Electric vehicles in Germany - all the ins-and-outs!

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Welcome to the electrifying EV thread!
 

It's time to split from the Tesla thread and make one for all electric vehicles.
 

Tips and resources

 

- EV Database

A list of all available EVs in Germany at the moment - if someone find a better one please post it:

https://ev-database.org/

 

- The EU Commission is pushing for banning combustion engine sales by 2035

Not sure if this will happen or how it will work but Audi will no longer make combustion engines as of 2026 and VW as of 2035. Mercedes says they'll be EV-only by 2030. In 2021, 14% of newly registered vehicles in Germany were 100% electric. In Berlin 48% of new cars in 2021 were hybrid/EVs.

 

- EV subsidies in Germany until 2025
If you purchase an EV, there is a government subsidy of up to €3750 that the manufacturer subtracts during the sale. This is currently valid until 2025.

There's also a consumer subsidy of up to €6000 called the Innovationsprämie which is currently available until the end of 2022 (unless extended again like late last year). As soon as you receive the EV you can apply for it:

https://www.adac.de/rund-ums-fahrzeug/elektromobilitaet/kaufen/foerderung-elektroautos/
https://www.bafa.de/DE/Energie/Energieeffizienz/Elektromobilitaet/Neuen_Antrag_stellen/neuen_antrag_stellen_node.html

 

- Charging plug formats

Europe generally uses Type 2 and CCS charging plugs for public chargers. SchuKo is generally for home use but if you want to charge above 2.3 kW is somewhat discouraged for continuous long-term usage as those cables and connectors can possibly become stressed and fail.

https://incharge.vattenfall.de/en/knowledge-hub/articles/the-abcs-of-plugs-the-right-type-of-plug-for-your-electric-car

 

- Charging infrastructure and AC vs DC chargers

As of 2022, Germany has 52.203 public chargers, of which 44.685 are AC and 7717 are DC fast-chargers. This does not include all the private chargers. In Europe, Tesla is slowly opening up its Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs. Public AC chargers are usually 11kW or 22kW and it takes 2-4 hours to charge most EV's. Public DC fast-chargers currently range from 50-150kW and can fully charge an EV in roughly 30-60 minutes. This depends of course on how big your battery is, how much current it can absorb and what the charging curve is like. Most EVs charge quite quickly from 10-80%, after that the charging rate drops off.

 

- Charging network access

As of July 1. 2023, Germany is mandating that all new charging stations accept EC/Credit Cards. For all others you need to sign up with a charging network access provider and many will give you access to charging networks all across Europe. Some are free to sign up, others have a monthly/yearly fee. DC chargers often cost more money per kWh than AC chargers, so it's important to assess your usage plan and pick your plan accordingly.

https://www.umschalten.de/en/ladekarten-im-vergleich/ (English and Deutsch)

 

- Petitioning to install a wallbox charger

Even renters generally have a legal right to request their landlord/Hausverwaltung install one:

https://www.adac.de/rund-ums-fahrzeug/elektromobilitaet/laden/lademoeglichkeiten-mehrfamilienhaeusern/

https://www.bmj.de/SharedDocs/Gesetzgebungsverfahren/DE/WEMoG.html

 

 

- EV owners can sell their CO2 credits for cash

THG (Treibhausgasminderungsquote) CO2 credits can be sold by EV owners for up to 350/year:

https://www.adac.de/rund-ums-fahrzeug/elektromobilitaet/kaufen/thg-quote/


 

Feel free to add or correct any info here as I quickly wrote this off the top of my head - and the market and technology is rapidly changing.

 

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The big weakness I see for the EV market right now is that is the options for budget cars, say 5k-10k, of decent size, is still too scarce. 

I drive 3000 km/yr and I'm fine with a crappy cheap car, costs me < 90eur/month including everything. Even accounting for lower cost for repairs and energy, the purchase of an EV is such that overall it would be MUCH more expensive. Of course this is not the full story because it ignores the environmental aspect.

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More...

 

- WLTP range - what's that?

EV manufacturers list their range in "WLTP" kilometers, aka Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. The city range of an EV is much higher because highway speeds drain the battery much faster. If you ask me, unless a person drives conservatively with a max speed of 100-110km/h in eco mode and without a massive climate control load, the WLTP range is generally out of reach. I do see people who regularly achieve WLTP ranges so it's not total BS.

