Comparison of energy costs at petrol stations from October

Berlin (dpa) – Thirteen numbers on a yellow-orange notice should show motorists in the future what they could have saved. From October, larger filling stations will have to present their customers with a so-called energy cost comparison.

On it: The costs for 100 kilometers with seven different energy sources – from electricity to hydrogen to premium gasoline – and for two vehicle sizes. Only for hydrogen in smaller vehicles is a value missing due to a lack of data. Why is there a poster, what can it – and what not?

Why is there a poster?

It implements a European directive. The purpose is to «support future purchasing decisions by consumers when choosing a passenger car», as the text of the law says. The idea behind it: The consumer should be able to easily compare what the energy costs him for 100 kilometers with different types of drive.

Basically, you can also find this at the ADAC for makes sense in order to create transparency and “also to influence the purchase decision to a certain extent”. The Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) also welcomes the label: “The comparison makes it clear that electromobility is not only a climate-friendly, but also a financially attractive alternative for many motorists,” it says.

What does the poster show?

The current poster – it should be updated quarterly and can be downloaded from the Ministry of Economic Affairs – it can be seen, for example, that a middle or upper class car with premium gasoline 11, 42 Euro fuel or energy costs per 100 kilometer. With Super E 10 it would be 11, 00 Euro, with diesel 7, 48, with a Stromer 4, 84. Natural gas H would cost 6 39 euros, LPG with 4, 96 and hydrogen 7, 60.

How do these values ​​come about?

For each type of drive in each of the two vehicle categories, the three best-selling vehicles and their official consumption according to the current WLTP driving cycle are used. This gives you an average consumption per 100 kilometer. Together with the price for the respective energy carrier, this results in costs per 100 kilometer. For the price, the ministry uses the average value for the second quarter. However, these numbers are not given on the poster.

How accurate is the information?

Even if the Values ​​that are calculated and stated precisely to the cent, can only be rough comparative values ​​for several reasons. For one thing, the consumer who reads the poster while refueling is likely to drive a different car with a different consumption. His driving style also makes a big difference here.

In addition, according to the Federal Ministry of Economics, the average prices of the second quarter are currently used for the calculation. Since then, for example, diesel has become around 9 cents per liter more expensive, as can be seen from the ADAC figures.

And finally – as the name suggests – it is only a comparison of energy costs. Other car-related costs such as acquisition, repairs, insurance and taxes are naturally excluded – although they usually significantly exceed the item of energy costs.

Special case of electric vehicles

The calculation is particularly prone to distortions for electric cars, which according to the comparison are the cheapest. “There is no information that e-cars are based on the average household electricity price,” criticizes the MWV mineral oil industry association. “Public and, above all, fast charging is usually more expensive, and that significantly reduces the price difference compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.”

According to the BDEW energy industry association, a typical household electricity tariff is slightly above 30 Cent per kilowatt hour. At public charging stations, however, it is more like 39 to 45 cents and at fast charging stations even 49 to 79 Cent. This includes costs for infrastructure, operation, maintenance, land use and payment processing. But these prices would also have to be taken into account so that the information on the poster “can be reconciled with personal experience”, demands the BDEW.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs justifies the use of the household electricity tariff, among other things that more than 80 percent of the charging processes take place at home. In the medium term, however, the costs for charging en route should also be included in the calculation.

Where does the poster have to hang?

Petrol stations with seven multiple dispensers and more have to hang it up or present it on a screen. According to an estimate by the ZTG petrol station association, this only affects about 1500 the 14 500 Petrol stations in Germany. That is “the only good thing” about the new regulation, says ZTG managing director Jürgen Ziegner, who considers the poster to be “as superfluous as a goiter”. “It’s of little use to me if I’m on the go and have to refuel and then find out how much I would have paid for the electricity at home,” he criticizes.

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