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Electric Mobility Cheaper In The Long Run

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Electric Mobility Cheaper In The Long Run
Electric Mobility Cheaper In The Long Run

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If traffic is to be greenhouse gas neutral in 2050, vehicles with alternative drives and new fuels that do not cause climate-damaging emissions will have to be used in the future. A recent study by the Öko-Institut in cooperation with the DVWG research center at the EBI and INFRAS on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency shows that the switch to electromobility is best from a cost perspective in direct comparison with other greenhouse gas-neutral drive and fuel options. Overall, the additional costs for switching to electric vehicles for cars are therefore a good quarter and for long-distance trucks around half cheaper than for vehicles that use methane, the electricity-based fuel.Hydrogen or synthetic gasoline and diesel can be operated from imports. In their scenarios, the experts included the economic costs for the purchase of the vehicles, the construction of the filling station and charging infrastructure, and the provision of energy in the period from 2010 to 2050.

The provision of energy makes the difference

According to the Öko-Institut, the most important part of the cost calculation is the provision of energy, i.e. the costs incurred for the manufacture, transport and use of the fuels. Up to refueling, depending on the technology, up to 50% more electricity is used for the production and distribution of electricity-based fuels from renewable energies than for electromobility. In addition, electric vehicles are also twice as energy-efficient when driving as vehicles with combustion engines. Both together drive the costs for the energy supply of the electricity-based fuels.

"The direct use of electricity is the cheapest option for long-term greenhouse gas-neutral transport in both passenger and freight transport," explains Peter Kasten, mobility expert and project manager of the study at the Öko-Institut. “Electric mobility is still expensive today, mainly because of the high battery costs. If, however, the costs for the electric vehicles align with those of the other vehicle types in the medium to long term, the balance will be clearly positive for the electric ones.”

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Manageable costs for restructuring the infrastructure

This also applies to the additional costs for setting up the petrol station and charging infrastructure. However, especially with the expansion of electromobility, according to Kasten, these are much more manageable than generally assumed: "The costs for the change in the energy infrastructure are significantly lower than a system change in the provision of energy and in the vehicle drives." And: "At this point there is politics and business asked to set the course for the future. Because only with a sufficiently available and reliable charging infrastructure can the electric vehicles survive on the market and exploit their advantages in energy costs."

This analysis applies to passenger transport as well as road freight transport. According to the research team, the additional economic costs for electric overhead line hybrid trucks between 2010 and 2050 are only half as high compared to the other greenhouse gas-neutral options, despite the investments in overhead line infrastructure on motorways. Due to the high mileage of the trucks, the cost advantages in providing energy for trucks have a particularly significant impact. Direct use of electricity is not available in aviation and shipping, and the electricity-based fuels are an important option for climate protection in these applications.

Here you can download the complete study "Development of a professional strategy for the energy supply of traffic by 2050". (sh)

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