E-cars are green – but who knows the energy cost comparison?

The energy cost comparison is almost a year old and is becoming more and more important: Electricity and fuel costs have increased massively since the war of aggression against Ukraine. The gap between the price of electricity on the one hand and the price of petrol and diesel on the other has been shrinking since then, but the price advantage for e-cars is still considerable. And with the elimination of the tank discount and the associated increase in fuel prices, it is now growing again!
The energy cost comparison is an official analysis that is updated regularly and is intended to ensure the comparability of the different energy sources. Since October 1, 2021, it has had to be posted at large gas stations in Germany. And this is what it looks like: The costs of various energy sources – petrol, diesel, natural gas, LPG, electricity and hydrogen – per 100 kilometers driven are listed on a poster or screen.

The notice is intended to enable petrol station customers to easily compare costs despite different units of measurement (litres, kilograms, kilowatt hours).

Clever refueling


Fuel price check to the minute

This is how the gas price is at gas stations in the area!

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But so far it hasn’t worked properly: According to a Forsa survey commissioned by the German Liquid Gas Association (DVFG), hardly anyone takes notice of this information. Only seven percent of those surveyed discovered this important piece of information, while 92 percent had never consciously seen it. This is surprising, because according to the survey, energy costs are of great importance to car buyers: for 24 percent of those surveyed, these costs would play a very important role when buying a new car, for 46 percent they still play a major role (on the big pros and cons of E -Cars).

What is the new energy cost comparison?

The obligation to post applies to all petrol stations with more than six pumps, each of which has a different product to choose from, so-called “multi-product pumps”. (Here’s the big electricity tariff comparison!) The background is the EU directive issued in October 2014 on the development of infrastructure for alternative fuels. It stipulates that the costs of various energy sources must be signposted in future, based on a unit of measurement (euro/100 km).
In a pilot project, Germany was one of nine countries that helped to develop the criteria for comparing fuel costs. The pilot project included both a practical test of various advertising media at 15 Berlin gas stations and on-site and online surveys. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, more than 80 percent of those surveyed rated their knowledge of alternative fuels and half their knowledge of battery-electric drives as insufficient. 55 percent of respondents indicated that additional fuel cost information would influence their next vehicle choice.

Very easy with the online trade-in from carsale24

The petroleum industry criticized the measure as distorting competition, since only domestic electricity prices were used to calculate electricity prices. “Public and, above all, fast charging is usually more expensive, and that significantly reduces the price difference to petrol,” Christian Küchen, board member of the Fuels & Energy trade association, told WELT am SONNTAG.

Currently, public charging at E.ON with alternating current costs from 39 cents, fast charging with direct current costs 49 cents (for roaming customers 44/60 cents). EnBW collects 45 cents for AC charging and 55 cents for fast charging. With the fast-charging network Ionity, it is currently from 79 cents.

VW ID.3 facelift

If you were – theoretically – to only refuel the Volkswagen ID.3 at the Ionity quick charging stations, it would currently cost around 16.82 euros per 100 km.

Unfortunately, the comparison lags behind depending on where an electric car is charged. AUTO BILD determined a real consumption of 21.3 kWh for the VW ID.3 Pro S. If you only charge with Ionity, the cost would be 16.82 euros per 100 km. The Ministry of Economics currently states 6.02 euros.
The cost comparison for petrol engines, on the other hand, is surprisingly congruent: For a VW Golf 1.5 TSI with 150 hp, for which AUTO BILD documented a real consumption of around 6.5 liters, the fuel costs would be EUR 10.47 (Super E10). The official figure is pretty close at 10.64 euros.

What does the energy cost comparison look like?

The posters are available in various sizes on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to download ready. The comparison must be found either at half of all petrol pumps or in the checkout area, alternatively as a digital display.
Energy cost comparison June 2022

The energy cost comparison is intended to enable consumers to compare prices quickly and easily.

How is the energy cost comparison calculated?

For each vehicle class shown, the three best-selling German models used and weighted according to sales figures. The WLTP consumption is requested from the manufacturers. The consumption (calculated per 100 kilometers) is then multiplied by the average price of the fuel in the last quarter. The calculations will updated every three months – so it’s not about showing the most up-to-date price possible. Rather, the comparison of energy costs should enable a better comparison of the prices of the different energy sources. Since there are still no hydrogen vehicles in the small and compact car class, this field is not yet filled out.