 

- Cold weather range decrease

Another interesting consideration is the difference between EV range in summer vs winter. Just like combustion engines which lose an average of 15% mileage when driving at 25C vs -6C, EVs lose about 12-25% of their range in the winter. In cold weather, most EVs use power to heat their batteries (battery preconditioning) which decreases charging time as warmer batteries accept more current. Here's a somewhat subjective but nevertheless revealing summary of summer/winter range tests of 31 EVs in Norway:

https://www.golem.de/news/reichweite-im-winter-kaelte-setzt-elektroautos-sehr-unterschiedlich-zu-2202-162989.html

 

- Battery care
As Lithium-Ion batteries are used and as they age, their charging capacity decreases. It's generally not a good idea to discharge a battery all the way to 0, nor is it recommended to always charge it to 100%. Frequent fast charging, especially to 100% can also reduce battery life. Try not to store the car for long periods at 100% charge. It's usually recommended to leave it sit for a while at 70-80%. However, EV manufacturers over-provision their batteries to try to account for battery degradation. For example some companies sell vehicles that have batteries with 58 kWh that are available, but the actual capacity is 62 kWh, meaning that the extra 4 kWh acts as a buffer to avoid charging to the actual full battery capacity (which leads to cell degradation) and to also help compensate for future capacity loss.

 

- Battery life expectancy

These days the typical battery warranty is no less than 70% capacity after 8 years / 160.000km. That means after 8 years you could be stuck with 71% of your original battery capacity. Various tests show Tesla batteries lose 5-10% every 160.000km. As for other manufacturers, it really depends on how they're used and charged, the quality of the battery, the battery management system and the battery cooling system. Overheating cells leads to cell degradation. If someone needs to repair or replace their battery, some manufacturers like Tesla require that the whole battery be replaced. Others like VW group let you replace individual battery modules; for example, the 58 kWh VW group battery has 9 individually replaceable modules.

 

- Wheel size, rims and range
So far smaller rims and aerodynamic rims or hubcaps appear to increase the range on an EV. If you're concerned about getting the most range, opt for the smallest available rim like a 19" or even 18" if possible. Dedicated rubber tires for EVs are also a bit different as they are specified to handle higher vehicle weights from the battery and lower rolling resistance to increase range.

https://teslike.com/

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How practical are used EVs? For example, my daughter is looking to buy her first car. She thought that something like a 2018 Renault Zoe might be an option. We’re all clueless about all issues relating to EVs.
 

How do the running costs really compare with an equivalent small engine petrol car? Especially as electricity prices are now far more expensive. How long do batteries last and how much does it cost to replace them? Or, is battery rental a better option? I have visions of her driving home from uni (ca. 500km) and having to stop midway to charge the car. I’ve read that average petrol station charging time can take quite a while. Not necessarily suitable for a young person alone…usually at night?

 

Our neighbour had an EV and changed back to petrol as she found her EV too inconvenient for various reasons. Has anyone else had that experience?

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2 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

The big weakness I see for the EV market right now is that is the options for budget cars, say 5k-10k, of decent size, is still too scarce. 

I drive 3000 km/yr and I'm fine with a crappy cheap car, costs me < 90eur/month including everything. Even accounting for lower cost for repairs and energy, the purchase of an EV is such that overall it would be MUCH more expensive. Of course this is not the full story because it ignores the environmental aspect.

 

The Dacia Spring including the Umweltbonus and Innovationsprämie is about 11-12k, but it's really, really spartan inside and the crash ratings aren't... ahem... wonderful. But theoretically it exists here already.

 

Nevertheless in that price range with those requirements you're right, EVs are too expensive.

 

Here's an example that describes my modest 100.000km over 10 years use-case:

 

- The base-model of the EV I chose (Cupra Born) is €37.220 and with the €3750 Umweltbonus and Innovationsprämie of €6000 that's €27.470.

- If I apply for CO2 credits I could get roughly €3.500 over 10 years, so now we're down to €23.970.

- No KFZ Steuer until at least 2030 means a savings of at least €2.000, so €21.970

- EV maintenance is generally 30% lower than petrol/diesel cars (no oil changes, less moving parts, less brake pad usage, etc.). A wild guess based on various manufacturers monthly maintenance package is a savings of €2.500. This obviously depends on nothing going seriously wrong!

