Monday 21 October 2019

Most EV owners plan to pay as they go for charging

One-third likely to avoid public charge points when fees kick in soon; 'Hogging' levy also planned

A majority of electric car drivers will continue to use public charging points once a new pay-to-charge system comes in
A majority of electric car drivers will continue to use public charging points once a new pay-to-charge system comes in
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

The majority of electric-car drivers will use public charging points at least as often as they have up to now when they shortly start paying for power, a major new survey reveals.

However, a substantial 33pc are more likely not to use the facilities when the new pay-for-charge system kicks in.

Overall, 80pc are in favour of a pay-as-you-go system but a subscription deal, favoured by 20pc, will reduce per-unit cost.

The ESB customer survey of 1,800 people also found 90pc support for a planned 'hogging' levy for vehicles left too long at a charging point.

Such overwhelming support for an 'overstay fee' reflects the daily frustration experienced by many.

The new charging era will begin soon. Prices and details of fast-charger costs will be announced first and are expected to kick in a few weeks after that. Costs for using ordinary chargers will be revealed before the end of the year. Users will be encouraged to register in advance. Cost will be based on the amount of energy you use, rather than how long it takes - and most of those surveyed (72pc) favour that, but 28pc would prefer it to be time-based.

Details of the survey provided a backdrop to a recent meeting between the Irish EV Owners Association and ecars, which runs the charging infrastructure.

The meeting heard, for example, that chargers are sustaining significant damage from users.

The damage may be due to less experienced drivers being unaware of how to unlock the cables from their vehicles.

Drivers are also not replacing connectors carefully enough.

Recently, 10 fast AC, six CCS and five CHAdeMO cables had to be replaced at a cost of €20,000.

Those at the meeting agreed that the ESB and EV owners will work to help show drivers how to correctly disconnect and replace connectors.

Car manufacturers will also be asked to ensure dealerships inform customers of the charging process.

Those at the meeting were also told how up to 400 drivers a week are ringing the customer call centre to start and end charging transactions because they have not ordered an access card or don't have theirs with them.

Under the €20m infrastructure project backed by the Climate Action Fund, any AC chargers that have become unreliable are to be replaced in the coming months.

And they expect to build eight-vehicle and four-vehicle charging hubs around the country.

They will also add a two-point 150kW charger to more than 30 current fast-charger sites.

Indo Motoring

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