Finding: Long distances with charging stops as a critical cost case for e-drivers

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Finding: Long distances with charging stops as a critical cost case for e-drivers-stops

Until recently, I didn’t notice either the E in the license plate or the IONITY charging stations on the motorways. For me, e-mobility was at best Tesla. Due to a project, I suddenly had to do 1.000 km and one thing I didn’t want to do: cover this mileage with a combustion engine. After researching a car subscription from the provider FINN, I finally ended up at Polestar. I liked the Polestar 2, it was enthusiastically tested and with 2.500 nationwide vehicles is still an eye-catcher.

In June the time had come, I was the driver of an electric car. Admittedly, the first few days were pure stress, but often also out of ignorance. Select the charging station app, approach the charging station, the parking space is full, the parking space is too small, the charging cable is too short, the provider’s card is missing, the charging station is offline… and the battery charge is falling inexorably to the single-digit percentage range. That was public charging in the city and then came the first 500 km.

It felt like the first 5% had already been used after the Elbe bridges and the first charging stop should only be after Hanover? Confidence in the state of charge predicted by the vehicle (Android) at the destination grew with every kilometer and indeed: the first charging stop was reached almost to the percent. I now know my two charging stops on the route, the IONITY charging stations there and I know about their reliability. The teething troubles of dealing with the inner-city charging stations have now been forgotten: better app, more reliable display of whether available or not and, if in doubt, to where two stations should still be free.

On paper, the e-car is the cheaper alternative

But now to the subject of costs. Again and again you read about the beautiful example of 20 kWh consumption at 30 cents, i.e. € 6.00 per 100 km. A fuel-efficient combustion engine would therefore have to be filled up at a fuel price of €1.00 in order to be able to keep up. The reality at the petrol pumps is more in the direction of € 2.00 (I have already seen € 2.17 on an ARAL motorway). For me, the leasing rate was more of interest than the operating costs.

However, that changed quickly when I received the first 1.000 km trips completed. In contrast to inner-city charging, where you can always hang up the vehicle for two hours at a 22 kW charging station for 30 to 35 cents, a fast charger up to 350 kW is a must for long distances (motorway). Half an hour at the charging station is a lot compared to stopping at the gas station with a combustion engine, but it is luxury in the e-car world and some people pay dearly for it. For me as a Polestar driver, that meant 89 ct per kWh on the IONITY columns via the plugsurfing app. And since the consumption of a performance model is not 20 kWh, but rather around 24 kWh, that means more than € 20 per 100 km. But that no longer had anything to do with the oh so cheap world of e-mobility.

a 1.000 km trip costs me almost € 250.00, so much DB 1. class or even flying. Annoying: The vehicles of the IONITY shareholders such as VW ID etc. charged the same kilowatt hour for 29ct.

The right tariff makes the difference and reduces costs

When I was looking for a way out, I came across elvah, who promised a noticeable reduction in costs with their two “flat rate” models. After all, I wanted to be climate-conscious on the road, but not at prices that almost gave the impression of sabotage. Elvah offers 2 price models: depending on the vehicle, a monthly fee (e.g.B. for the Polestar 2 €169.00) or 25kW packages for €8.99 or. €13.99. It was important for me that I can charge with elvah, especially on the expensive IONITY fast chargers.

Everything else is an arithmetic example: for 2 times 1.000 km a month with a sporty driving style, i.e. sometimes 200 km/h if permitted, I use around 500 kWh. At € 169 that’s around 34ct. A totally satisfying price. With only once 1.000 km, the monthly flat rate would no longer be so economical. The price model with the 25 kW packages is interesting, but it is particularly flexible: for a consumption of 250 kW, I need 10 packages of 25 kW each. The first three packages cost €8.99, the other seven 25 kW packages €13.99, making a total of almost €125, i.e. around 50ct per kWh.

But whether monthly 2.000 km with the BEV for € 169.00, € 250.00 or even € 500.00 – what would the costs for a combustion engine actually be at the current diesel and super prices? It also makes a difference whether the e-car consumes 18 kWh, 21 kWh or 24 kWh, whether it is mainly charged with household electricity, in the city or with a fast charger. For combustion engines, on the other hand, a distinction must be made between consumption and fuel type. With the help of an Excel table in which these variables are included, it is possible to calculate and compare different scenarios. It has been shown that with the current diesel fuel prices (and of course super) all e-cars (including those with a consumption of up to 25 kWh) that are charged with household electricity at 30 to 35 ct are unrivaled cheap.

