• Carl Chargington

Why does the price of charging your EV vary so much?

Public charging, though ever-improving and rapidly expanding, has several flaws that need addressing. One such flaw is the incredibly high discrepancy in pricing between different public chargers. If we don't factor in speed and location, a fast public charger in London can be anywhere from 18p/kWh (Polar Instant) to 39p/kWh at an Ecotricity charger. Rapids can go up to 69p/kWh for Ionity ... oof. And most of these have separate plug-in fees, overstay, subscription fees and the list goes on. So why do these chargers have such astronomically different rates?

First, let's look at how different these prices are in a bit more depth. Let's use the Nissan Leaf (one of the most popular EVs in the world) with an efficiency of 3 miles/kWh as an example. If you charge at home at an average price of 14p/kWh, you'll be paying ~£5 for 100 miles. At the cheapest fast public charger this will be £6 or £13 at one of the most expensive ones. For rapids, 100 miles on the cheapest networks will be ~£8 and the most expensive one will be £23. That's quite the range and it's something that drivers have to constantly think about, which is far from ideal.

If we compare all these prices with a the 100 mile efficiency of a petrol Ford focus 1.5 EcoBoost, which would cost £13, most public charging is still cheaper.

Okay, EV charging is still cheaper than ICE fuel. But why such price discrepancies? To put it simply, a charger is owned by a "charge point operator" (CPO) and they set the rates. It is different for every CPO because they operate on different business models, use different hardware, etc. and therefore set the rate that they need to be profitable.

We think that's fair. But we also think that the whole system can be standardised and that's where Bonnet comes in. Bonnet provides a platform to fix the price/kWh across all chargers and take the hassle away from the driver. Join our waiting list today to get all the updates first!