As the price of electricity reaches new heights in France, the cost of home charging is losing its attractiveness. Gone are the days when a kilowatt hour was billed for less than 15 euro cents at the base rate. A figure that is a dream today, unless you live on the other side of the Atlantic.
Not all countries are equal when it comes to the price of electricity. If France has always done well against its European neighbors, the trend is reversing. It is therefore becoming increasingly easier to find a country where driving electric is more interesting. This is all the more true if we allow ourselves to leave the Old Continent to take a look at Canada. And more precisely at Québec, one of the 10 provinces of the country. There, the electric car is on the rise.
“Look at the number of electric vehicles we have on our roads today, compared to just two years ago. There is significant electrification. There is a significant demand for electricity, which exceeds what was anticipated. » This sentence was spoken by Julie Boucher, vice-president of Hydro-Québec, in November 2023 during a parliamentary committee. It must be said that last year, more than one in five cars sold was electric. More than 80,000 EVs will be registered in 2023, compared to only half in 2022. As a result, there are today more than 250,000 EVs on the roads of Quebec. And demand is such that delivery times are lengthening. But how can we explain this sudden attraction? As with us, the price of electric vehicles has not fallen much, but it is above all that of gasoline vehicles that has exploded, making electric vehicles much more competitive.
If France has nuclear power, Quebecers have hydroelectric power! With its 61 central with an installed power of 37 GW, Hydro-Québec, the main producer of electricity in Canada, represents one of the world’s largest producers of hydroelectricity. Indeed, Quebec has a vast network of waterways, part of which is used to produce electricity. In fact, almost 99 % of the energy produced in Quebec is renewable, while guaranteeing low or even zero greenhouse gas emissions. A real force in the fight against global warming. Another advantage, and not the least: thanks to the very low production costs of large dams, Quebec (and Canada more generally) benefits from electricity prices much lower than those of the United States and Europe for example.
Forget the EDF Blue Tariff for private electricity, in Quebec, it is Tariff D provided by Hydro-Québec. It differs from ours in that the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) is not the same depending on its consumption. Thus, if the first 40 kWh of the day are billed at 4.5 euro cents ($0.06509) per kWh, a second tranche applies once this quantity is exceeded, increasing to 6.9 euro cents ( 0.10041$) per kWh. To this are also added 15% federal and provincial taxes, as well as daily network access fees of around 30 euro cents ($0.43505).
Concretely, if we take the example of a consumption of around 1833 kWh per month (an average value for Quebec in a detached house without swimming pool or air conditioning), the kWh comes to around 6.6 euro cents ( $0.096), or a monthly electricity bill amounting to 120 € ($175) all taxes included. As a reminder, in France according to the EDF blue tariff with the base option, the kWh is billed at €0.2516, regardless of consumption. Added to this is the price of the subscription, i.e. €15.79/month for a meter with a power of 9 kVa. In other words, under the same conditions, the amount of the invoice increases to 470 €. Electricity in Quebec therefore costs nearly 3.9 times cheaper than in France.
A ridiculous cost per 100 km
In the case of an electric car owner who charges at home in the evening, it is necessary to take into account the fact that he will probably have already consumed more than 40 kWh of electricity for his household. We can then assume that the cost per kWh for recharging is, at worst, in the second bracket, i.e. 6.9 euro cents ($0.10041). At this price, do not forget to add taxes, which brings the cost of the kWh to 7.9 euro cents ($0.11544). Taking the example of a Tesla Model 3 propulsion which would consume 17 kWh/100 km on average over the year (in real conditions in Quebec), we then arrive at a cost per 100 km of 1,35 € (environ 2 $).
At such a price, Quebecers would be really wrong to deprive themselves of driving with electrons, because even if across the Atlantic the price of a liter of gasoline is cheap (around $1.50 per liter, or €1), a thermal consuming 7 l/100 would cost €7.22/100 km ($10.5), or more than 5 times more expensive than electric. In France, under the same conditions, it is more like €4.30/100 km for electric and €12 for thermal. By the way, even with an option like Tempo which allows you to lower your electricity bill by 36%, the difference remains significant with Quebec. And this is especially true since it is also possible to reduce your electricity bill there by subscribing to a special rate (called Flex D Rate), with a cheaper kWh most of the time, except during peak hours. . We can therefore clearly say that, compared to France, driving an electric car in Quebec is particularly cheap ! Furthermore, if we look at purchasing aid, we see that they are also well off!
As in France, it is possible to receive aid when purchasing a new electric car. Two programs can be combined: the federal government’s iZEV program ($5,000), and the provincial government’s Roulez Vert program ($7,000). Cumulatively, a Quebecer can receive up to 8 250 € ($12,000) in assistance provided that the model he is purchasing is one of the vehicles eligible for both programs. If the manufacturers’ offer is not as rich as here, we nevertheless find the main models. This is the case of the Tesla Model 3 propulsion sold for €37,124 ($53,990) which will ultimately be billed 28 872 € ($41,990) to its owner. In France, the same model costs €42,990 and is no longer eligible for the ecological bonus. With this example, we understand how attractive electric is even though the cost of living is 16% higher in Quebec than in France.
In summary, with attractive purchase prices and particularly low energy costs, Quebec is a promised land for electric cars which has every chance of winning against thermal technology in the years to come. The only downside: harsh winters which significantly undermine autonomy and dampen the enthusiasm of certain motorists. A disadvantage that we can hope to see disappear in the future with the evolution of battery technologies.
With Tesla, home charging becomes “has been”!
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