The individual energy sources – from expensive to cheap

Super/Super E10 is by far the most expensive

Super fuel is currently 10.97 euros per 100 kilometers (small and compact class) bbetween 13.24 euros (middle and upper class) due (as of June 1, 2022). E10 is about five cents cheaper per liter and therefore cheaper overall when comparing energy costs. In practice, however, the energy content of E10 is lower, resulting in a small increase in fuel consumption. And not all engines tolerate it. (Hybrid cars are designed to combine the benefits of petrol and electric. You can find out more here). Compared to the energy cost comparison from December 2021 (9.71 / 11.97 euros), the price has increased by more than ten percent.

There are currently only two hydrogen models

A kilogram of hydrogen currently costs 12.85 euros at German filling stations. Here the inflation is even around 20 percent. Sounds expensive, but measured against the weight, the energy density is very high. According to the WLTP, a Hyundai Nexo with a fuel cell consumes just 0.95 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometers. A medium/upper class vehicle causes energy costs of 7.60 euros over 100 kilometers. Since this sum was already given in December 2021, the current price increases have apparently not yet been priced in. The second fuel cell vehicle on the market (of a total of two models) is the Toyota Mirai, which is currently being tested by AUTO BILD. There are currently no small and compact cars that run on hydrogen.

Diesel makes sense especially for frequent drivers

Diesel hasn’t been cheaper than since spring petrol – because of Putin’s war of aggression and increased demand, the price of fuel has risen much more. The lower mineral oil tax, the so-called “diesel privilege”, is apparently not significant. Since diesel engines also work more energy-efficiently and consume less, the price is 8.51 euros/100 km in the small car and compact class, and 9.59 euros/100 km in the medium/luxury class. Nine months ago it was 6.84 and 7.82 euros. It should be noted, however, that the energy density of diesel is higher than that of petrol. On the other hand, for diesel vehicles, a higher road tax due.

Natural Gas (CNG) – higher energy density than petrol and diesel

Natural gas is a fossil fuel and is measured in kilograms. The energy content is higher than diesel and petrol. A distinction is made between H gas and L gas. With L-gas (“low calorific gas”), the methane content and thus also the energy content is lower than with H-gas (“high calorific gas”). H-Gas for 100 kilometers costs an average of 5.93 euros for small and medium-sized vehicles and 7.03 euros for medium-sized and upper-class cars. This means that the price increase for natural gas is the lowest, in December energy costs were “officially” 5.54 and 6.45 euros respectively. However, vehicles with natural gas engines are not very common. Only a few manufacturers, including Skoda and Seat, offer new cars with natural gas engines.

Autogas (LPG) – the underestimated alternative?

Autogas is more of a by-product of oil and natural gas extraction. One litre LPG costs around 1.00 euros, but the energy content is lower than with petrol or diesel. Prices: 7.06 euros in the small car and compact class, even 87 cents less in the middle and luxury class. Many petrol engines can also be retrofitted to LPG. That might well be worth considering. Last year, autogas, also known as LPG, cost 5.41 or 5.27 euros per kilo. The strong price increase is also due to the fact that the tax advantage will be gradually reduced until the beginning of 2023. After that, LPG will be taxed like premium petrol.

Electricity is cheapest at home

The energy cost comparison only uses domestic electricity tariffs to calculate the electricity costs – i.e. the costs if you charge at home and not on the go. Charging on the go can be much faster, but is usually more expensive depending on the provider. Before the Ukraine war, a kilowatt hour of household electricity cost between 21 and 31 cents, depending on the tariff. Today, in August 2022, according to calculations by the comparison portal Verivox, it is already 41.98 cents on average (household with 4000 kWh annual consumption). And a further increase is forecast for the autumn.

Charging an electric car (2021): test – charging time – battery – info

How do you charge an electric car correctly?

A distinction is also made between high and low tariff times; this means that electricity is cheaper at night than during the day. According to the energy cost comparison, 6.02 euros per 100 kilometers are due for the small and compact class, and 37 cents less for the middle and upper class. Charging on the go can be significantly more expensive (this is how an electric car works). Of course, there are other costs to consider before you buy a car. Find out here whether it is worth switching from a combustion engine to an electric car!

Why do big cars cost less electricity?

A surprise are the energy costs of electricity and LPG: Here, the consumption of mid-range and luxury cars is significantly higher than that of compact and small cars. How can that be?

“Ultimately, the consumption costs can only be approximate values,” said the Federal Ministry of Economics at the request of AUTO BILD. The respective data is based on the evaluation of the best-selling vehicle models in their segment. These are currently, for example, for compact cars and small cars in the group of electric cars Renault Zoe, VW e-Golf and VW ID.3.

The Federal Motor Transport Authority provides the consumption data, which is then compared with the respective costs of the energy sources. It is therefore not about real consumption, but about the relatively imprecise standard values ​​​​according to WLTP. Unfortunately, the Federal Ministry of Economics was not able to explain why large cars want to incur lower costs, especially with electricity and LPG.

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