Spotted those EV charging points outside motorway service stations in the UK? Well, Ecotricity, the firm behind this ‘electric highway’ infrastructure, has today controversially announced it’s going to start charging for those using these points with almost immediate effect. Needless to say, this has caused a bit of a stir online…
In its rather insensitively-titled email to its signed-up users dubbed ‘Charging for Charging,’ Ecotricity lays out that as of 11 July 2016, users will have to pay £5 per 20 minutes’ use of its fast chargers. We say ‘fast’, but as Motoring Research points out, this is only enough to supply a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with a mere 15 miles of electric-only range – meaning it works out about twice as expensive as a petrol-only car when PHEV owners are concerned.
Fully electric car owners are still laughing, but only just. 20 minutes on an Ecotricity pump will give a 24kWh Leaf about 75 miles – equating to 75mpg, so still better than most oil burning motorway guzzlers.
Many on Twitter are complaining that it’s far too early to be introducing such rates, when there’s already a million reasons to put people off becoming early adapters to the EV scene. As Lance Bradley puts it: “A fee is understandable. £5 for 20 mins isn’t.”
What do you think? Too soon to start treating EV owners like normal car users? Should the early adapters have more time to be treated specially? Read the full post about the controversial updates here.