The cost of charging an EV remains a ‘jungle’, says EV expert

Electric car charging pricing remains a “jungle” and more must be done to standardise the cost of charging with different providers.

Speaking at a virtual Consumer Electronics Show, Carolin Reichert, vice president of connected mobility solutions at Bosch, criticised charging operators for their varied pricing, which is said to lead to “unforeseeable” costs of charging for motorists.

Audi e-tron charging
Audi e-tron charging

Asked what change there would be in 2021 for electric car charging, Reichert said: “I think the most important development now is the pricing side. Today, the pricing is a jungle, as every charging operator provides a different charging scheme, so for the driver it’s unforeseeable what they have to pay.”

While it’s cheaper to plug in at home and take advantage of lower domestic rates, many motorists without off-street charging don’t have this option, and are reliant on public EV charging points instead.

In the UK, there are a range of different operators of charging points, which usually set the cost based on a price per kilowatt (kWh) of electricity – the quickest chargers typically being the most expensive.

For example, with BP Chargemaster, the UK’s largest public charger operator, on a pay-as-you-go tariff it costs 18p per kWh for the slowest AC charging, but 42p using the speedy 150kWh charging points. However, using the priciest of charging operators – Ionity, which costs 69p per kWh – it could cost £13.50 more to charge a typical EV’s 50kWh battery.

Reichert called for more to be done to standardise the cost of charging.

She said: “We want to see that changed through standard pricing for AC and DC charging and rapid chargers, levelling these differences out between the operators. That will become a huge benefit.”