Electric car drivers have many advantages over combustion engine owners, for example in energy cost accounting. However, they also have to take into account a disadvantage: when charging an e-car, electricity is lost – some more, others less.

▶ ︎ BILD explains what are known as charging losses and reveals the extra costs that electric car drivers can expect!

According to ADAC, the charge loss can in extreme cases be up to 25 percent of a battery charge and – to put it bluntly – can be compared with fuel that is poured next to it when refueling.

How and why does such a charge loss occur?

Charging loss occurs when charging battery-operated devices in the upstream electrical installation as well as in the charging station, in the on-board charger and in the drive battery.

One of the things to blame is the electrical resistance in cables and wires. This ensures that part of the energy is “lost” in the form of heat, ie it does not go into the battery.

Many factors play a role, for example cable diameter and length, temperature, battery level and the required charging capacity.

Important to know: Fast charging with high power is usually less efficient than slow charging over several hours.

Fast charging stations – like here from Ionity – quickly pump enormous amounts of electricity into the batteries. Unfortunately, charging losses are also higher with fast charging

Photo: Annegret Hilse / REUTERS

As part of its “Ecotest”, the ADAC determined the charging loss in electric cars and compared the following information from 29 different electric cars:

► the energy actually required for a full charge

► the manufacturer’s information

► the range resulting from the test

We have removed the VW e-Up Style and Seat Mii Electric Plus models because both vehicles cannot currently be ordered.

That costs the loss of charging in three popular e-cars

The question remains about the costs. Go at Tesla Model X 100D – as determined by the ADAC – with a full charge of 8.3 kilowatt hours of electricity “lost”, this costs the owner 2.65 euros (calculated with an average kilowatt hour price of 31.89 cents). That sounds straightforward for the time being.

With a range of 451 kilometers measured in the Ecotest and an estimated annual mileage of 10,000 km, the Model X 100D would charge a total of 22 times. The bottom line would be that the loss of charging would be EUR 58.30 per year.

Electric cars currently run for eight to ten years and have to be fully charged 500 to 1000 times during this time. If you apply that to the Tesla Model X, the owner would have to invest 1325 to 2650 euros for the charge loss.

Teaser picture

In the life of a vehicle, drivers of a Tesla Model X suffer from charging losses of several thousand euros

Photo: Tesla

▶ ︎ The VW ID.3 Pro Performance 1st Max needed 64.8 kilowatt hours for a full charge in the ADAC test. The difference to the net usable battery capacity of 58.0 kWh is 6.8 kWh.

6.8 times 31.89 cents is 2.17 euros. According to ADAC, the ID.3 can travel 335 kilometers on one charge. This means that it would have to charge almost 30 times with an annual mileage of 10,000 kilometers. That would cost the owner around 65 euros extra. Applied to the estimated lifetime performance, it would be 1085 or 2170 euros.

Teaser picture

The VW ID.3 loses around 2 euros per battery charge on home electricity

Photo: Tom Salt

▶ ︎ Calculation example number three: Renault Zoe R135 ZE 50 (52 kWh) Intens. With the Ecotest he approved 64.3 kWh for a full charge – instead of the 52 kilowatt hours specified by the manufacturer.

Makes a difference of 12.3 kWh or 3.92 euros, which would cost the owner the loss of charging.

The range was 335 kilometers in the ADAC test. The Zoe would have to charge almost 30 times over a distance of 10,000 kilometers per year – just like the VW. That would be around 117 euros for the loss of charge.

Extrapolated to the expected service life of the vehicle, between 1960 and 3920 euros flowed into the loss of charge in the Renault.

Teaser picture

Almost 4,000 euros can be lost when charging the Zoe over the total mileage

Photo: Christoph Börries

Of course, this calculation is not entirely based on practice. For example, it assumes that electricity will cost the same on average in eight to ten years’ time as it does today, so it is based on a forecast.

But it fulfills its purpose by showing that the cost calculation for the electric car consists of numerous points that have to be considered. After all, electric car drivers save on maintenance and energy costs compared to combustion engines!

Charging losses of electric cars in the ADAC test

The following shows the charging losses when charging the battery. To calculate the lost electricity costs, simply multiply the charging loss by the current household energy price (approx. 32 cents per kWh). ATTENTION: At public charging stations, the energy costs are usually significantly higher.