For long distances (motorway) with at least one loading stop at a fast charger, charging for 30 to 35 cents is usually no longer possible. For vehicles not preferred by IONITY, costs of around 50 cents are realistic and e.g.B. can also be implemented using elvah. Even under these cost-optimized conditions (compared to 79 ct IONITY, 89 ct plugsurfing), the diesel vehicle is still superior to the electric vehicle in terms of costs, especially with increasing monthly mileage. Compared to vehicles with premium fuel, however, even a performance EV with a consumption of around 25 kWh is competitive again.

Long-distance journeys with charging stops are a potential cost trap for e-drivers

It is therefore evident that long-distance journeys with charging stops are the critical cost case when using an e-car. By exploiting favorable tariffs for fast chargers (either vehicles of the IONITY shareholders or for vehicles from other manufacturers, the use of e.g.B. from elvah), low-consumption e-cars are already covering these distances more cost-effectively than combustion engines. Only performance models with consumption of up to 25 kWh currently cause higher costs than combustion engines – but only in comparison to diesel vehicles.

But to be honest: the almost noiseless gliding along, with the possibility of accelerating to 200 km/h in a moment – and the CO2-free, is definitely worth a few euros difference. Once an e-car, never again a combustion engine. Always on the Race to Zero.

About the author: Christian Soring, driver of a Polestar 2 all-wheel drive 78kWh, max. 210 km/h, ∅ 23.5 kW

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4 thoughts on “Finding: Long distances with charging stops as a critical cost case for e-drivers”

  1. For 18€ a month you can load at IONITY for 35 cents. 44cent can charge at EnBW. With Jucr you can load for 99€/month.
    Not so well researched.

  2. If you don’t inform yourself, you pay extra..
    Download the Ladefuchs app, order a charging card from 2-3 providers for 10 euros and almost never pay more than 38 cents.
    That’s how it is done ..

  3. This article will probably not make e-car enthusiasts think either.
    Well, maybe it is, if the luminary as Economics and Climate Minister, the philosopher and Environment Minister from SH then orders power cuts if the so-called “renewable energies” cannot achieve the hoped-for success:
    Forced break for e-cars: Electric car owners will soon be turned off their electricity? – Magazine for Electromobility (energieloesung.en)

  4. Hello everyone,

    I am reporting here not only from my own experience with an e-car (which had a battery size of 60 kWh) but also because I work in e-mobility myself, have already driven a wide variety of charging protection models throughout Europe and I already know how many times I’ve been to Norway.

    I have already driven vehicles with under 20 kWh and “Bolids” with over 90 kWh. Both in the hot summer in Portugal as well as in winter in Norway and Sweden. Hardworked with a pile of equipment generated every day 200-500 GB of data.

    So far, no single vehicle manufacturer has a respectable range for frequent travelers and highway drivers and the reasonable price. I’m talking about vehicles that are financed by the company, these costs but Ala 520d, E220D and A6 2.0 TDI with good facilities and discounts not over 100.000 € (from me you can also take the Skoda Superb of the Suchas of a big trunk and an unbeatable price) and the best exhaust aftertreatment! (I had enough rides for the last years, so no one needs to tell me something about the stinked diesel!). So clean is not even the industry yourself!
    Now let’s do the math: Let’s assume the recommended speed, which of course is not realistic (I’ve traveled abroad enough to see how many people don’t keep to the speed limit and, above all, the further east in Europe, the more massive the speed violations. In Slovenia e.g.B. Limit of 120 km/h but the flowing traffic in the left lane was driving at 160-170 km/h). Summer + winter, depending on the vehicle, between 20-26 kWh come out (WITHOUT CHARGING LOSSES) and only if the vehicle is always somewhere on the charging station! One that, like a combustion engine, is not always tempered has a higher consumption, especially in winter, which leads to a higher annual average consumption because the battery cannot be tempered. A battery that weighs 600-700 kg needs an enormous amount of energy to reach a comfortable temperature. In winter without a charging station overnight I collected and evaluated enough data to see that such a large battery NEVER reaches the required temperature. From experience I now take 24kWh/100km (while meticulously adhering to a maximum of 130 speedometer). 77 kWh that I can use net. I drive now with 100% go and drive up to 10% empty. 77kWh*0.9/24kWh/100km*100= 288km. Tesla is a bit better there, yes, but I didn’t take Tesla because in reality we don’t only have Daimler or BMW on the road 😉
    If I drive 10-20 km/h faster every now and again, then my consumption even increases to up to 30 kWh/100km, depending on the manufacturer! With the eGolf and eUp I only got 130km on the autobahn in the summer and I’m talking about the last generations with a 32kWh battery. At the destination (in winter) the “turtle mode” was on for the last few kilometers and the cold at -10 degrees quickly got into the car.

