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June 15, 2023

Calculating The Consumption of Your Electric Car: A Guide To Save Your Money

Calculating The Consumption of Your Electric Car: A Guide To Save Your Money


Electric Vehicles are transforming our roads, shaping the future of transportation, and setting the standard for environmental responsibility. Thanks to using electricity and digital technologies, EVs managed to offer an unprecedented blend of performance, efficiency, and eco-friendliness.

However, despite the substantial growth of the EV market, some potential buyers remain hesitant. Concerns often revolve around the same questions: how far can an EV really travel? What's the actual cost of 'fueling' an EV? And, perhaps most critically, how will owning an EV impact the personal finances of potential owners?

These valid concerns can make the leap from petrol-fueled vehicles to electric cars seem daunting. However, the key to dispelling these fears and encouraging the transition lies in concrete metrics. Understanding electric car consumption is central to this knowledge. By casting light on the real-world costs and benefits of EV ownership, we can provide potential EV owners with the confidence they need to make the switch.

Our guide will help you understand the factors that influence EV consumption, show you how to calculate it accurately, and provide strategies to reduce consumption and save money. We want you to feel confident about your decision to embrace this transformative technology. Together, we'll uncover how an electric vehicle can be not only a savvy environmental choice but a smart financial decision as well!

Understanding Electric Car Consumption: The Factors at Play

Electric car consumption is a critical aspect to understand when considering the shift to an EV. The concept, although seemingly complex, is quite straightforward: it is the energy an EV uses over a given distance. Most commonly, it's expressed in kilowatt-hours per hundred kilometres (kWh/100 km).

Different EVs have different energy consumption rates, influenced by an array of factors. The Tesla Model S, for instance, consumes around 19 kWh per 100km, or a “fuel equivalent” of around 2.1 liters/100km (Check Tesla’s interesting table of fuel equivalent here for different models). This consumption value is not set in stone, though. It can fluctuate based on a multitude of variables including driving style, environmental conditions, and vehicle maintenance.

Factors Affecting Electric Car Consumption

  1. Speed: High-speed driving (over 65 MPH or 105 km/h) can significantly reduce an EV's efficiency, leading to higher consumption.
  2. Wind: A strong headwind may result in higher energy usage.
  3. Payload: Heavier loads increase energy consumption. More weight means the motor has to work harder.
  4. Tire Traction: Poor tire traction can decrease efficiency, leading to higher consumption. Proper tire maintenance ensures optimal traction and can help reduce energy use.
  5. Weather: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, affect battery performance, potentially leading to increased energy consumption.
  6. HVAC: Using the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in an EV consumes energy. Therefore, excessive HVAC usage can reduce the range.
  7. Regenerative braking: It enhances electric car efficiency by converting the kinetic energy during braking into electrical power, thereby recharging the vehicle's battery and reducing energy consumption.

Real-life examples of these factors come to life every day in the experiences of EV drivers. Weather conditions in the northern parts of Germany, for instance, may necessitate more frequent use of the heating system in an EV, thus increasing energy consumption. On the other hand, a Tesla Model S owner who uses their car primarily for city commuting at moderate speeds may achieve lower-than-average energy consumption.

By understanding these variables, EV owners can more accurately predict their energy needs and, subsequently, the cost of their journeys.

cost of electric car consumption

How Much Does Electric Car Consumption Really Costs?

Switching to an electric vehicle is not just an eco-conscious decision; it's also a financial one. Understanding the costs associated with electric car consumption can help you weigh the benefits against the initial investment.

Here's a straightforward method to estimate the cost of charging your EV at home: multiply the battery's capacity (in kWh) by the price per kWh of your electricity. This calculation gives you the estimated total cost to fully charge the battery.  Of course, for a more precise result and if you have this function, you can take the average consumption calculated from your EV’s dashboard for a more precise result.

Let's consider two popular electric vehicles: the Tesla Model S and the Volkswagen ID.6.

  1. Tesla Model S: With a battery capacity of 100 kWh and an electricity rate of 48.12 cents per kWh, the cost to fully charge a Tesla Model S in Germany is approximately €48.12.
  2. Volkswagen ID.6: The ID.6 has a battery capacity of 82 kWh. Given the same electricity rate, the cost to fully charge this vehicle would be roughly €39.46.

The cost of EV consumption per 100 km:

To determine the cost per 100 km, we'll also need the efficiency of each vehicle, typically expressed in kWh/100 km. Assuming the following for each vehicle:

  1. Tesla Model S: Efficiency of 19 kWh/100 km. (You can find this data in your Tesla’s Energy dashboard, Consumption tab)
  2. Volkswagen ID.6: Efficiency of 16.9 kWh/100 km.

Now, we can calculate the cost per 100 km:

  1. Tesla Model S: The cost per 100 km can be calculated by multiplying the efficiency by the electricity cost, which equals 20 kWh/100 km * €0.4812/kWh = €9.62 per 100 km.
  2. Volkswagen ID.6: Similarly, the cost per 100 km for the ID.6 is 16.9 kWh/100 km * €0.4812/kWh = €8.12 per 100 km.

Electric Car vs. Petrol Car Price Per Kilometer Comparison

Electric car consumption is typically cheaper than the cost of fuel for a traditional car. Let's take our previous examples, the Tesla Model S and the Volkswagen ID.6. We already figured out that a full charge for these vehicles costs €48.12 and €39.46 respectively. With average consumption rates, the Tesla Model S can travel around 540 km, and the Volkswagen ID.6 about 400 km on a full charge. Compared to the average petrol vehicle that gets about 12 km per liter, driving the same distance would require about 45 liters for the Tesla and 33 liters for the Volkswagen. Assuming a diesel price in Germany of €1.6 per liter, the cost would be €72 and €52.80 respectively, and if we take gasoline cars, we come down with higher costs: €81.72 and €59.92. This comparison makes it clear: electric cars can indeed offer significant savings in price per kilometer.