- Electricity vs fuel is reported to be 29% less according to the Verbraucherzentrale. Who knows what will happen with petrol prices or electricity prices, but as it stands over 100.000km that's a difference of at least €5.000 (rough guess of an average of 18kw/100km vs ~7l/100km petrol).

 

That brings the total outlay down to €21.970 with theoretically €7.500 less operating costs than a combustion engine over 10 years.

 

And finally, judging by the high resale value of 10-year old Teslas and hybrids like the Toyota Prius I might even be able to get 50% of the purchase cost, especially considering the government subsidies I received at the beginning. Given the push to eliminate combustion vehicles sales in the EU, what's going to happen to the value of such vehicles by 2032? The amount of depreciation will be non-negligible, that's for sure.

 

Trade-offs: spending more time charging on long trips, extending the range by driving slower on the Autobahn, range anxiety, jockeying for charger spots, losing EV range as the battery degrades. Combustion vehicles also become less efficient with time but not as drastically.

 

tldr; After 10 years I could potentially resell this EV for up to half what I paid, receive €3.500 in CO2 credits, and save €10k in operating costs.


 

Citations:

https://ecomento.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ID3-Vergleich-laufende-Kosten.jpg

https://www.vzbv.de/sites/default/files/2021-09/Zusammenfassung_TCO-Studie_deutsch_final.pdf

https://www.allianzdirect.de/kfz-versicherung/unterhaltskosten-auto-ratgeber/

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45 minutes ago, emkay said:

How practical are used EVs? For example, my daughter is looking to buy her first car. She thought that something like a 2018 Renault Zoe might be an option. We’re all clueless about all issues relating to EVs.
 

How do the running costs really compare with an equivalent small engine petrol car? Especially as electricity prices are now far more expensive. How long do batteries last and how much does it cost to replace them? Or, is battery rental a better option? I have visions of her driving home from uni (ca. 500km) and having to stop midway to charge the car. I’ve read that average petrol station charging time can take quite a while. Not necessarily suitable for a young person alone…usually at night?

 

Our neighbour had an EV and changed back to petrol as she found her EV too inconvenient for various reasons. Has anyone else had that experience?

 

The 2021 Zoe recently received a safety of 0/5. Yes, zero out of five stars. This is odd considering the 2013 rating was 5/5:

https://www.euroncap.com/en/results/renault/zoe/44206 vs https://www.euroncap.com/de/results/renault/zoe/8889

 

For a 500km trip with a 44kWh battery, she'd need to stop at least twice. The winter/summer range is roughly 180/260km: https://ev-database.de/pkw/1150/Renault-Zoe-R90-ZE-40

And that's only with a brand new battery that hasn't experienced any degradation.

 

Not to mention used EVs right now are overpriced given there's an up to €9.750 subsidy on new ones. Also, beware of dealers selling EVs from their inventory that have already had the up to  €6.000 Innovationsprämie subsidy cashed in by the dealer.

 

Range anxiety is real. I rented a Zoe for 7-day Ostsee-trip last June. The torque and handling felt great but I still spent too much time figuring out where to charge and finding non-EV jerks occupying charger parking spots. EVs really get a boost from good onboard trip-planning and charger-mapping software. Also, driving at 100km/h in eco mode on the Autobahn when people are whipping by at 200km/h is unnerving.

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This is what I call "cheap":

I bought 3 cars, between 2005 and now, each was decent size and very good condition and costed in the range 4500 - 6000.

Running cost, 12month-average to Jan 2022: 85 eur/month, including petrol, insurance, tax, repairs, speeding ticket, tolls/motorway when abroad.

 

Considering everything, there is still no "cheap" decent size EV on the market. 

Maybe different story if one looks at premium cars.

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23 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

This is what I call "cheap":

I bought 3 cars, between 2005 and now, each was decent size and very good condition and costed in the range 4500 - 6000.

Running cost, 12month-average to Jan 2022: 85 eur/month, including petrol, insurance, tax, repairs, speeding ticket, tolls/motorway when abroad.

 

Considering everything, there is still no "cheap" decent size EV on the market. 

