Volkswagen just announced details of its We Charge charging service, which will offer access to more than 150,000 public charging points all over Europe from a single account, single app/card and a single monthly bill.
Launch of the We Charge comes just in time to support the introduction of the Volkswagen ID.3, which also is promoted in the pricing scheme. It can be booked and used from mid-August.
There will be three charging tariffs in We Charge:
- We Charge Free - no monthly fee, but highest prices
"basic tariff does not have a monthly fee. It essentially provides access to charging via a single charging card – and is best suited to drivers who only rarely use public charging points to charge their electric cars."
- We Charge Go - monthly fee (aside ID.3) for lower prices
"offers lower prices for individual charging processes and is the right choice for regular users of public charging points."
- We Charge Plus - higher monthly fee, but the lowest prices for those who charge often
"the tariff for all frequent drivers."
As we can see below in the example of Germany, the We Charge can be used by all EV drivers, but only ID.3 owners will get the best deal (no or lowered monthly fee).
The other thing is the prices for the IONITY fast-charging network - it can be as low as €0.30 per kWh or 38% less than the standard €0.39/kWh without a monthly fee.
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The We Charge is a simple, comprehensive solution to see the information on location, availability and costs of charging points, use the station and pay. It should be popular especially among new Volkswagen car buyers, although it's open for all.
"We Charge offers numerous digital functions relating to charging, all of which can be used via the We Connect ID. app. With the app, users can easily locate all available We Charge charging points. The app also provides important information on charging price and charging point availability (free / in use). Going forward, the app will also give users the option to only show charging points that operate on green power. The intelligent route guidance takes into account available charging points as well as the chosen charging strategy. That is particularly useful for planning long routes."
As basically all other manufacturers are also introducing a similar service in Europe, we guess that customers of a particular brand will stick with a charging service from their brand. They will be often incentivized to do so by the way (like in the case of the ID.3).
The cool thing about the We Charge is that those who get Volkswagen’s smart wallbox will be able to see charging statistics, access management and remote control of the home charging station.
Volkswagen's charging approach in Europe include:
- We Charge service
- ID. Charger wallbox
- Volkswagen Naturstrom electricity from renewable sources
- Volkswagen subsidiary Elli responsible for charging services and products
- founder of the IONITY fast-charging network