The exorbitant increase in the price of electricity turns off the ‘bargain’ of the electric car

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began 14 days ago with incessant bombing of large cities and which has generated the mass exodus of the Ukrainian population, has brought energy prices to historic levels, due to sanctions, restrictions and border closures. Oil is at its highest level in the last 14 years and the rise could be accentuated after the refusal of some countries to continue buying crude from Russia, which is the world’s second largest producer. The brent barrel -reference in the European market- stood at 124 euros yesterday and the 95 liter of gasoline reached -on average- 1.8 euros and diesel, 1.7 euros. Meanwhile, the rise in gas, with a direct impact on the price of electricity, has caused an average of 628 euros per megawatt per hour (mWh) to be paid yesterday.

This context has been transferred immediately and significantly to the pockets of citizens, who are increasingly finding it more expensive to fill the fuel tank, but also to charge the battery of the electric car. These vehicles had become an interesting ecological solution, which also meant savings in the medium term, but now, the high cost of electricity has contributed to stop being the promised ‘bargain’. Official data shows that in just six months recharging one of these cars costs 173% more, but even comparing the average price with respect to the days before the conflict, the price has risen 130%, from 0.27 euros per kilowatt per hour (kWh) to the 0.6 euros per kWh that were paid yesterday. For its part, the liter of diesel has risen 37.2% in half a year and 17.6% since the dates prior to the Russian offensive and gasoline 95 has risen 25.8% and 12.8% , respectively, during these periods.

In detail, a comparison between three of the best-selling vehicles in 2021, the electric Kia ‘E-Nero’, the Dacia ‘Duster’ diesel version and the Seat ‘Arona’ with 95 unleaded gasoline, shows that the economic advantages of the car rechargeable have been reduced considerably with the increase in the price of electricity. Fill the 40 liter tank Seat ‘Arona’ 1.0 TSI 81 kW (110 hp), a small SUV with a range of 800 kilometers, cost 73.32 euros yesterday. The purchase price of this vehicle is around 21,000 euros, while recharging the 64 kWh battery of the Kia ‘E-Nero’ was priced at 40.18 euros. The price of this vehicle is around 20,000 euros. With a average consumption of 5.2 liters for every 100 kilometers of the first, to travel that distance would cost 9.4 euros and to do it with the second, with an expense of 12 kWh per 100 kilometers, it would come out to 7.5 euros. The differences with respect to a few months ago have clearly shortened.

The ‘Duster’ costs around 18.00 euros and its autonomy is 1,100 kilometers. The Kia ‘E-Nero’ is around 20,000 euros and has 455 kilometers of autonomy

Meanwhile, fill the diesel Dacia Duster 2021 Blue dCi (115CV), which has 50 litres, costs 87.45. Its average consumption is 4.8 liters per 100 kilometers, which means that traveling that route would mean an outlay of just 8.4 euros. The price of this vehicle is around 18,000 euros, depending on the offers and finishes, and its autonomy exceeds 1,100 kilometers. On the other hand, registration data show a ‘boom’ of electric cars and hybrids. Thus, according to the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers (Anfac), the registrations of electrified, hybrid and gas vehicles increased their sales during 2021 by 55.2% compared to 2020, with a total of 312,295 units, of which 300,382 registrations were passenger cars. In 2021, three out of every ten vehicles sold has been an electrified, hybrid or gas vehicle, increasing its market share by more than 10 points compared to 2020.

Within the different types of alternative vehicles, non-plug-in hybrids are the most chosen by users with one in four vehicle purchases during the month of December (25%) and with a 21.5% market share in 2021 Electrified vehicles (electric and plug-in hybrids), for their part, exceeded 9% of sales in December and monopolized a 6.8% share during 2021. In the specific case of electrified passenger cars, the market share increased up to 7.8% during 2021.

Total car registrations in the Spanish market stood at 859,477 units in 2021, which represents an increase of 1% compared to 851,210 units in 2020, but 32% less than the 1.26 million units in the year 2019, due to the crisis caused by Covid-19 and the scarcity of microchips. Thus, according to data from the manufacturers’ associations (Anfac), (Faconauto) and vendors (Ganvam), deliveries of passenger cars and SUVs are below one million units, a figure that has not been recorded since 2014, when the 855,308 units sold represented the beginning of the end of the economic crisis at that time. Gasoline lost share in 2021. By type of fuel, gasoline models accounted for almost half of the Spanish market in 2021, with a penetration of 45.1%. In December, after losing share during the year and being surpassed by other propulsion systems, it reached 38.3%.

Diesel, for its part, closed last year with a representation of 19.9% ​​and 20.9% in December, while the rest of propulsion systems accounted for 34.9% of sales in the group of 2021 and 40.8% in the last month of last year. At the end of last year, all market segments experienced falls in the month of December, highlighting the setback of 64.2% of large minivans. In the accumulated figure for the year, urban vehicles and small SUVs increased their shares by 19.8% and 18.4%, respectively.