Ecotricity’s new pricing structure will come into effect on Monday, with this weekend representing the last few days of the current £6 per 30 min charge tariff.
As of Monday 26th June, all Ecotricity rapid chargers will then have the new prices applied. This involves a £3 connection fee and 17p per kWh of electricity used. Access will require the Ecotricity Electric Highway app.
The few Ecotricity fast chargers that are installed around the country will remain free to use and need an RFID card from the network to access. Ecotricity points at IKEA will also have the new pricing structure, though IKEA will continue to reimburse customers by discounting their shopping. For the sake of simplicity, this will remain at the flat rate of £6 though, rather than offering an exact refund.
Ecotricity energy customers – who currently have the benefit of 52 free charging sessions a year – will now pay no connection fee. Existing customers will continue to have the free charges up until the first year is up, or when the free 52 charges is used up – whichever comes first. They will then be transferred onto the new structure.
The changes for non-Ecotricity energy customers are not expected to have much of an impact on normal charging costs, in the most part because of the initial £3 connection fee.
Using a Nissan Leaf 30kWh model as a basis, a charge on a 50kW DC CHAdeMO rapid will currently cost £6 for 30 minutes. This will provide a maximum of 25kW of charge – though in reality this will often be between 20kW and 25kW depending on the initial state of charge, since charging slows down after 80% capacity is reached.
Working on a basis of arriving at the rapid charger with 20% charge, charging up to 80% will cost around £6.06 – £3 connection fee and £3.06 (17p x 18kW). Charging from empty to 80% will cost £7.08, while a 40% to 80% charge will cost £5.04.
So charging costs will largely be the same, certainly within a pound or so. It’s almost as though Ecotricity planned it this way! The benefit for drivers with the new pricing system is that it will give greater flexibility, and less wasted cost.
For those who want a quick top-up on a journey – a ‘park & spark’ to make sure they reach the next rapid for example – will save a pound or two, and won’t feel as though they have wasted part of their 30min session.
Equally, as battery sizes get larger, 30mins is not long enough to top an EV up to 80%. The new Renault Zoe ZE 40 for example has reached this situation in certain circumstances, so a second session would have to be activated, but only another five or ten minutes of it would be needed with the rest wasted. Maximum charging time in increased to 45 minutes, in all likelihood to take this situation into account.