Car owners in the UK are switching from electricity to petrol

In the face of unprecedented high electricity prices in the UK (WB) in 2021, it has become more profitable for petrol car owners to refuel with petrol instead of charging them at power plants, according to a Citibank review (available from Vedomost). According to BM, the current cost of using an electric car is 50% higher than for cars with an internal combustion engine (ICE). And hybrid owners no longer charge for power plants, they just go to gas stations.

“For most of the last two years, we have been running our hybrid car electrically (the 9.7 kWh battery lasted about 15km), but not now. I will drive to the gas station until the electricity prices return to previous levels, “wrote the authors of the review.

This situation developed in the second half of 2021 in the wake of the unprecedented rise in electricity prices at the European Union and the World Bank, where the energy crisis erupted, fueled by expensive gas fired by thermal power plants. According to the Nord Pool energy exchange, from 14 January (prices are set one day in advance), in the UK it cost 1 MWh 373.2 euros, and from 1 January 2022 – 82.9 euros per 1 MWh.

Overall, in 2021, gas prices in the EU increased by 3-4 times the point price of gas compared to 2020, which in itself increased the price of electricity several times. The predictions of the energy crisis were the mere underground gas storage in Europe, with more than 65 billion cubic meters extracted in the winter of 2020/21. m., and in the summer they failed to make up for these losses. Fuel shortages were also exacerbated as liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels moved to Asia due to rising Asian premiums and declining wind farm (WPP) production due to weak North Sea winds in the summer. 2021. As a result, in the WB, the share of the creation of the WPP fell to 4.9%, with an annual average of 18% by 2020. This has further boosted the demand for electricity from conventional fossil fuel power plants. In December 2021, for the first time in history, the price of gas in the European Union rose to $ 2,200 per cubic meter. m., and two months earlier in Germany the cost of 1 MWh reached 97.2 euros, in France it was over 100 euros, in May the prices were 37.9 and 31.8 euros, respectively.

In April 2022, the World Bank plans to revise its energy tariffs, which will make it three times more profitable to use gasoline than to use electricity as fuel, according to a Citibank study.

Its authors point out that despite Europe’s efforts to develop renewable sources (EBRD), most energy is still imported into EU countries, mainly in the form of oil and gas. Natural gas accounts for about 25% of the EU’s energy mix and prices are still high in early 2022. According to the ICE Intercontinental Exchange, at the TTF center in the Netherlands on January 13, the cost of February futures was around $ 900-1000 per 1,000 cubic meters. m.

“The use of significant volumes of expensive gas in electricity generation leads to a chain reaction in the form of high electricity prices,” the authors of the review explained. In this regard, consumers in the home and industry believe that “they have to make a difficult choice between energy sources.”

Hybrids are more efficient in many ways than “clean” electric vehicles because they can produce their own electricity using gasoline as fuel, said Rustam Tankaev, a senior expert with Russia’s Union of Oil and Gas Producers. At the same time, he recalled that in Europe, internal combustion engines are considered to be promising, that their development has been halted or will be halted in the near future by many major European car concerns. “However, in cold regions with problems with the operation of electric vehicles, ICE will be used for many more years,” he added.

Mikhail Burmistrov, CEO of Infoline Analytics, agrees with him. He believes that car owners can expect an increase in petrol and diesel consumption by the end of 2022. At the same time, he estimates that a significant reduction in electricity prices in Europe should be expected. But he believes that the right weather conditions should be developed for the operation of renewable energy sources and that Russia’s gas supply should start with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“At the same time, between 2023-2024. the cost of charging hybrid cars with electricity will gradually return to a more efficient level than using petrol or diesel, ”Burmistrov is confident. Avtostat CEO Sergey Tselikov also said that due to the temporary situation of expensive electricity, it will not change the general trend of the gradual transition to electric transport in Europe.

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