12 Aug 20

Dutch study offers solutions for EV charging price insecurity

As range anxiety diminishes and charging infrastructure increases, here’s the next bump in the road for e-mobility: charging price insecurity. A Dutch study examines why those prices are so inscrutable. Crucially, it comes with recommendations for solutions.

EV charging prices are a mess. As we’ve pointed out before, the price per kWh varies from €0.10 to €10 across Europe, and it can be pretty hard to find out which rate you’re being charged for charging your EV.

Legal obligation
Trust the Dutch to examine this to death. They have a National Knowledge Centre for Charging Infrastructure (NKL), and it commissioned a study of the EV charging sector’s price transparency in the Netherlands. 

Obvious conclusion: EV charging prices are not transparent. Important observation: this is counter to the providers’ legal obligation to inform consumers of the correct pricing for their products and/or services. 

It’s clear why pricing is so unclear: the charging industry consists of a complicated tangle of providers. That makes it easy to avoid responsibility for price transparency. Many players also lack the necessary knowledge of the rules and regulations that need to be followed.

Annual benchmarks
NKL has long been an advocate for more transparency in EV charge pricing. This study shows that the obstacles to achieving this are not technological. It is possible to inform consumers of charge prices, both before and after charging. This can be achieved by apps, displays on the charging stations, or direct payment while charging, the study recommends. 

In order to further monitor the development of price transparency in EV charging, NKL will take a snapshot of the situation as it is today, and have an independent organisation perform annual benchmarks, to see whether EV charging price transparency is improving, and which specific aspects of the pricing issue are in need of improvement. 

Image: EV charging in Amsterdam (Shutterstock)

Authored by: Frank Jacobs