Techniques and Tools

There are numerous apps and online tools available that can help you calculate electric car consumption more conveniently. For instance, Tesla has a free-of-charge Tesla charging calculator which can easily assist you while choosing a car. There are also some websites that can calculate your battery capacity or apps to calculate your charging time.

One of the most popular and useful apps is ‘A Better Route Planner', which can consider factors like speed, weather, and elevation changes to provide a highly accurate estimate of the energy needed for your specific trip.

inside tesla ev

Home Charging Station VS  Public Charging

Advantages of a home charging station:

  1. Convenience: The primary advantage of home charging is convenience. You can plug in your EV overnight and wake up to a fully charged vehicle.
  2. Lower Costs: Home charging often proves cheaper. For example, in Germany, residential electricity rates vary from approximately 0.30 to 0.35 EUR per kWh, while EV charging stations are rated at around 0.75 EUR per kWh, more than double!
  3. Eco-friendly: If your home is powered by renewable energy (like solar panels), you can charge your EV with green energy, reducing your carbon footprint even further.

Disadvantages of a home charging station:

  1. Slow Charging: Standard home outlets offer slow charging rates - typically delivering 2.3kW to 3.7kW power, which can take many hours to fully charge an EV.
  2. Installation Costs: While some homes are equipped for EV charging, others might require the installation of a dedicated charging point, which incurs additional costs.

Overall speaking, it is cheaper and more convenient to charge your car at home. Right now there are a lot of options, so you can easily install a wallbox at home using our short guide.

Other consumption EV benefits:

  1. Reduced Maintenance Costs: EVs have fewer moving parts and don't require oil changes, which reduces the overall maintenance costs. For example, there are no spark plugs or timing belts to replace.
  2. Government Incentives: Many governments offer significant incentives to promote EV adoption, including purchase rebates, tax credits, and exemptions from certain fees. These incentives can greatly offset the higher upfront cost of EVs.
  3. Longevity: While it's true that the batteries in EVs may need to be replaced eventually, they are often under warranty for a significant period of time (typically around 8 years). Moreover, electric motors tend to last longer than internal combustion engines because they have fewer parts.
  4. Resale Value: As the demand for EVs increases, the resale value of these vehicles is improving. Some models retain value particularly well. Plus, there is a growing market for used EV batteries, which can be repurposed for energy storage, further adding to the vehicle's residual value.

When considering the shift to an electric vehicle, understanding the financial impact is vital, and by analyzing these costs and benefits, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your environmental goals and budget. But if you want to sell EV, have a look at what we do at Cardino! We guarantee the best and most seamless selling experience you can imagine. You can begin by using our instant and free valuation tool to have a precise calculation of the value of your EV - and we will handle everything else!

How to save more with your Electric Car?

Being a savvy electric vehicle owner involves more than just understanding consumption. It's also about knowing how to optimize your vehicle's efficiency to reduce consumption and maximize your savings. Everyone wants to save money while driving EV and with these three tips it is possible enough:

  • Regular Maintenance

Best practices include checking tire pressure regularly and ensuring timely software updates. You can find other tips on how to prolong the life span of the battery in our previous article.

  • Driving Habits

Maintaining a steady speed, avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking, using regenerative braking effectively, and minimizing the use of heating and air conditioning.

  • Leveraging Financial Incentives

Taking advantage of financial incentives such as tax benefits and subsidies, many exist in Germany and Europe, as either local, regional or country-wide initiatives. A simple Google search can bring you a long way!

The Future of EV Batteries

Electric vehicles are on a trajectory of rapid development, fueled by advances in technology and growing environmental awareness. We foresee improvements in battery technology leading to more energy-efficient vehicles, thus lowering consumption rates and driving costs. Innovations in charging infrastructure and smart grid technology may also make charging more convenient and affordable. One of the next big innovations expected to bring costs down and performance up are the lithium-air batteries. Electric cars with Lithium-air batteries can provide a high energy density which is making them comparable to gasoline cars, thus killing any practical roadblocks to widespread EV adoption.

Moreover, the broader volume growth of electric vehicles is likely to lead to economies of scale, bringing down manufacturing costs and making electric cars even more affordable. Government incentives and policies encouraging electric vehicle adoption will continue to evolve, further boosting the economic appeal of electric cars — exciting times ahead!


Q1: What does “electric car consumption” mean?A: Electric car consumption is the energy an electric vehicle (EV) uses over a given distance. It's typically expressed in kilowatt-hours per hundred kilometers (kWh/100 km). This rate depends on several factors including driving style, environmental conditions, and vehicle maintenance.

Q2: How much does it cost to drive an EV?A: You can calculate the cost of driving an EV by multiplying the vehicle's energy consumption rate (kWh/100 km) by the price per kWh of your electricity and the distance you want to travel. There are also numerous apps and online tools available that can assist with this calculation, such as ‘A Better Route Planner', or Tesla Charging Calculator’.

Q3: What are the financial impacts of EV consumption?A: Electric car consumption typically results in cheaper driving costs than traditional fuel-powered vehicles. Additionally, EVs often have lower maintenance costs, and many governments offer incentives such as rebates and tax credits for EV owners. On the flip side, the initial purchase price of EVs can be higher, although this is usually offset by lower running costs.

Q4: How can I optimize the range of my electric car?A: You can optimize your EV's efficiency by adopting good driving habits such as maintaining a steady speed and minimizing the use of heating and air conditioning. Regular vehicle maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and ensuring timely software updates, can also help reduce energy consumption.

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