How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The electric car is ideal for those who do 100-150 miles a day and have a life very predictable

In this article we are going to see some elementary mathematics to understand the extent to which the electric cars are really efficient. Before anything, we have to consider the equivalent between electricity and gasoline. We have been used to measure the consumption in liters/100 km of petrol or diesel. In electric cars is measured in kWh/100 km

In other words, are accounted for kilowatt (1,000 W) hour per 100 km

The typical consumption of an electric car going between 12 and 20 kWh/100 km, depending a lot on the traffic conditions. 20 kWh can be equated to the consumption of 6 plates home plugged in at the same time. More than one will think that it is a brutal consumption, at least from the perspective of a household expenditure.

Now let us think of petrol and diesel. Each litre of juice of dinosaur contains a lot of energy, to 9.7 kWh in the case of gasoline and 10.7 kWh for diesel. For a tank of 45 litres filled with that means 436,5 kWh (gasoline) or 481,5 kWh. The deposits of petroleum distillate have a excellent density energy/volume and energy/mass. The latest electric models that are coming out have 30-40 kWh capacity in their batteries, much less.


The limited autonomy of the electric is due to the bad relationship energy/volume or energy/weight of the batteries. In other words, the energy does not “spare”, in a normal car yes, unless it is on reserve

Suppose a tourism diesel that consumes just 4.5 l/100 km of diesel, and a gasoline that complies with 5,5 l/100 km figures Are very optimistic for both of you. The consumption in kilowatt-hours will be 48,15 for the oil and to 53.35 to the gasoline. As we can observe, the diesel engine is more efficient, requires less thermal energy to perform the same work.

If we compare those figures with what consumes an EV, we get a surprise

For an average consumption of 15 kWh/100 km, the most common in compact and subcompact electric, we have that the diesel consumes triple the energy, and the gasoline three and a half times more. Why so much difference? The internal combustion engine, in the case more favorable (Toyota Prius/Hyundai IONIQ), wastes 60% of the energy stored in the fuel. Normally squandering of 65-70%.

against, the electric motor takes over 90% of the chemical energy of the batteries. There is no engine invented by the man that consumes less energy that one electric, although I would have to specify the type of engine, there is more than one. To simplify this explanation, we will forget that little nuance technical support. The hydrogen fuel cell is much less efficient.


electricity Prices for the march 2, 2017 (standard rate) – Source: Tarifaluzhora/REE

fuel Consumption Electricity (equivalente) Gasto
Gasolina 5.5 l/100 km 53,35 kWh/100 km 6.86/100 km
Diesel 4.5 l/100 km 48,15 kWh/100 km 5,16 eur/100 km
Electric 15 kWh/100 km 1,76 eur/100 km

Comparing prices

We will consider the following prices from official sources. Electricity today has had an average cost of 0,1177 euros /kWh. The liter of gasoline has come to 1,247 euros/litre and diesel 1,146 euros/litre. Both electricity and the fuel will experience ups and downs of price, but the accounts do not dance much.

The electric win again

Even considering a consumption of electricity of the double, with a driving very clunky and aggressive, or with the light by the clouds, still cost half that of a gasoline. In conditions more realistic, an electric spends four times less money. The electricity may go out to a lot less, for example with time discrimination. From 22:00 to 12:00 the kWh it can take a little more than 6 cents, the rest of the day to 15.

In the case most favourable, the electric car that consumes 15 kWh/100 km has cast 90 cents. At the worst, charging it with the fee more and more expensive, 2,25 € . Remains half that of a diesel, and almost a third that of a gasoline. The not be able to see the savings, you should let them look. But what if we use a charging point for fast payment? what Will come to mind?


In you can find many charging points, as well as their cost (if any) or other limitations

I will Put example a real case, a recharging point operated by IBIL, of payment, you have the kWh to 54 cents. Comes to be five times more expensive than reloading with the average price of electricity today. In addition, there is to reload a minimum of 5 euros, which is about 9 kWh, enough energy to make approximately 60 kilometres.

to Recharge a 15 kWh, what is needed for 100 km, cost of 8.1 €

In this case, both the petrol as the diesel would come out winning, with the consumption optimistic already considered. Yes, the convenience of recharging those 9 kWh in a few minutes (fast charging), at any time of the day, has its cost. Obviously, the quick recharge is to get out of trouble, not to do it habitually.

Afinemos more, on the highway the electric tend to spend more, say an average of 20 kWh/100 km, then 100 km would cost, having used that point of fast charging, 10,8 euros. In gasoline that is the equivalent, at today’s prices, by 8.66 l/100 km, or 9,42 l/100 km of diesel fuel. They are not figures exactly astronomical, although it must be said that the savings the rest of the year compensates amply.

And what about the Tesla? The supercargadores be charged to 0.24 euros/kWh in our country, almost double that of home, part of the cost is borne by the manufacturer.


The electric Nissan recharge free recharge points fast some dealers. No questions asked, no records, no cards or bagpipes. Just be open

In righteousness, there is also that to say that some charging points are free. Does anyone know of a site giving gasoline or diesel to change anything? Someone tell me, and I step to visit. For example, the electrolineras of the Metro of Madrid recharge electric cars with the surplus generated by the braking of the convoy. Some brands offer their customers reload without giving explanations of any kind.

cheaper than free-there is nothing

The numbers speak, the cars internal combustion lose out. It is true that some electric, like the Tesla Model X, or a Porsche Panamera e-Hybrid will have an electric bill higher, in the same way that there are SUV diesel that spend 10 l/100 km and the gasoline that you spend almost 9 liters are not so difficult to see in the day-to-day. The examples are valid for the same class of vehicles, without trying to favour one nor the other.

These accounts are valid only for calculating fuel or electricity. As you get into the equation the difference in preventive and corrective maintenance, the internal combustion car loses even more interest. In some cases, will require, on the other hand, a monthly fee for the batteries, type 75-80 euros. That each one of your accounts.

Since then, the electric ones are unbeatable in energy efficiency and cost. I Just lose out in energy density! The best Tesla only takes 100 kWh of energy, the fourth part that a tank of 45 litres. Another issue is the speed of recharge, Tesla aside, you can’t load more than 40 kW. That’s not going to improve in years. Travel will be essential to stretch your legs and take a coffee.