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Categories: Environment

Why are the differences in consumption greater in electricity?

The consumption of electric vehicles can vary from simple to double, or even worse, depending on the conditions and its use. We explain why.

Where a conventional thermal vehicle does not show excessive differences in consumption depending on its use (up to 50% for a petrol and 25% for a diesel), the electric vehicles are able to display consumption that goes from simple to double, or even worse. It is not uncommon to be able to approach a consumption of 12 to 14 kWh in the best conditions and to exceed, sometimes frankly, 25 kWh in the worst.

Electrical specificity versus thermal

The same goes for the very design of this type of vehicle, the use and energy expenditure of which is very different from that of a combustion engine. In urban and suburban areas, the advantage is clearly to the electric motor since, unlike its petrol counterpart, he consumes absolutely nothing stationary or at low speed (except for air conditioning). Better still, thanks to the regeneration system with which they are equipped, each lift of the foot or braking makes it possible to recover energy and, de facto, to reduce consumption medium electric. Nevertheless, very often restarting an electric model, which is often very heavy, is not the most efficient (but much more efficient than a thermal one) and will prove its worth above all with low speeds and few complete stops.

The energy efficiency of electric is much better than that of a gasoline/diesel engine, but the energy density of oil is far from equal (1 liter is approximately equal to 10 kWh). Thus, you need large batteries, particularly heavy, where a thermal is content with a 50-litre tank to be able to cover more distance. However, from a purely energy point of view, the electric vehicle has consumed much less and especially lost much less, especially in heat.

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Electric cars: their real autonomy to the test

No gearbox on the electric

A thermal vehicle will express itself better on the road and motorway, in particular thanks to the gear ratio linked to the gearboxes and relatively low engine speeds. Indeed, the maximum speed of a classic vehicle is between 4000 and 7000 rpm depending on whether it is a diesel or a petrol and excluding sports vehicles.

An electric motor is, for its part, capable of running at 20,000 rpm and does not benefit from a reduction system (except the Porsche Taycan). Partly thanks to its always available torque and a lot because for the moment nothing exists on the market from equipment manufacturers. The motor is electric and is technically capable of receiving much more energy from the battery all of a sudden. If we add to this its very high rotational speed, the energy consumption then becomes particularly high. Indeed, the direct correlation between speed and engine speed (no gearbox) requires a high consumption of electrons as soon as the speed increases. A trip on the German autobahn at 160 km/h and more will take you well over 30 kWh per 100 km.

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