A few days ago Ecotricity, the UK's major charging provider for the “electric highway”, and most motorway service stops, announced a move from free charging to a flat £5 for 20 Minutes.
This new charge system did not take into account the vehicle (or rather the speed of its charging), and would automatically terminate the charge at 20 minutes.
As one might surmise, a 20 minute charge is not enough time to come close to fully charging (or even to the magical 80% level) any all-electric car. So users would have to wait for the charge to stop, then re-engage, paying another £5.
The response was...well, strong.
Thankfully, the company did react to the backlash quickly by announcing a new program.
£6 for a 30 minute timed session
The new program is quite obviously superior in almost every way. Yes, one does have to pay for an extra £1 - or 20% more, but the gain of 10 minutes (50%) on a fast charge is significant, and will net a near 80% "fill" in a single session for today's city EVs.
During a BBC Radio 4 presentation of You and Yours, by Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, announced the changes and why:
“We’ve changed our plan over the weekend following feedback from our drivers. We’ve done this to reflect the fact that most EV drivers – electric vehicles, not hybrids – have said that they need 30 minutes to get the ideal 80% battery charge that they are used to getting.”
Does the program adjustment go far enough? Will it satisfy consumers? Only time will tell when the usage data information starts to roll in. InsideEVs' friend Andy aka "Electric Leaf Man, sent us his impressions of the new program first hand (video above - and our thanks to him for doing that so quickly).
The program begins this week at some stations, and will be enabled on all ~296 locations by August 5th.