We’re still at a point where we compare very different electric cars because the offer is still very limited. It’s so limited that we compare four seat cars with 5 seat cars. Comparing the BMW i3 with the Nissan Leaf makes as much sense as comparing the Nissan Note with a Smart ForFour only because they have gas engines.
Electric cars will be mainstream when we start to compare them with similar gas cars, where the powertrain is the only difference.
I really like the Opel Ampera-e, even with poor aerodynamics it’s a very practical car, small from the outside, big from the inside. The Ampera-e is what a second generation Honda Jazz/Fit EV should be like. They are very similar cars.
In Germany, the Honda Jazz’s price starts at 15.990 € and tops out at 20.290 €. Considering that the Opel Ampera-e will be priced at around 35.000 €, compared to Honda Jazz’s higher trim that’s roughly a 15.000 € difference.
Of course electric cars have many advantages when compared to gas cars. They are better to drive, have lower taxes in most countries, have less maintenance costs and make the air we breathe cleaner. But what most persons want to know is how much would they save in gas.
With the help from the fuelly.com website let’s consider that the realistic gas consumption of the Honda Jazz is 6,6 L/100 km, for the Opel Ampera-e 15 kWh/100 km seems fair.
The average kWh price in Germany is 0,295 € and the gas liter (Super 95) is 1,29 €. Interestingly Germany has cheaper gas than Portugal, but electricity is a lot cheaper here. Das Auto lobby maybe?
With these figures we get:
Honda Jazz: 8,514 €/100 km
Opel Ampera-e: 4,425 €/100 km
We save 4,089 € each 100 km by using the electric car. It would take 366.838 km to reach the 15.000 € difference. It’s difficult, but not impossible since the Opel Ampera-e has a real-world range between 350 km and 400 km.
In a very optimistic scenario, let’s assume you get your electricity for free. You save exactly 8,514 € each 100 km by using the electric car. Then it would take 176.180 km to reach the 15.000 € difference.
This is why the gas prices needs to go up as much as the electric car prices need to go down.
I used Germany as an example because it’s a very big car market and where the auto lobbies have big influence in EU legislation. Unfortunately, only when electric cars are mainstream there we can expect better EU legislation. Until then we’ll have automakers cheating emissions tests without suffering the consequences.