shown in a recent German study. This is almost 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 in the heat converter due to the Joule effect.

Here are the results of 650 km, between two electric cars and three thermal cars, petrol and diesel.

Cost for a 650 km trip

vehicles Travel cost 650 km (currently) Travel cost 650 km (from October 1)
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 by electric cars often cost more than the same distance traveled by a thermal car. However, these results should be taken with a grain of salt, because it is a question of consumption as announced by the manufacturers, and we know that it is always higher in reality depending on the routes taken during the journey as we saw in our Paris – Marseilles.

Hyundai Kona in an Ionity terminal

This will not change the result, because if all the cars in the table consume more than shown, then all the numbers will be higher and electrics will always cost, the first, cheaper than thermals. The only gray area to worry about highway tripswhere the consumption of electric cars explodes and it is no longer possible to achieve WLTP autonomy, while the consumption of thermal cars is much less.

And on the highway, how does it look?

As we have seen in our long-distance electric car records, the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion consumes approximately 18.8 kWh / 100 km on the highway, or 122 kWh on a 650 km trip, which translates to a bill of 74 euros in Great Britain after October 1. Thus placing it between a BMW 320d and 318i. But beware, here we consider the price of electricity for individuals, while motorway refills are usually more expensive per kWh.

The same applies to the price of gasoline and diesel, which are usually more expensive at service stations located in rest areas. And that without considering a possible increase in the cost of these two fossil fuels in the coming months, because the price of electricity is set in Great Britain until December 31, 2022.

The situation in France

In France, we fear a big increase in electricity prices in the coming months. We are here now protected by an energy shield, but this one may disappear. However, we should be somewhat confident in the numbers we see passing by. When the wholesale electricity market announced a tariff of 1 MWh (ie 1,000 kWh) of 1,000 euros for the winter of 2023, it does not mean that the kWh will then be charged 1 euro to private customers a year.

Tesla Power fortress
A house with photovoltaic panels

In fact, EDF produces its own energy, but has to buy electricity on the wholesale market if its production (and that of alternative renewable energy actors) is not enough to meet the consumption of the French. So the marginal cost will increaseie the amount of kWh that can be bought in the wholesale market.

The energy bill in France will therefore increase, but not by 30 as we read. In fact, the electricity tariff is regulated by the State (the TRV) and is calculated according to three variables: the cost of production per kilowatt hour, the cost of networks or infrastructure and taxes.

For example, EDF sells MWh of nuclear production for 42 euros. Predicting future costs is difficult, especially as they vary according to the level 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 those who have photovoltaic panels at home!

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