Petrol, diesel, hydrogen, gas and electricity for the car: cost check

What is the new energy cost comparison?

From October 1, 2021, the new Energy cost comparison hang up. This is a poster or a screen on which the costs of various energy sources – petrol, diesel, natural gas, LPG, electricity and hydrogen – are listed per 100 kilometers of driving. The notice should make it possible for petrol station customers, despite different units of measurement (liters, kilograms, kilowatt hours) Compare prices. The notice obligation applies to all petrol stations with more than six petrol pumps, each of which has different products to choose from, so-called “multi-product petrol pumps”. (Click here for the large electricity tariff comparison!)

The background to this is that which was passed in October 2014 EU directive on the development of the infrastructure for alternative fuels. It stipulates that the costs of various energy sources will have to be signposted in future, based on a unit of measurement (euros / 100 km). In a pilot project, Germany was one of nine countries to help develop the criteria for comparing fuel costs. The pilot project included a practical test of various advertising media 15 Berlin gas stations as well as surveys on site and online. 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 said that additional information to their fuel costs influence the next vehicle choice would.

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The Mineralölverband criticized the measure as distorting competition, as only house 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 compared to gasoline-powered vehicles,” said the managing director of the Mineral Oil Industry Association (MWV), Christian Küchen, of WELT am SONNTAG.

What does the energy cost comparison look like?

The posters are available in various sizes on the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ website ready for download. The comparison must be found either at half of all fuel pumps or in the checkout area, alternatively also as a digital display.

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 are used and weighted according to sales figures. The WLTP consumption is requested from the manufacturers. The consumption (calculated over 100 kilometers) is then multiplied by the average price of the fuel in the last quarter. The calculations will be updated every three months – So it’s not about showing a price that is as up-to-date as possible. Rather, the energy cost comparison should enable the prices of the different energy sources to be better compared with one another. Since there are still no hydrogen vehicles in the small and compact car class, this field has not yet been completed.

The fuels – from expensive to cheap according to the energy cost comparison

Super / Super E10 is by far the most expensive

There are currently only two hydrogen models

One kilogram of hydrogen currently costs just under ten euros at German filling stations. Sounds expensive, but measured by 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 middle / upper class vehicle causes so 7.60 euros Energy costs over a distance of 100 kilometers. The other fuel cell vehicle on the market (of a total of two models) is the Toyota Mirai. There are currently no small and compact cars that run on hydrogen.

Diesel makes sense especially for frequent drivers

Diesel is cheaper than gasoline – mainly because diesel is subject to a lower mineral oil tax, the so-called “diesel privilege”. Since diesel engines are also more energy-efficient and consume less, this results in a price of 6.55 euros/ 100 km in the small car and compact class, as well 7.48 euros/ 100 km in the middle / upper class. However, the energy density is also greater than that of gasoline. A higher vehicle tax is due for diesel vehicles.

Natural gas (CNG) – higher energy density than gasoline and diesel

Natural gas is a fossil fuel and is measured in kilograms. The energy content is higher than that of diesel and petrol. A distinction is also 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 on average for small and medium-sized vehicles 5.49 Euros, for middle and upper class cars 6.39 Euro.

Autogas (LPG) – the underrated alternative?

LPG is more of a by-product of oil and natural gas production. A liter of LPG costs around 70 cents, but the energy content is lower than that of petrol or diesel. Prices: 5.09 Euros in the small car and compact class, even 13 cents less in the middle and upper class. Many petrol engines can also be retrofitted to run on LPG. That may well be worth considering.

Electricity is cheapest at home

The energy cost comparison only uses house electricity tariffs to calculate electricity costs – i.e. the costs if you charge at home and not when you are out and about. Charging on the go can be much faster, but is usually more expensive depending on the provider. A kilowatt hour costs between 21 and 31 cents at home, depending on the tariff. A distinction is also made between high and low tariff periods; this means that electricity is cheaper at night than during the day. According to a comparison of energy costs, per 100 kilometers 4.74 euros due for the small and compact class, for the middle and upper class 10 cents more. Charging on the go can cost a lot more money. (This is how an electric car works)

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