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Does an electric car use more energy than a petrol car?

 

Answer

Fotocar2go2013

Photo: Weert Canzler

No. Electric engines are extremely efficient (with an efficiency factor of over 90 percent). They use the energy stored in their batteries much more sparingly than a petrol car uses the energy content of the fuel in its tank – just 30 percent of that goes into moving the car. Plus, unlike petrol cars, electric vehicles can take the energy produced during braking and feed it back into the battery (this is called “recuperation”). These days, it’s also quite easy to power electric cars using only renewable energy from the sun or the wind. The share of biofuels in fuel consumption in Germany, however, has been stuck at around five percent for years.

Dr Olaf Wollersheim of the Competence E project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) answered this question.