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Energy Consumption

The electricity consumption of electric cars

Find out how affordable it is to charge your electric car, what the advantages are compared to the combustion engine and how you can reduce electricity consumption

This is how efficient electric cars are

The electric car scores points, among other things, for the efficiency of its drive: the electric motor converts around 80 percent of the energy supplied into motion. If you include the losses that occur when charging the battery and providing the electricity, you get an efficiency of 64 percent. This means that an electric car is about three times as efficient as a vehicle with a conventional combustion engine - the efficiency of a petrol engine is only about 20 percent in normal driving conditions. 

Electricity consumption compared to petrol consumption

If you can charge your electric car cheaply at home, you can travel 100 kilometres much more cheaply than with a combustion engine. For example, charging an Opel Corsa-e with a 50 kWh battery will cost you around €15.95 at the current electricity prices in 2021 - and is thus significantly cheaper than filling up a combustion engine. 

In general, the electric car is much more efficient than a petrol engine. The latter requires about three times the amount of energy for the same distance. This is mainly due to the fact that combustion engines have a much lower efficiency - much of the energy generated during combustion in the car is simply lost. 


How much electricity is consumed by your own charging station?

Charging at your home charging station has numerous advantages, as there is neither an additional basic charge nor metering costs. However, the electric car's share of the household's total electricity consumption cannot be easily tracked on the bill. On the other hand, you can freely choose your electricity provider and keep the costs for charging as low as possible. The total costs to be expected depend not only on the battery in your vehicle, but also on your electricity tariff.

This is how much it costs to charge your electric car

If you charge your electric car at your own wallbox, you only pay the average price per kilowatt hour of household electricity, i.e. 31.89 cents (as of 2021). At public charging stations, the price is correspondingly higher: alternating current (AC) costs about 5 to 10 cents per minute, at a direct current fast charging station you have to expect up to 49 cents per minute.

Optimize your range

This is how you can reduce the energy consumption of your electric car

The consumption of an electric car is given in kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 km. For the Opel Corsa-e, the average power consumption (WLTP) is 16.8 kWh, for the Opel Mokka-e 18 - 17.4 kWh. 

However, the actual consumption depends on various factors: your personal driving style (how often you accelerate), the nature of the route (mountain road or flat country), the outside temperature (winter or summer), the use of heating and air conditioning and any additional weight (how many people are in the car). 

The good thing is that you can see the current consumption at any time during the journey - and there are various ways to reduce it and thus save on electricity costs. By the way, the WLTP valid in the EU - or the EPA data in the USA - provide a realistic estimate of the range. 

Heating and energy consumption

The heating is one of the main energy consumers in an electric car. In winter, the range can therefore be reduced by around 10 to 30%. In extreme cases even more, especially if the cooled electric car has to be heated up several times a day for short trips. However, there are a few tricks you can use to counteract this effect: Use the Opel Connect app to heat up your Opel electric car before you set off, when it is still connected to the mains - then this energy does not come from the drive battery. Use the recirculated air or even just the seat heating while driving - this consumes significantly less energy. 

Decisive factor: the battery

Electricity consumption in battery production

In the production of electric cars, the production of the battery is the most important factor. Apart from that, however, they are undeniably more environmentally and climate-friendly than petrol or diesel vehicles: when using the German electricity mix, electric cars can quickly fully exploit their climate advantages over conventional powertrains.

However, as green electricity becomes more widespread, the energy balance in production will become increasingly better in the future. The second life and subsequent recycling of the batteries also contributes to their positive climate balance. And if you charge your Opel electric car exclusively with green electricity, you can even make your own positive contribution. 

Highest energy density: the lithium-ion battery

The range of an electric car is determined primarily by the capacity of the battery. All Opel electric cars are equipped with lithium-ion batteries because they have the highest energy density compared to other batteries. This means that they can store the most energy per kilogram of battery. By the way, the capacity of our lithium-ion batteries varies from 50 to 75 kWh.

Since the energy density in electric car batteries has already doubled in the last 10 years, we can expect electric cars to be able to drive even further in the future. 

More on the topic of power consumption

How much does an electric car consume per 100 km?

The energy consumption of your electric car depends on your driving style, the outside temperature, the nature of your route and the load. However, the WLTP value, which is based on everyday driving conditions, gives you a good first impression. The consumption of the Opel Corsa-e is around 16.8 kWh per 100 kilometres (WLTP).

How much does it cost to "Fill up" with electricity?

It all depends on where you charge your electric car: you can charge it particularly cheaply at home, because there you pay the current electricity price of 31.89 cents/kWh per kilowatt hour (2021). If you fully charge your 50 kWh battery Opel, it will cost you 15.95 €. Charging at public fast-charging stations is more expensive. Here you have to reckon with costs of up to 49 cents/kWh, which is around €25 for charging the battery. This is still significantly cheaper than filling up your petrol car with fuel. 

How many kw can an electric car store?

How much your electric car can charge depends on the capacity of the battery: Opel offers 50 kW and 75 kW batteries. The fastest way to refuel them is at a fast charging station with direct current. But even with alternating current, there are differences in speed depending on the charging station - and also on the battery charge. If it is already charged to 20-80%, charging is faster. Likewise, if it is not significantly colder or hotter than 20 degrees Celsius.

How many kw does an electric car draw on a single charge? 

How many kilowatts an electric car draws when charging depends on the power source and the matching charging cable: if you charge it at a single-phase wallbox, it draws 3.7 or 4.6 kW, at a three-phase wallbox 11 or even 22 kW. At fast charging stations, your electric car draws 50 or even over 100 kW direct current - which means that your battery is charged up to 80 % in around 30 minutes.