 

Correct. As I mentioned, in the cheap, used car price-range with only 3000km/year, EVs cost a lot more. Wrong use-case, nothing to see here.

 

I also take it the Dacia Spring isn't a "decent size".

 

It's going to take another decade before the used EV market can compete on such terms.

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I have a zoe. Great second car for bombing about between villages in short sputs of ca. 30km or less. But not long distance. Definitely not. Just no. I am never in eco mode on dual carriage ways or motorway. There is a decline in reactivity and top speed 96km/h in eco mode.  So potentially dangerous. She accelerates great in normal mode and top speed 140km... I dare not go faster :lol:

 

Heating in winter leaves a lot to be desired. That and windscreen demister and wipers guzzle juice.

 

Battery rental 50 euros per month. So far no battery degradation. I think she is 7 years old. I got the garage demo car at a year old for 16K. So definitely not cheap. Otherwise, never had any trouble. 

 

Big no no is the dreaded red nose where she refuses to charge in hot dry weather due to low soil electrical conductivity. I have to pour water on the earth outside the house the other side of the wall where the earth mast (terminology ?) is, or the charging station refuses to play. Took ages to work that one out but turns out it is a known phenomenon. Sales people will fail to mention it of course.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

This is what I call "cheap":

I bought 3 cars, between 2005 and now, each was decent size and very good condition and costed in the range 4500 - 6000.

Running cost, 12month-average to Jan 2022: 85 eur/month, including petrol, insurance, tax, repairs, speeding ticket, tolls/motorway when abroad.

 

Considering everything, there is still no "cheap" decent size EV on the market. 

Maybe different story if one looks at premium cars.

Sorry, but you are comparing second hand cars with new cars. Yes, EVs haven't reached super cheap car prices yet, but they have reached the average price of a car in Germany (34.000€).

You're down to buying second hand diesel and petrol from people who moved on to EVs, which is also important, those cars shouldn't be scrapped right away.

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11 minutes ago, circuits said:

It's going to take another decade before the used EV market can compete on such terms.

Make it 5-7 years at most. One problem is peopel focus too much on tag price. They forget TCO.

At some point the reason they don't get cheaper is because the demand will be so large that there won't be a reason to make them cheaper. I think demand will peak at 2027 and either you buy one now or you're going to wait for a year or more in 2024 onwards.

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44 minutes ago, optimista said:

Big no no is the dreaded red nose where she refuses to charge in hot dry weather due to low soil electrical conductivity. I have to pour water on the earth outside the house the other side of the wall where the earth mast (terminology ?) is, or the charging station refuses to play. Took ages to work that one out but turns out it is a known phenomenon. Sales people will fail to mention it of course.

 

I've never heard of this. Any more information?

 

We have an EV on order.

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53 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Make it 5-7 years at most. One problem is peopel focus too much on tag price. They forget TCO.

 

What do you consider a competitive used EV price in 2027?

 

I suspect bargain used-car buyers will have a hard time changing their perception when it comes to high upfront costs for used EVs. Not to mention liquidity will always be a stumbling block; TCO be damned if the price is €5-10k over their limit.

 

5 years until used EVs become competitive with combustion vehicles in the ~€10.000 used-car segment doesn't seem realistic to me at least. How do you figure?

 

This is my reasoning:

 

1) New EV prices have actually been rising in Europe over the last 8 years. This in turn drives up used prices. High inflation too.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/electric-cars/ev-prices-rose-28-europe-yet-halved-china-past-decade

2) With the Umweltbonus supposedly ending Jan. 1st 2026, a  €34.000 EV will suddenly be €38.000 - especially if the Innovationsprämie ends as planned this year, so it's hard to picture a relevant price decrease in the used EV market.

3) Just because people bought an EV subsidized with the €6k Innovationsprämie doesn't mean that the value of the car will be any less 4 years after the subsidy ended. 

4) Do you really think Tesla will actually come out with a Model 2 that will be €25k in 2027, especially considering the current inflation rate? I'm not sure how will that devalue the used value the current new generation of "cheapest" €30k EVs into that competive used car range. Well maybe other than the Zoe and Leaf.

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24 minutes ago, circuits said:

 

What do you considered a competitive used EV price in 2027?

