The cost of using an electric car is one of its biggest advantages over a “classic” vehicle. By charging it exclusively at home, you can cut your annual fuel budget by three.
Despite government aid, the price of one electric car new remains relatively high for now. But in use, an electric car can quickly prove to be much more interesting to own than a conventional vehicle, from a simple financial point of view. Why ? Because if you recharge your batteries most often at home, the “fuel” bill will remain much lower than the bill at the gas pump.
Charging your car at home: savings on fuel costs
Let us take the case of an owner of an electric vehicle charging his vehicle almost exclusively at home, which is the most common behavior currently among customers of these cars. In France, the cost of a 100-kilometer trip driving an electric vehicle costs on average 3 euros. For a driver who travels around 15,000 kilometers per year, recharging his car at home, the annual bill will be around € 450 with an optimized charging schedule (by taking advantage, for example, of the off-peak hour packages set up by operators such as EDF with the Vert Electrique Auto offer). Facing a classic combustion engine car, the economic results of fuel costs there is no debate: with a car consuming around seven liters per 100 kilometers of gasoline and a liter of Unleaded 95 at 1.5 €, the same 15,000 kilometers will cost around 1,500 € each year. That is to say a differential of around 1000 €, which will widen further for the biggest riders.
Charging stations: a price that corresponds to the charging power
Please note, this very favorable assessment for electric vehicles depends above all on the charging method. Charging at home remains by far the cheapest, because it uses a simple electrical network and a fairly low charging power (7 kWh maximum in single-phase). When a particularly high charging speed is not required, this saving can be afforded.
On the other hand, the price of the charge will increase significantly during long-distance journeys where the driver will use a fast charging station, operating using much more expensive electrical technology. Do you know the famous adage that “time is money”? It applies perfectly to the framework of electric charging. The more power the system uses (so as to minimize the duration of the charge), the more expensive this charge will be. DC fast charging stations range from 50 kW up to 350 kW, where a Wallbox can only go up to 22 kW in three-phase with alternating current at home.
With these fast stations, the 100 kilometers of autonomy recovered will cost between € 5 and € 14 depending on the charging power and the pricing specific to each charging operator. In the latter case, recharging your electric car will therefore cost as much as a full tank of conventional gasoline. But it is a high-tech service that pays for itself, because the investments to be made today are substantial and numerous.
Public charging stations sometimes free
And what to do when you have an electric car, but not the house that goes with it or the possibility of recharge at home ? In this case, it is obviously necessary to find other charging points. For example, in the office: the cost of the load will depend on the employer’s policy. Some companies provide their employees with free charging stations, others set a fairly low package that generally does not exceed the price of home charging.
And the public charging stations ? Here too, certain infrastructures (car parks, shopping centers, etc.) can make public charging free (when it is low power). Otherwise, the classic stations (excluding very fast charging) will cost on average 5 to 7 € for 100 kilometers of autonomy restored. Either an average charge cost higher than that of a home installation, but still advantageous compared to a gasoline or diesel vehicle. Of course, the use of the vehicle will be potentially less comfortable than plugging it in at home in the evening when returning home. Note that in some countries such as the Netherlands, the public network offers many low-power stations, the price of which for night charging is barely more expensive than charging at home. In France, we can eventually imagine a multiplication of charging points of this kind to soften the bill of those who do not have the possibility of recharging at home. Progress in this area also depends on the civic-mindedness of users: for example, by not immobilizing a charging point longer than its own needs. Invoicing by time spent is used in particular to avoid abuse at this level.