Public EV Charging & Costs - EV Part 6

One thing noticed with public EV charging networks is the hassle involved to use some of them. And are all partially barriers into charging.

These are all ideas I think that should be applied.

Method of Billing

The first thing which isn't consistant is how people are billed, I've seen some companies offer "Free Charging" but there's a £1.50 admin / connection fee.

Some charge per hour, so if your car takes 2 hours to charge you'll be charged say £5 at £2.50 an hour, if your car takes only an hour you'll be charged £2.50
From one angle this is designed so that cars shouldn't sit at a public charger for a long period of time (Primarily Hybrids that don't require charging).
However from another angle some cars can't charge as fast, for example at Rapid chargers one model of Zoe would take around an hour and the model I have takes around half an hour. Same with some EV models can't charge at more than 3.6KW compared to the Zoe's 7.2KW.

Quite simply charging should be billed for in the most common and the best method, per KWH. You don't pay for normal fuel in any other method apart from per the qty that is used. KWH is the measurement of the quantity of energy which is used.

Cost Of Charging

EV Charging costs money, and I don't mind paying it.

I've noticed some people complain about how much companies charge, being either quite expensive or some people thinking all charging should be free or at the cost of electric.

Quite Simply it isn't free and it shouldn't be. I'm happy to pay a fair rate for charging. The UK Average per KWH is around 14.4p per KWH, in my car this works out at 4.11P per mile. However businesses are usually charged tax at 20% and not 5% which is the domestic cost.

Now some charge points are owned by the companies running them which in some cases may also be electric suppliers, some are on public carparks such as near town centers and others on a shop's carpark.

In public carparks & shop carparks I can understand a want for them to be free, or at least at a near cost price as in most cases you'll still be paying for the actual parking costs as well which can be used to cover the cost of the electric and maintenence of the unit.

For shop carparks the shop will be making much more than the few pennies it costs them in electric. In some cases you'll be usually in and out of the shop within 2 hours, assuming a 7KW charger it'll be no more than around 14KWH of electric or £2. More realistically it'll be much less as you'll only use a few kwh from home to the shop.

However for chargers at petrol stations and places where parking is free I do think being charged is reasonable and that 30P seems a reasonable amount, this covers the electric cost, maintenence of the unit cost and profit for the company. In the future this may go up if electric is increasingly taxed to recover lost money from fuel.

Quite simply I'm happy to pay 30p per KWH at most places, and either free or a discount is nice if its at a paid for carpark or a shop's carpark. No admin fees or connection charges. Simple.

Method of Payment

Finally, method of Payment.

Currently the main ways are either to download an application or have an RFID card to activate the charge point. Currently I have 6 applications and 2 keyfobs just in case I need to use any chargers en route. Worst of all some of these usually require you to link them to your bank account and upon the first charge will do a £5-10 topup fee meaning that £30-60 could potentially be stored between 6 different companies just in case I need to use their charger!

Now if I remember correctly some regulation apparently means that you'll soon be able to have one application to use any to charge however there's strong indications that it may cost you more to use other companies chargers from another.

The simpilest solution has been in use for years at normal petrol stations, pay at pump.

Simply put a card reader / contactless card reader on all of the charging points. They can't cost a lot as you can buy one that connects to your phone for under £50 now. Petrol pumps have had card readers that can be built into them. Charge points can have the same.

You'll notice that if you've used one that you are limited to a maximum of £99, of which with EV charging this limit could be set to say £10 to prevent too much money being on hold all of the time. And then when the charge finishes it can then charge the correct amount

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