Currently there is no better car to compare electric and hybrid powertrains than the Hyundai IONIQ. The electric version is the most efficient mass produced car in the world, while the hybrid version takes the spotlight in the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) category.
I see plug-less hybrids as more efficient ICE cars, since even the energy recuperated by regenerative braking was first generated by burning a fossil fuel. I don’t say this as a bad thing, running on fossil fuels is inherently inefficient, anything that helps to increase its efficiency is welcomed and every ICE car should be hybrid.
In this article my objective is to compare the most efficient electric and ICE powertrains regarding energy costs. To calculate running energy costs we just need two things: efficiency rates and energy prices.
In the table below we have the EPA efficiency figures for the electric and hybrid versions.
Hyundai IONIQ (EPA efficiency): Electric vs Hybrid
|2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric||25 kWh/100 miles|
15,4 kWh/100 km
|22,67 kWh/100 miles|
14,08 kWh/100 km
|27,87 kWh/100 miles
17,31 kWh/100 km
|2017 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid (Blue package)||6,4352 L/100 miles|
3,9986 L/100 km
|6,5481 L/100 miles|
4,0688 L/100 km
|6,3261 L/100 miles
3,9309 L/100 km
In the next table we have energy prices. Be aware that in big countries such as Canada and the USA, energy costs vary a lot from state to state, because of this I used average nationwide prices for these two cases.
Furthermore, if you have a smart meter, you should use electricity at “off-peak” times to charge your electric car. By doing this you can pay up to two or even three times less compared to “on-peak” periods.
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Now we can finally calculate running energy costs for the Hyundai IONIQ Electric and Hybrid in different countries. To make things simpler, I just used EPA (combined) efficiency figures and the most efficient hybrid version, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq (Blue package).
Energy costs: Hyundai IONIQ Electric vs Hybrid
|Austria||3,0954 EUR/100 km||4,6784 EUR/100 km||1,583 EUR/100 km|
|Canada||1,058 EUR/100 km||3,3589 EUR/100 km||2,3009 EUR/100 km|
|France||2,6349 EUR/100 km||5,4781 EUR/100 km||2,8432 EUR/100 km|
|Germany||4,5846 EUR/100 km||5,3982 EUR/100 km||0,8136 EUR/100 km|
|Netherlands||2,4517 EUR/100 km||6,1579 EUR/100 km||3,7062 EUR/100 km|
|Norway||2,5117 EUR/100 km||6,7177 EUR/100 km||4,206 EUR/100 km|
|Portugal||3,64056 EUR/100 km||5,7980 EUR/100 km||2,15744 EUR/100 km|
|Spain||3,5174 EUR/100 km||4,8784 EUR/100 km||1,361 EUR/100 km|
|Sweden||3,0215 EUR/100 km||5,8780 EUR/100 km||2,8565 EUR/100 km|
|United Kingdom||2,8197 EUR/100 km||5,4781 EUR/100 km||2,6584 EUR/100 km|
|United States of America||1,7849 EUR/100 km||2,5591 EUR/100 km||0,7742 EUR/100 km|
As you can see, – without surprise – it’s in Norway that people can save the most by driving the electric version – considering just energy costs. After 100.000 km, on average 4.206 euros would be saved by driving the electric version instead of the hybrid. Furthermore, there are additional incentives that make electric cars a much better and cheaper choice.
I’m sure that the best way to increase electric car sales is to make ICE cars more expensive to buy and run with higher taxes. We need to reach to a point where selling polluting cars will be near impossible, only then automakers will finally get serious about electric cars and drop their prices. While automakers prefer to sell ICE cars with inherent planned obsolescence, they know that given the choice, it’s better to sell electric cars than nothing at all…
As a side-note, in some countries such as the USA and France, with existing incentives the electric variant can actually cost less to buy than the hybrid. However, in most countries the electric variant is considerably more expensive to buy than the hybrid.
To sum up, lower running energy cost isn’t the only thing that make electric cars cheaper in the longer run, but we should be aware of it. Lower maintenance costs and less taxes should also be taken into account.
Finally let’s also not forget that electricity can be produced everywhere locally and from different sources, making its cost a lot more stable. We can even produce it in our roofs with the help of solar panels. Fossil fuels, in the other hand, as any other finite resource always generate conflicts and this is why I like electric cars the most, they make us more independent from big corporations and don’t finance wars for oil.
Are low running costs important for you? Or electric cars have so many other advantages that you won’t even bother with this one?