To increase uptake in electric and hybrid vehicles the government will consider setting common pricing between suppliers of electric car charging stations
Doug Revolta Autocar
28 December 2016

Overpriced electric car charging stations will be clamped down in the new year by the government, after fears that high prices are putting off buyers of electric and hybrid cars and making them as expensive to run as diesels.

Read more: The day electricity became more expensive than diesel

New rules in 2017 will set common standards for pricing between suppliers, according to The Times newspaper. Currently motorists can expect to pay up to £7.50 for a half-hour charge at some roadside charging stations.

Reforms could include capping maximum charges and removing the need for multiple memberships across different companies that run charging stations.

MPs filed a report in September that showed uptake of electric cars was below expectation. The government set a target of 9 per cent of new cars and vans on British to be classed as ultra-low emissions vehicles by 2020, but the environmental audit committee predicted the current rate shows that number would only be 7 per cent.

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To make electric cars more appealing, the government is looking to make charging easier and keep costs down for motorists.

Range-anxiety is a hugely prohibitive factor in purchasing electric cars and a more user-friendly, affordable and comprehensive roadside charging system - especially in rural areas and motorways - would go some way to making electric cars a more realistic possibility for buyers.

There are around 11,000 charging stations in the UK and currently Chargemaster (which runs the Polar charge point system) provides the UK’s largest EV charging network with 6000 charging points available. For £7.85 per month, subscribers have access to all charging stations including the 5000 that are free.

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For non-subscribers, a £1.20 pay-as-you-go fee is chargeable, while some stations charge more than £7 for a half-hour rapid charge.

Ecotricity runs the majority of motorway charging points and charges £6 for a 30-minute charge, but the cost is free as part of Ecotricity’s home energy customer subscription.

Proposals for change will be presented in the Modern Transport Bill, which is expected to be presented to the government in early 2017.

A spokesperson from the Department for Transport told The Times:

“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads are at record levels and we want to see a reliable and hassle-free public charging network so the sector can continue to grow.

“We are looking at ways to make public chargepoints more convenient for motorists, such as simplifying memberships, making pricing more consistent and transparent and making chargepoints easier to operate.”

Join the debate


28 December 2016
What does 30 mins of electricity actually mean, Mr journalist a simple call would fill in the all important details.
But at the end of the day EV's range is forever increasing so it'll be less important with every new model.
As a footnote I wonder what the percentage of say a Telsa's electricity comes from a charge point rather than from a socket at home, I'm sure Telsa and Nissan know exactly so I ish they'd put the info. some where

28 December 2016
Had an interesting conversation with Tesla 85 owner last week, charging from mains at home was very poor, equates to 7miles for every hour charged. Raved about the Tesla Superchargers.

28 December 2016
Needs a Telsa home charger then. Charges at a minimum of 22 miles an hour, so 10 hours overnight will do you for 220 miles.

28 December 2016
xxxx wrote:

Needs a Telsa home charger then. Charges at a minimum of 22 miles an hour, so 10 hours overnight will do you for 220 miles.

The 40khw battery In the Zoe can be 80% charged in 5 hours from home with the charger that's included with the car

28 December 2016
The point is that the cost of £7 against the range of most vehicles is considerably less than the range on most Phev vehicles and will be for the considerable future.

Tesla provide High Speed charging but most facilities offer much lower charge speeds.

Taking in to account the low level of on street charging and the cost now at Motorway services many drivers will reach for alternative sources.

Turning to Diesel with Euro 5 facing charges in London for road use the market will go 'Pop' as other towns adopt low emission zones.

The market for Diesel is a dangerous one as local authorities act to penalise motorists with these vehicles (Including charging more for parking permits.)

Reality is stark unless there are more alternatives then motorists will continue to face attack from those who don't care.

28 December 2016
"Taking in to account the low level of on street charging and the cost now at Motorway services many drivers will reach for alternative sources." The alternative is already there, at a guess 90% of usage will be gained from charging at home and that figure will increase with bigger EV ranges.

29 December 2016
If the government is going to regulate standardised costs for charging, they need to reform the charging network too.

These prices aren't just assigned arbitrarily, they're based on amortising the cost of building rapid chargepoints for £10-30k a pop, maintaining them (being built as cheaply as possible, they're not terribly reliable), paying rent on the site, upgrading them, and sustaining the workforce behind all of that. The electricity itself is a negligible fraction of what you're paying for.

If the government want to keep prices low, and in vaguely the same dimension as the cost you pay for electricity at home, they need to take the responsibility for installing and maintaining the rapid network.

28 December 2016
I have sat in on ULEZ meetings with the Past and Present mayors teams and TFL and warned about this 2 years ago.

Prior to Christmas I again wrote to TFL, The Mayor and Deputy Mayor in London on this very subject as It concerns me that price gauging will continue.

28 December 2016
I have to wonder why a supposedly free market government is so overtly trying to interfere with "market forces", also why petrol companies have not got more into charging stations given the writing on the wall. For cleaner/less particulate emissions should it be doing more to encourage LPG for which there is an existing outlet infrastructure?

28 December 2016
I've recently installed charging points in 12 locations across Leicestershire, 9 are accessible to the general public and are completely free to use. Use is limited to 3 hours at any one time.


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