Electric car: will charging prices explode in France?

After fuel, it’s the turn of electricity prices to focus concerns for the coming winter. Electric cars could be impacted, but what are we really risking in France?

Faced with rising fuel prices, the electric car has been presented by some politicians as a more economical solution. A few months later, the price of a barrel stabilizes, but the price of electricity promises to be explosive for the winter months. A reversal of the situation that distorts the calculations, but do we really have to worry about that now?

Above all, reducing the electric car to its only financial interest vis-à-vis the cost of recharging is a mistake. The electric car has a lot more arguments to seduce drivers, no offense to some. However, faced with a tense situation where all prices are rising, this is news that EV buyers would have done well without.

2€ per 100 kilometers? The end of a statement

A manufacturer like Nissan, for its Leaf, has long used this charging cost argument in its ads. The brand then announced a price of €2/100 km, a calculation based on charging the vehicle at home during off-peak hours.

This same calculation can be applied to several electric cars, at least all those that offer a very reasonable electric consumption. Electric SUVs no longer offered the same benefit. Many manufacturers even capitalized on the cost of home charging as an argument to convince customers that the biggest investment in an electric vehicle could pay for itself quickly, because charging was cheaper than refueling.

Inflation and tensions in energy prices will therefore inevitably change the situation, but it would take a very high and long-lasting increase for the electric car to lose its advantage over the combustion engine.

A situation in France that is difficult to compare with other countries

If we look across the Channel, the increase in energy costs has taken on such proportions that some studies believe that charging an electric vehicle at home will almost double after the increase predicted for the 1st.er October. A long journey, with public terminals, could even cost more in electric than its equivalent with a petrol model.

It is currently too early to know what increases in the cost of electricity France will have to face. The operation of electricity supply prices (thanks to its regulated tariff) and the consequences of the tariff shield are very different from a market like the one in Great Britain. If certain figures announced, such as the record €1,000/MWH for wholesale purchases, could cause concern, our electricity will not be x10 as we can read in some social media shares. Volatility and speculation about electricity prices are significant, but the situation may also tend to stabilize, as is the case with fuel prices.

It should also be borne in mind that France is one of the countries that offers a very low price per kWh, compared to some of our neighbors such as Belgium or Germany. Comparing France with other European countries is not always relevant.

A legitimate concern about the prices of public charging stations

While private individuals, who generally benefit from offers indexed to the regulated tariff, do not have to fear seeing their charging budget suddenly explode, drivers who depend on the public network of terminals must, on the other hand, wait for price increases to be announced. loading.

Renault Megane E-Tech Optimal loading on loading // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

Allego is the first operator to communicate a further increase in its billing prices on September 1, 2022, following a first increase last spring. This sets your upload rates as follows:

  • Normal load (AC 22kW): 0.50 EUR/kWh instead of 0.40 EUR/kWh
  • Fast charging (50kW): 0.69 EUR/kWh instead of 0.55 EUR/kWh
  • Ultra-fast charging (>50kW): 0.79 EUR/kWh instead of 0.65 EUR/kWh

Tesla regularly adjusts its prices in line with the current electricity price in the country. It is very likely that other major charging operators such as Ionity or Fastned will be in the same situation in the coming months.

Some charging networks are indexed to market prices for electricity. They are not based on residential electricity tariffs. They may face significant rate hikes even before winter due to price volatility.

It is, therefore, the long journeys by electric car, as well as recharges in commercial areas, which may first suffer from the increase in the price of electricity. However, it is already in these fast terminals that prices are already high (between €0.50 and €0.79/kWh), which could unexpectedly dampen the enthusiasm for electric cars in recent months.

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