Since electric cars promise to quickly offset their high purchase price with a derisory cost of use, it is the number of kilometers you travel per year that serves as a judge of the peace. Even more than the purchase price. In fact, the hesitation between electric or thermal is all the more legitimate when choosing a road car rather than a city car. Provided that you have easy access to a charging point, of course.
Among “affordable” electric road cars, many of you are turning to the Tesla Model 3. An American which had a prosperous 2021 – best electric sales in France and Europe -, thanks to a serious base price lowered to attract the customer and, it must be said, attractive services. But in 2022, the “3” sounded the end of recess, turning its labels to the point of losing the maximum CO2 bonus in France. At €49,990 for the basic “propulsion” and single-engine version, you are now only entitled to a €2,000 bonus until June 30, then €1,000 from July 1, far from the €6,000 before.
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Still, despite this substantial increase, the difference with 100% thermal sedans is not huge. Just take a look at the prices of a BMW 3 Series to realize this. For this comparison, it is worth turning to a 320i variant. Admittedly, the 184 hp of its 2.0 turbo petrol are light years ahead of the performance of the Model 3, but at least its price remains acceptable, with just over €44,000 once the minimum penalty of €450 is added. Between the discount on registration of the Tesla Model 3 and the slight additional cost for that of the BMW 3 Series, the final price difference between these two models is just under €4,000..
To these purchase prices, it is also necessary to add the costs per kilometer advanced by these cars. Please note that we are only reporting “fuel” costs here. Not the maintenance, rather to the advantage of electric cars, nor the uneven discount on electric cars. On the one hand, the 8 l/100 km claimed by a 320i on average and on the other hand, the 18.7 kWh/100 km of electricity swallowed by a Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus, charger consumption included. All according to our independent measurements.
Given these data, applying different unleaded prices and a relatively stable price for electricity at home (€0.174/kWh), it is therefore necessary to travel between 29,000 and 38,000 km to make the additional cost of buying American versus German. If we stick to the average mileage of the French (12,000 km / year), the case is “folded” in less than 3 years. But taking into account a slightly more pronounced use of sedans, profitability can be achieved much more quickly.
|If fuel price at||Tesla Model 3 profitable from|
|If fuel price at€1.70/litre||Tesla Model 3 profitable from37,985 km|
|If fuel price at€1.90 /litre||Tesla Model 3 profitable from32,897 km|
|If fuel price at€2.10/litre||Tesla Model 3 profitable from29,012km|
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Published on 04/30/2022 Updated 04/30/2022 François Lemaur and the editorial staff