Will electricity prices slow down electric cars? – 07/09/2022 at 15:23


Pump rebates and the explosion of electricity prices may make potential buyers of electric cars suspicious (AFP / PATRIK STOLLARZ)

Pump rebates and exploding electricity prices will make potential buyers of plug-in cars skeptical, but for professionals, the energy crisis will not interfere with the transition to the “zero emission” movement.

At the end of August, the wholesale price of electricity for 2023 in France reached 1,100 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) against 85 euros a year earlier, a consequence of Ukraine’s invasion of Russia but also of decommissioned nuclear power plants in France. .

At the same time, at the beginning of September, the State raised the fuel rebate at the pump to 30 cents per liter, against 18 cents before.

Such figures “must mark the spirits, so that it can make some people question the decision to switch to electric mobility”, agrees Mathias Laffont, director of “uses and territories” of the French Electricity Union (UFE ), industry trade association.

Recently, the desire for 100% electric cars is not so surprising: from 2% in 2019, they rose to 12% of the registrations of new private cars in France in the first eight month of 2022.

The development is set to accelerate due to the pressure on internal combustion vehicles, between traffic restrictions and a ban on sales in 2035. With rechargeable hybrids, the vehicle fleet will regain autonomy by connecting the sector in one million units.

Will their users be trapped by an explosion in the price of electrons? In fact, the French should be protected worldwide. First, “80% of recharging is done at home and at work”, said Clément Molizon, general delegate of the National Association for the Development of Electric Mobility (Avere-France).

– Tariff shield –

At home, the tariff shield is in place and the increase has so far been limited to 4%. The government has promised that the device will remain in place in 2023 and that the increase will be “included and reasonable compared to (the) worst case scenario”, i.e. double the fees.

“Even if we have an increase in the price of electricity, there is a margin that is very important. At home, we are about two euros per 100 km, when in thermal we are between 12 and 16 euros depending on the performance of the cars”, added mr. Molizon.

Especially since some suppliers offer discounted prices during “hyper off-peak” hours, evenings or early mornings.

On the other hand, the question of increases begins to arise for operators of public charging stations, on the street or near shops, and of very heterogeneous prices, with or without subscription that allows them to reduce the fee.

Some points are designated as “top of the range”, especially in the main axes, with powers of more than 50 kW for rapid recharging, and their prices are affected.

Allego, which claims more than 28,000 charging sockets in Europe, has announced that kWh prices have increased by 15 to 20% from the beginning of September in many countries, including France, “due to the increase in electricity prices across Europe”.

The beginning of a general movement? “We don’t expect very big effects before 2023”, answered Clément Molizon, on the other hand “there are many important contracts that expire next year”. And not all operators are equally exposed to wholesale prices.

Ionity, Allego’s competitor, pointed out that “the current increase in energy prices does not exempt operators” and said it would remain cautious. “At the moment, however, there are no planned price increases.”

Same story with EDF, which does not currently plan to increase prices at public charging stations operated by its dedicated subsidiary, Izivia.

And manufacturers, such as Peugeot, whose e208 has risen to the top of sales of electric cars in France, or Renault, whose Mégane e-Tech has just been released, say they are calm: the spring oil shock attracted the new buyers. .

PSA

For Mr. Laffont, “the relevance of the transition to electric mobility must be evaluated for several years”, and the increase in the price of refills, as long as it remains controlled, “do not reverse the economic logic of the transition to electricity. “.

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