Charging will be billed in similar way to mobile phones
20 May 2009

Electricity for the new breed of zero-emissions cars will soon be billed in the same way as mobile phone tariffs, under a new system developed by Elektromotive.

Users will no longer pay a blanket subscription for as much electricity as they can use; instead, they will choose from a number of billing options. These include pay-as-you-go via a personalised keyfob, payment via text message or recorded message.

Costs could also be added to utility bills or taken through number plate recognition.

Elektromotive’s EBConnect systems can identify energy use and bill customers accordingly. The firm says power providers can use the technology to package electricity into different tariffs, offering incentives such as free minutes. The system will be installed in all of Elektromotive’s Elektrobay charging stations.

In London’s Westminster, anyone can pay £75 annually for access to a street charger and get unlimited electricity. But Elektromotive’s Greg Simmons said EBConnect is ready to go and that is "inevitable" that people will be charged in that way.

"Electricity companies don’t give it away for nothing," he told Autocar. "This technology allows businesses to build commercial models out of selling electricity."

This would include setting up different tariffs, and with more people using electric vehicles and more companies getting involved, electricity could become cheaper on the street than in the home.

Elektromotive has also unveiled a three-phase 'Fast Charge' Elektrobay prototype, which would cut charge times. The firm says improvements in both cells and battery systems are needed, but a full charge for a car like a Smart ED could take just an hour.

Ollie Stallwood

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?