Currently reading: Ecotricity to charge £6 for 30 minutes of electricity from its charging points
The majority of the company's 300 charging points are at motorway service stations; original price announced was £5 for 20 minutes

Ecotricity, the provider of the majority of electric car chargers at motorway services, will begin charging £6 for a 30min fast charge from today.

Last week, the company initially said it would be charging £5 for 20min, but owner Dale Vince announced the new cost on Radio 4 today.

A spokesman for Ecotricity said: "We looked at the response to the announcement last week and decided it made sense to offer a different price, based on the feedback we received."

The company has started upgrading the hardware of its entire charging network to accept payments from a new app, and it expects all of its chargers to accept payments by Friday 5 August.

Users must download the new Electric Highway app, which allows drivers to pay at the pump. The app also shows a live network of Ecotricity chargers to see the location and availability, and enables drivers to track the progress of their charge.

The company has 296 charging points across the country, with 99% of them at motorway service stations, but it expects to double the number of chargers in two years and introduce some to cities. A fast charge point could give an electric car an 80% charge after 20-30 minutes. There are around 20 slow chargers in Ecotricity's network, which could charge an electric car up to 80% in around one hour, and these will remain free.

Ecotricity says the usage of its charging points trebled in 2015, and in its statement announcing the original £5 fee said: "It is now necessary to start charging for the service in order to maintain and grow the network."

The move to charge for electricity could mean charging plug-in hybrid models, like the best-selling Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, at motorway services will become financially uneconomical because of their limited electric-only ranges.

Ecotricity energy customers will be able to use the chargers for free as part of their paid-for plan. Chargemaster, a rival electric charging point company, introduced a monthly price for use of its charging points around two years ago, costing from £7.85 a month. This entitles owners to free use of the company's non-rapid charge points, which account for around 80% of its 4000 chargers. The remaining 20% are fast chargers and cost 9p per kWh, which the company says would typically work out as £2 for a 30min charge. 

Tesla has rapid charging points at service stations for its drivers, and these will remain free to use.

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hiltonium 13 July 2016

Too expensive

The flat rate ruins it really, it should be charged per kwh.
Any long journeys will need serious planning to take advantage of getting max value out of your £6 for 30 minutes. Stops just to top up may blow the cost advantage over a diesel/petrol car.
I probably won't use their network now unless they put a charger on my commute route then I'll sign up for their home electricity.
topsecret456987 12 July 2016

You forgot to add the cost of

You forgot to add the cost of a smart phone and a contract to the cost of refuelling. Not everyone has a phone and yet an app is required to use the charging point!! Why not a cash card?
The Apprentice 11 July 2016

Ecotricity are utter prats

Today's pricing scheme is even worse for plug in hybrid users who can't hold that much charge so would be be paying even more for electricity they can't use... why the hell the idiots can't just charge per kW like any other charging company. Hope all your ugly windmills blow over and chop your greedy nackers off Dale!