Europe's biggest open fast-charging network to ask 'exorbitant' prices for recharging

Europe's biggest open fast-charging network to ask 'exorbitant' prices for recharging
The company lured its customers by offering charging for €8, regardless of the amount of electricity. Credit: Ionity

Starting from 31 January, clients of Ionity, Europe's largest open network of high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles, will have to pay 79 cents/kWh instead of a fixed rate of €8 per charge.

"The welcome phase is over," said Michael Hajesch, the CEO of Ionity, which is a joint venture of BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, reports Electrive. By putting the price at 79 cents/kWh, charging a larger electric vehicle model will soon cost at least €47.

Ionity has installed over 200 charging stations along motorways in all of Europe, with over 860 high-power charging points in 20 countries. In Belgium, there are seven Ionity stations at the moment: in both directions in Wetteren (East Flanders), Froyennes (Hainaut) and Le Roeulx/Thieu (also Hainaut), as well as one more in one direction in Bierzet (Liège). By the end of 2020, the company wants to have 400 high-power charging stations in 24 countries, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

The company lured its customers by offering chargings for €8, regardless of the amount of electricity that was used.

Electric vehicles with a wider range, like the Tesla Model 3, the Audi e-tron quattro and the Porsche Taycan, have a 77kWh battery, meaning that a charge of 60 kWh will cost €47.4, and a full charge will cost €60.

"With this exorbitant price, it will cost me €60 to charge my car, meaning I will be paying €15 per 100 km, which is more expensive than conventional cars," said Bram Vandewalle, who drives a Tesla Model 3, on Twitter. However, a driving range of 400 km per full charge is broadly calculated, according to Electrive, which assumes it would be closer to 200 to 350 km, depending on the driving behaviour and consumption of the car.

In addition to the direct charging method via Ionity's open network, clients can also refuel via Mobility Service Providers (MSPs), like Audi e-tron Charging Service, Mercedes me Charge, BMW ChargeNow, Porsche Charging Service and Volkswagen WeCharge. The system is comparable to a fuel card for company cars that can be used with different brands.

Ionity then agrees on a price with an MSP, which in turn sets a price for the client. Ionity does not want to communicate about the B2B price it asks of MSPs, but it is suggested that charging via an MSP is cheaper than Ionity's 79 cents/kWh.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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