Ionity, the rapid charging network for electric cars – founded by BMW, Mercedes, Ford and VW Group – to charge 69p kWh for charging.
It’s more than two years since BMW, Mercedes, Ford and the VW Group announced the creation of Ionity, a network of rapid charge electric forecourts across Europe to deliver up to 350kWh charging rates to support the drive to make us all go electric. Which is great.
So far, Ionity say they have rolled-out some 200 charging stations with 860 charging points across 20 countries – about half way to their target of 400 forecourts – and have, until now, been charging a flat fee of £8 to charge an EV. But that’s all changing.
From 31 January, instead of the flat £8 per charge – which was only really and ‘introductory’ offer – Ionity are going to charge you per kWh. Which seems fair. But the price of 69p per kWh, which is what it’ll cost from February, seems exorbitant.
It means, for example, that if you were to turn up at an Ionity charger in a Jaguar I-Pace with zero miles of range, and you wanted to fully charge it, it will cost £62.
Compare that to home charging – at around 15p per kWh – which will cost about £13.50 and you’re paying a huge penalty for Ionity’s rapid charging. And even Tesla Superchargers, which admittedly aren’t as quick as Ionity’s, would cost £21.60. That means charging a Tesla Model S will cost three times mas much at an Ionity charger as it would at a Tesla Supercharger.
We had, perhaps naively, thought the Ionity network was going to be a cost-neutral support for EVs from the car makers tied up in its running, but at these prices it’s just a convenience for EV owners who don’t have to care about running costs.
And just imagine if electricity for charging cars was taxed in the same way as petrol and diesel. Then, Ionity would be charging around £1.40 per kWh, making an EV more expensive to run than an ICE car (as if the new prices don’t already do that).
So much for the idea of encouraging the uptake of EVs with rapid charging facilities.