    Efficiency does not interest the end customer one iota! Explain to a customer who has a net 30 kWh battery why, according to his meter, he consumed 36 kWh. That would be like I would no longer refuel at the gas station at a 70L tank as usual 63l (7L reserve) but 75L. He’ll show you a bird.
    But here you have to look at the well-to-wheel and physics is physics: efficiency is higher.

    Charging infrastructure: They have already adapted! And it’s still a joke that I need any charging cards and then have to choose between a standard tariff and a frequent charging tariff or even an ADAC customer. Why can’t it be normal the way it is now! Hold the credit card up to the reader, insert it, load it and you’re done! I started in 2018 with 0€, then came a symbol price of 1€ AC and 2€ DC no matter how many kWh, then came 0.29€/kWh AC and 0.39€/kWh DC and now we are at 0.45 €/kWh AC (without a monthly basic fee, I don’t have that with the combustion engine either) and €0.55/kWh DC.

    Overall, you need significantly longer for long distances. I have to keep myself on the speed, because otherwise I offer range, there is nothing with tempomat 160 km / h and relaxed.

    I could still talk about battery aging with constant DC charging (which happens/will happen very often with frequent drivers), I have collected and evaluated enough data for this due to work. All I can say is: Physics remains physics. The temperature window in which a battery can be operated is significantly smaller than that of a combustion engine. The aging of the battery at the limit temperatures is enormous.
    Just as an aside: There is resp. there will be several manufacturers who will point out in their manual that DC charging (and 100-200 cycles are enough) often leads to the exclusion of the battery guarantee and since the vehicles are now moving data collectors, this will be even more interesting.

    That is now my opinion from experience, exchange with many other companies and areas (after so many appointments with different customers and OEMs, companies are only interested in one thing: WIN! Whether that is now CO2 to be neutral is something that matters if that is prescribed by politics, it will be done and if that costs more, that will be dampened to the customer).

    Nobody should tell me anything about oil tankers and pipelines bursting open, so I’ll reveal how it is with the batteries. And it wasn’t just for the public, so stop dragging the burner in the dirt.

    To demonize the e-car, but also to see it as THE solution is wrong (it’s called thinking black and white and there is so much to consider such as electricity prices in the respective country, geographic location, temperatures, speeds driven, etc. etc.). Different drive forms for different requirements is the right one.
    And we know that from so many areas, woe betide a change, then there is a lot of headwind and people are skeptical.

    I’ve spoken to enough people and the answers are similar:
    I would take an electric car though . . .
    I feel betrayed by the government, because first they said that Euro6 is good, then Euro6d Temp, then diesel was demonized and now I should buy a new car after 1-2 years.
    Talking about CO2-neutral mobility and wasting a bunch of resources for more and more new products in the background.
    And at the end of the day, the citizen must be able and willing to pay for it.

    At the time of the environmental bonus and the diesel scandal, many people bought a Euro6/d-Temp/IVAP and whatever else they were called and they will now drive it until it dies.

    Became a long text now. At the very end: I drive a lot in my free time and for business, the less time that can be spent on the freeway driving at high speeds, the better. That everyone lives where family and work is 2 km away is pure utopia. For frequent drivers and people who often drive far away during the year, the e-car robs an enormous amount of their lifetime. In the same way, I don’t understand the arguments of those who only drive far away once a year why the e-car should be so bad.

    And this Norway comparison lags behind. Nobody was in Norway for a really long time and also drove a lot there, but I did and the speed is low there and you can’t drive 130 there due to the weather and the road conditions, it’s outright suicide and it still happens serious accidents there!

    We are not Norway with more than 80% home ownership and €0.14 per kWh and the pension is paid from oil production. Nothing there, we live in Germany with a really lousy pension in the future, under half have their own home and the highest electricity prices in Europe. But hey physics is more important, whether people are doing well socially doesn’t matter.

    Stop making those stupid comparisons with other countries without considering their geographical location, social aspects, economy, etc. to include.

    Don’t think now that I’m against electro, no, I like it but don’t think black and white because the world isn’t like that. I got into the e-sector to help and make the e-car more humane and environmentally friendly instead of just watching and complaining. But physics is physics, period.


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