Bad News for EV Drivers

Folk with an electric vehicle will know Ecotricity; their charging points are in most services and all over the country. All you needed was a free card and you could fill up your batteries at no cost. They are now having to bring in charges – £6 for 30 min which is around 80% for a Leaf or Zoe or very roughly 60 miles – about the same price as a sub 2-litre modern diesel in pence per mile. Understandable, but it isn’t going to help EV sales.

Here is the information from Ecotricity –

eco1After five years of providing charging for free, we’re moving to a ‘charging for charging’ model.

When we began in July 2011, there was a bit of a chicken and egg situation – people were reluctant to buy electric cars because there were no charging facilities being built, but nobody wanted to build those facilities while there were still so few cars on the road. That’s when we jumped in to help kickstart the electric car revolution in Britain.

And that’s going pretty well: today there are over 40 models to choose from and 64,000 plug-ins on the road. The Electric Highway itself comprises almost 300 electricity pumps – of the fast charging variety.

The combination of more cars on the road and faster charging means we’re now delivering two million miles of clean driving each month – all powered from the wind and sun. That’s a great result. It’s also a growing cost. And to keep pace with demand, we need to build more electricity pumps – at existing and new locations.

So the time has come for us to charge – for charging.

We’ve taken a lot of feedback from EV drivers in order to arrive at the right pricing model.  We’ve decided that a simple flat fee of £6 for a 30 minute fast charge strikes the right balance.

Here’s how it will all work and when it will all happen

First, we’ve created an Electric Highway app. You’ll need this app to use our pumps once we’ve changed over to the ‘charging for charging’ model.

The app will have other features that you’ll find useful. It will show you a live feed of our entire network so you can see the location and availability of your nearest pump, making it easier for you to plan your journeys. You’ll be able to track the progress of your charge with the app’s charging countdown, and there’ll be other features coming in the future.

The transition to ‘charging for charging’ will require a hardware upgrade of each pump. We’ll start that work on Monday 11 July and we’re aiming to have the entire network finished by Friday 5 August.

During this transition period, you’ll need the app for some pumps and your swipe card for others. The app itself will tell you which pumps have switched over to the new charging model.
Once the work is complete, our entire network will only be usable through the Electric Highway app.

We’ve updated the FAQs on the Ecotricity website to provide more information, should you need it.

I hope this is all clear and that you’ll understand our need to finally move to ‘charging for charging’ – it’s the next vital step in the evolution of the Electric Highway and it will allow us to continue to reinvest in improving and expanding the network.

Viva the EV revolution 🙂

Dale Vince

P.S. Nearly forgot … the Electric Highway will still be free to use for Ecotricity energy customers – so if you’re not already a customer, now is a pretty good time to switch. You’ll not only get free use of the Electric Highway, we’ll give you a discount on your energy just for having an electric car. If you’d like to switch, just click here.