New price of 5-7k for ultra cheap micro cars. 20-25k for average consumer car.

Used price not much different, it's a bit hard to explain but there are many effects working at the same time. So weird that second hand cars will be more expensive than new cars for a while. This is already happening now.

 

Quote

 

I suspect bargain used-car buyers will have a hard time changing their perception when it comes to high upfront costs for used EVs. Not to mention liquidity will always be a stumbling block; TCO be damned if the price is €5-10k over their limit.

They won't have a choice. When repair shops and fuel stations start closing in big numbers, it will be very hard to maintain old cars. Gas stations are already closing/adapting in Norway.

https://insideevs.com/news/532464/fuel-stations-norway-fast-chargers/

 

Quote

5 years until used EVs become competitive with combustion vehicles in the ~€10.000 used-car segment doesn't seem realistic to me at least. How do you figure?

 

This is my reasoning:

 

1) New EV prices have actually been rising in Europe over the last 8 years. This in turn drives up used prices. High inflation too.

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/electric-cars/ev-prices-rose-28-europe-yet-halved-china-past-decade

2) With the Umweltbonus supposedly ending Jan. 1st 2026, a  €34.000 EV will suddenly be €38.000 - especially if the Innovationsprämie ends as planned this year, so it's hard to picture a relevant price decrease in the used EV market.

3) Just because people bought an EV subsidized with the €6k Innovationsprämie doesn't mean that the value of the car will be any less 4 years after the subsidy ended. 

4) Do you really think Tesla will actually come out with a Model 2 that will be €25k in 2027, especially considering the current inflation rate? I'm not sure how will that devalue the used value the current new generation of "cheapest" €30k EVs into that competive used car range. Well maybe other than the Zoe and Leaf.

The cheapest Model 3 costs Tesla around 28-30k€ to manufacture and deliver to Europe. Make it in Berlin and you are down to 24-26k€, due to no transport cost and no import tax.

New battery pack and gigacasting (right now only on the Y) drop this cost to around 20-22k€. Remove some premium features and this drops to 19-21k€. Further costs reductions from economy of scale could bring this down to 18-20k€. Then add again their 30% margin and 19% VAT and you get 28-30k€ consumer price. So yeah, if they want, they can just scale down the Model 3 to something below 30k€ at current prices (no inflation considered.

They could also make a smaller battery, to make it a city car, and bring the price closer to 25k€.

This could all be done within a year, if they wanted. They don't, demand is crazy high.

 

The Model 2 could bring this further down by reducing car size, even smaller battery and less premium features. I think they could do it for 23-25k€ in 2024-2025, but again, if they don't need it, they won't do it. Just by reducing battery and car size you can save a lot on structure, tires, suspension, brakes, etc.

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1 hour ago, optimista said:

Big no no is the dreaded red nose where she refuses to charge in hot dry weather due to low soil electrical conductivity. I have to pour water on the earth outside the house the other side of the wall where the earth mast (terminology ?) is, or the charging station refuses to play. Took ages to work that one out but turns out it is a known phenomenon. Sales people will fail to mention it of course.

 

That sounds like the charger wasn't properly installed. Is your home built on sandstone? Some harder soils make it more difficult to use what's called TT (terre-terre) grounding.

 

I wonder if the rod was long enough: https://www.wikihow.com/Install-Ground-Rods

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3 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

So weird that second hand cars will be more expensive than new cars for a while. This is already happening now.

 

Yes, it is in the U.S. because of the chip shortage on ICE cars.

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2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

Yes, it is in the U.S. because of the chip shortage on ICE cars.

Same on EVs. People will just buy them to avoid waiting. I heard the same in UK.

I think second hand (good) evs will avoid depreciation for a long time. Then, as output matches demand, new car prices will drop, as well as used ones. But my forecast is this will only occur in 2027.

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2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Anybody know anything about my question to optimista?

 

See my response above. My guess is that the grounding rod wasn't installed properly or isn't long enough because the abode is built on bedrock, sandstone or something particularly harder which impedes grounding because there's less available moisture to conduct electricity, ergo grounding.

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We posted at the same time.

 

Our Tiefgarage outlet will be run through concrete so I don't foresee such a problem.

 

I know nothing.

 

ETA - Himself say that is a terrible installation and should never happen. Dangerous.

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