‘Fuel’ for an electric car is quoted in Kilowatt hours – a measure of electrical energy equivalent to the power consumption of one thousand watts for a period of one hour.
The total kWs available is linked to the Battery size – the more the kilowatts the greater the range (depending again on the size/efficiency of the car).
Combustion engines fuel availability is quoted in litres – the bigger the tank the further the distance (depending again on the size/efficiency of the car).
Let’s take the VW Golf as an example:
- The Golf 1.5 TSI has a quoted general petrol use consumption of 5.1 litres/100 km
- The e-Golf has a quoted electricity consumption of 12.7 kWh/100 km
The above would cost you:
- R70.33 in petrol per 100 kilometres OR
- R27.92 in electricity per 100 kilometres (WORST Case)
The WORST Case above can range from NOTHING to 20.14 to 24.30 to 26.88 per 100 kilometres depending on where you fill up, whether you have solar power available at home or which Inclined Block Tariff you are on. Major manufacturers are installing their own charging networks allowing owners to charge for free. Examples of these are the offerings from Jaguar, Tesla’s Super Charging Network and the Nissan LEAF “No Charge to Charge” program.
Lets presume a useful life of 100 000 kilometres for each of the above:
- 100 000 km’s of petrol will cost you R70 329.00
- 100 000 km’s of electricity will cost you R27 924.00
The savings will be eaten up if you need to replace the battery BUT, there is light at the end of the battery as current estimates show that EV batteries retain up to 75% of their charge after 10 years and can live a productive second life as energy storage for Solar Systems.
Of course if the government cottons on to the fact that the shift to EV’s will erode their tax base then the numbers could change dramatically. See – What About Fuel Tax on Electric Vehicles? for more insight.
At present there are no definitive comparison figures for servicing of fossil fuel vehicles as opposed to electrical vehicles. Heed must be taken, though of the expected very low maintenance costs as most EV’s have a third of the number of moving parts in comparison to traditional vehicles, EV’s are ‘always on’ so their upgrades to firmware and software can be done on the fly and won’t necessitate a visit to the dealer with it’s associated downtime. EV Regenerative braking will preserve brakes whilst sensors all round will help minimise accident and minor ding damage.
The decision to go electric is still a financial one and when manufacturers and dealers can say that there EV’s are equal in price OR cheaper than the combustion engine alternative then purchasing an EV moves in to no-brainer territory.
Batteries are predicted to hot the magical $100 per kW manufactured cost in 2019 adn, at that price point, will hit price parity with combustion engines. The prediction is that within 3 years after that the price will halve to $50 per kW, sounding the death knell for motoring as we know it.
You can help the quiet revolution along by installing an EV Charging station outside your Guest House, Hotel, Coffee Shop, Restaurant, Shopping Centre or in your forecourt.
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