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

Some media outlets are suggesting that recharging an electric car will cost more than filling up a thermal car from 1 October in Britain. But it’s false and we’ll explain why.

In France, the price of electricity on the wholesale market soared to 1,000 euros per MWh against 85 euros a year earlier. Fortunately, we have the energy shield that protects us, at least until the end of the year, with the regulated tariff allowing us to bill a kWh for 17 cents. In Great Britain, the situation is much more delicate, as the cost of kWh will go from 0.28 pounds (about 0.32 euros) to 0.52 pounds (about 0.61 euros) on average for individuals, as of October 1, 2022.

The cost of charging electric cars is skyrocketing

A huge increase (by 80%) but limited by a device similar to our energy shield. An independent company, RAC, therefore, sounded the alarm announcing that the cost of charging electric cars would skyrocket. In its press release, RAC takes the example of a Kia e-Niro for which the electron-filled will go from 18.37 pounds (about 21 euros) to 33.80 pounds (about 39 euros).

Many media outlets rushed to the loophole indicating 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 was forced to publish a denial on twitter to clarify that the organization had not said so.

Thermal versus electric: we do the math

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

the idea be calculate energy cost (in gasoline, diesel or electricity) travel 650 km. We are based onWLTP autonomy electric cars to calculate their consumption (which therefore includes regenerative braking, as opposed to 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 take your WLTP consumption into account. That is, 5l/100km for the Kia Sportage, 5l/100km for the BMW 320d and 6.6l/100km for the BMW 318i. The cost of gasoline was noted on the website RAC on August 15, ie 1.73 pounds per liter of gasoline and 1.84 pounds per liter of diesel.

It should also be noted that we take into account the loss when recharging electric cars at an alternating current terminal, as a recent German study shows. This is therefore about a 10% loss for the Kia e-Niro and an 18% loss for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion. A kind of “ghost” consumption, which is lost by the converter in the heat due to the Joule effect.

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

Cost for a trip of 650 km

Car Cost to travel 650 km (currently) Cost to travel 650 km (from October 1st)
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 from the table, trips in electric cars will always cost less than the same distance traveled in a thermal car. These results must, however, be viewed with caution, as this is the consumption announced by the manufacturers, and we know that they are often in fact higher depending on the routes traveled during the trip, as we saw in our Paris – Marseilles.

loading_hyundai_kona_02
Hyundai Kona at an Ionity Terminal

This does not change the result, because if all the cars in the table consume more than indicated, all the values ​​​​will be higher and the electric ones will always cost, a priori, cheaper than the thermal ones. The only gray area concerns road tripsduring which the consumption of electric cars explodes and no longer allows to reach the WLTP autonomy, while the consumption of thermal cars increases more slightly.

And on the road, how is it?

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 road, or 122 kWh in a 650 km trip, which would translate into a €74 bill in the Great Britain after 1st October. Putting it like this between a BMW 320d and a 318i. But be careful, here we take into account the electricity prices of individuals, while recharges on the highway are usually more expensive per kWh.

The same applies to the price of gasoline and diesel, which are generally more expensive at service stations located in rest areas. And that’s without taking into account a possible rise in the cost of these two fossil fuels in the coming months, as the price of electricity is fixed in Britain until December 31, 2022.

The situation in France

In France, we can fear a huge increase in the price of electricity in the coming months. we are in the moment protected by energy shield, but this could very well be made to disappear. However, we should be a little reassured by the numbers we see passing. When the wholesale electricity market announces a tariff from 1 MWh (ie 1,000 kWh) to 1,000 euros for winter 2023, it does not mean that the kWh will be billed to the private customer for 1 euro 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 actors in renewable energy) is not sufficient to meet the consumption of the French. Therefore, it is the marginal cost that will increasethat is, the cost of the kWh that will be purchased on the wholesale market.

France’s energy bill will therefore rise, but not by 30 as we read. Indeed, the electricity tariff is regulated by the State (the TRV) and calculated on the basis of three variables: the cost of production per kilowatt-hour, the cost of networks or infrastructure and taxes.

For example, EDF sells the MWh of nuclear production for 42 euros. It is difficult to predict the future cost, especially as it will vary with the degree of government intervention. For Nicolas Goldberg, energy expert, interviewed by France 24, the final customer’s bill may increase from 30 to 40% in February 2023 with the increase in administered prices. Lucky for those who have photovoltaic panels at home!

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