Electric cars: know how to calculate average consumption

Calculating the average fuel consumption in a car fueled with gasoline or ethanol is possible through a simple method that practically everyone knows. After all, just divide the number of kilometers traveled by the amount of liters added to the tank and that’s it. But how do you calculate the average consumption of an electric car? Before we give the answer, we are already warning you that it is necessary to understand a real “soup of letters (and numbers)”.

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Let’s start at the beginning, pardoning the redundancy. To calculate the average consumption of electric cars, first it is necessary to know that it is not indicated simply by dividing the total autonomy of the vehicle disclosed by the automakers by the battery capacity. Let’s see it better with a practical example.

According to General Motors, the Chevrolet Bolt has a battery of 69 kWh and autonomy of 1024 km. The average consumption of the car, however, does not simply come from the division of 100 by 69, which would result in 6,30. To arrive at the exact value, it is necessary to set a distance for reference, and the assemblers adopted 90 km by default.

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In this way, the calculation of the average consumption of the Chevrolet Bolt in kWh would be done using the good old rule of three : 63 kWh/x = 1024 km/90 km. This implies that “x” is equal to 2022 / 416, which results in , 8 kWh spent each 100 kilometers. And is this better or worse than the average consumption of a combustion car? Calm down, because that’s what we’re going to explain now.

Electric consumption x combustion consumption

Image: Ralph Hutter/Unsplash

After discovering that the Chevrolet Bolt, one of the first electric cars that went on sale in Brazil, has an average consumption of , 8 kWh each 416 kilometers driven, it’s time to compare the result with a combustion car. Better yet, let’s help translate this into numbers for the consumer’s pocket.

This time, however, we’ll add generic values ​​for fuel (in this case, gasoline) and for the kilowatt hour of electricity. After all, both the price of a liter of fuel and the tariffs used by energy providers are different in the various states of the country.

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For the bill to be round, let’s imagine that a gasoline car runs them 69 kilometers that the Chevrolet Bolt and consumes liters of fuel. This means that he had an average of 10 kilometers traveled per liter spent. At the tip of the pencil, assuming that gasoline costs BRL 5, the driver’s expense would have been BRL 30 to run 90 kilometers.

In the case of the electric car, establishing the value of each kWh in R$ 0,25, the Chevrolet Bolt would have spent , 8 kWh in 90 kilometers, or 15, 8 x 0,30. In reais, this driver would have spent R$7 90. This is six times less than what the owner of the gasoline-fueled car had to pay.

Equivalent expense

Image: Kelly Sikema/Unsplash

It was clear how to calculate the average consumption of electric cars and how to spend it in cash , is much smaller than in combustion vehicles, right? Now you may be asking yourself: “Okay, but what about the equivalent expense?”. In other words: how much would the electric vehicle spend on gasoline to travel the 90 kilometers?

To answer this question and close this subject, we will need, once again, mathematics. So grab your calculator and let’s go. How many liters of gasoline can you buy with R$ 7,90, money spent to run 90 kilometers with the electric car, considering, let’s remember, that the liter of fuel is costing R$ 5? Just divide 7,90 by 5. The final result is 1,57. This means that an electric car would spend the equivalent of 1,57 liters of gasoline to complete a journey of 90 kilometers.

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Do you think it’s over? There is still one contained. By dividing the 90 kilometers of the route by 1,63 (equivalent in liters of gasoline), we have as a result 63,66. This final value is the so-called spent km/le, or kilometer per equivalent liter. Ufa! It’s over.

Did you find it confusing? It may seem like it, but just get the hang of it. What can be said, with or without thousands of bills, is that the consumption of an electric car is actually lower than that of combustion-powered ones. Good news, as the trend of automakers is to invest heavily in electrification in the coming years.

With information: Automotive Education, Electric World, Chevrolet

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