With the current energy crisis ongoing around the world it is inevitable that the price for charging an electric vehicle will increase. However, have electric charge points increased their pricing to a point that makes them an eye watering prospect?
This discussion arises due to a story seen in recent EV news which has stated that the charge point provider, Osprey, has increased their price per kWh to £1.00 from around 66p. This is a shockingly huge increase that will have raised a few eyebrows.
A Charge Points Investigation
Looking at this story I had two questions that I wanted to answer. Firstly, is this story true? And, secondly, if it is true, have other charge point providers followed suit? Here I will look at some of the most popular charge point providers in the UK and see what their current prices are. Unfortunately, to answer the first question, this story does appear to be true.
Of course, there are a few parameters that I needed to set for myself before carrying out the research and reporting my findings. First of all I will be taking the highest price advertised by each provider (some have a different charge depending on charging speed), and secondly I will be looking at the reliability of each provider.
There is not much use, after all, selling a charge at 10p per kWh if the chargers themselves are out of action for 99% of the time (using extreme examples for price and availability here). This is what I have found.
Tesla charge points, like most of the others on this list, will have different pricing. For example, if you bought a Tesla before 2017 you will receive free supercharging. However, if your Tesla was purchased from 2017 onwards you will currently be charged 28p per kWh. This is a very good rate indeed.
For those of us who are not Tesla drivers, there is good news. The Tesla charge point network has been slowly opening up to all cars. The cost, however, will be more though. Again, there are two prices for non Tesla users.
If you set up a monthly account it will cost you 50p per kWh, but will cost you 60p per kWh if you are a pay as you go customer. As you can see, these charges are considerably more, yet they are still far lower than the quoted Osprey charges.
Tesla’s biggest strength perhaps lies in its reliability. Very rarely will you find Tesla charge points out of action. And, when they are, they are fixed extremely quickly. Tesla certainly gets a 10/10 score on this front.
BP Pulse Charge Points
BP is better known as a petroleum supplier. However, they have been making waves with their electric charge points in recent years. It was only a matter of time before oil producers started future proofing their businesses as electric vehicles fully took hold.
The cost of charging at 150kW, the highest they currently offer, will be from 55p per kWh to 65p per kWh depending on whether you have a subscription or whether you are using the pay as you go method. Again, much cheaper than Osprey offer.
According to Whatcar? BP Pulse was ranked 7th in the UK for reliability. Although customers liked their charging speeds, they found that BP Pulse scored low for reliability and location.
Instavolt offers a DC rapid charger on a pay as you go method of payment. The fee for these charge points is 66p per kWh, which is higher than some other providers offer, but still cheaper than Osprey’s new charge rate.
When it comes to reliability, Instavolt scores incredibly highly too. WhatCar? Stated that EV owners gave InstaVolt a reliability rating of 92.6% which is incredibly good.
Among the best known of all providers of charge points is Pod Point. Stationed all around the UK, Pod Point charge points are one that you are incredibly likely to see. They are also cheaper than most other providers. Coming in at just 44p per kWh, Pod Point is a winning brand on price.
Reliability though has been a sticking point. Although I will say that they are certainly not amongst the worst you will find. Scoring 70.3% on reliability with WhatCar? Pod Point is towards the top of reliability, yet there is still not nearly a perfect confidence in the brand.
Griserve charge points are pretty reasonably priced compared to some other providers. They offer a pay as you go service which will charge you up to 50p per kWh for their DC rapid chargers.
Unfortunately for Gridserve, or more precisely their customers, there is not a great deal of confidence in the Gridserve network. Looking at TrustPilot you will find that an astonishing 76% of reviews are negative. Hopefully the company will improve quickly.
Ionity Charge Points
The last provider I am going to look at is Ionity (this would be a very long blog post if I covered them all).
Ionity charge points can be found at service stations all around the UK. They provide some of the most rapid charging stations in the country and they have a reputation for being reliable. I have also found that their customer service team is very helpful when you need to get in touch with them.
However, as with petrol stations on the motorway network, Ionity are pricier than charge points you would find in a town. Although, even at 69p per kWh, Ionity has lost its place as the most expensive charge point provider. Again, this has been taken by Osprey.
A Sign of Things to Come?
Seeing Osprey increase their prices by such a big amount is quite a shock. However, could this be the start of a trend that other providers will follow? It is no secret that energy prices are rising out of control and that companies have been increasing prices to keep up.
I find it hard to believe that Osprey is going to be the only company to raise their prices, unless it is a short term solution for them in the financial crisis. If other companies don’t follow suit, then Osprey may have just priced themselves out of a very competitive market.
As with many people, I hope that the energy crisis comes under control sooner rather than later. More alternative energy solutions are coming to fruition, and hopefully the war in Ukraine will come to an end to help bring prices down. Until then, we should brace for some price increases. However, the price increases are still likely to be much less than the cost of petrol or, especially, diesel on the forecourts.