If two charge loss values ​​are given, this is due to the manufacturer’s information on the battery capacity. Some car manufacturers indicate that parts of the battery cannot be used: The VW ID.4 Pro Performance, for example, has an 82 kWh battery, but only 77 kWh of it can be used.

▶ ︎ Tesla Model X 100D – Charge loss when fully charged: 8.3 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 100.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 108.3; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 451.

▶ ︎ Tesla Model 3 Longe Range AWD – Charge Loss: 14.5 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 75.0; required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC-Ecotest): 89.5; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 429.

▶ ︎ Kia e-Niro (64 kWh) Spirit – Charging loss: 8.3 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 64.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 72.3; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 398.

▶ ︎ Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro – Charge loss: 1.0 / 9.5 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 95.0 (net usable 86.5); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 96.0; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 390.

▶ ︎ Kia e-Soul (64 kWh) Spirit – Charging loss: 9.9 kWh;

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 64.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 73.9; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 390.

▶ ︎ VW ID.4 Pro Performance (77 kWh) Max – Charge loss: 6.5 / 11.5 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 82 (net usable 77); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 88.5; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 385.

▶ ︎ Hyundai Kona Electric (64 kWh) Trend – Charge Loss: 9.9 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 64.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 73.9; Range according to ADAC-Ecotest in km: 379.

▶ ︎ Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S AWD – Charge loss: 10.8 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 90.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 100.8; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 366.

▶ ︎ Audi e-tron 55 quattro – Loss of charge: 10.7 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 95.0 (net usable 83.6); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 94.3; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 365.

▶ ︎ Mercedes EQC 400 AMG Line – Loss of charge: 13.0 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 80.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 93.0; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 335.

▶ ︎ Renault Zoe R135 ZE 50 (52 kWh) Intens – Charge loss: 12.3 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 52.0; required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC-Ecotest): 64.3; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 335.

▶ ︎ VW ID.3 Pro Performance 1st Max – Charge loss: 2.8 / 6.8 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 62.0 (net usable 58.0); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 64.8; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 335.

▶ ︎ Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus – Charge Loss: 7.0 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 53.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 60.0; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 305.

▶ ︎ Nissan Leaf e + Tekna (62 kWh) – Charge loss: 6.4 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 62.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 68.4; Range according to ADAC-Ecotest in km: 300.

▶ ︎ Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor – Charge Loss: 8.0 / 13.5 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 78.0 (net usable 72.5); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 86.0; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 290.

▶ ︎ Peugeot e-208 GT – Charge loss: 3.1 / 5.6 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 50.0 (net usable 47.5); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 53.1; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 280.

▶ ︎ BMW i3 (120 Ah) – Loss of charge: 6.6 / 10.9 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 42.2 (net usable 37.9); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 48.8; Range according to ADAC-Ecotest in km: 272.

▶ ︎ DS 3 Crossback E-Tense So Chic – Charge loss: 5.4 / 7.9 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 50.0 (net usable 47.5); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 55.4; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 270.

▶ ︎ Hyundai Ioniq Elektro Style – Charging loss: 5.8 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 38.3; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 44.1; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 270.

▶ ︎ Peugeot e-2008 GT – Charging loss: 3.1 / 5.6 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 50.0 (net usable 47.5); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 53.1; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 260.

▶ ︎ Renault Zoe Intens (41 kWh) – Charge loss: 8.5 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 41.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 49.5; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 243.

▶ ︎ Mini Cooper SE – Charge loss: 5.0 / 8.7 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 32.6 (net usable 28.9); Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 37.6; Range according to ADAC-Ecotest in km: 210.

▶ ︎ Nissan Leaf Acenta (40 kWh) – Loss of charge: 4.5 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 40.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 44.5; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 201.

▶ ︎ Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv – Charge loss: 2.0 / 5.0 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 35.5 (net usable 32.5); required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC-Ecotest): 37.5; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 170.

▶ ︎ Nissan e-NV 200 Evalia – charge loss: 6.9 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 40.0; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 46.9; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 167.

▶ ︎ Smart forfour EQ passion – charge loss: 1.3 kWh

Battery in kWh (manufacturer information): 17.6; Required energy per full charge in kWh (ADAC Ecotest): 18.9; Range according to ADAC Ecotest in km: 100.

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