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Electric company car drivers need help as public charging costs rise

While Mina believes choice is a good thing, and the public network is improving hugely, there is still too much confusion around payments, rate of charge and, consequently, value for money. This is creating problems between drivers and their employers when it comes to reclaiming costs.
ashley tate ceo and co founder mina
Ashley Tate

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15 November 2022

THE average cost of public charging has risen 19% in the last quarter, according to data from EV payment specialist Mina, and this rise – plus the huge variability in pricing and payment methods – is causing charging confusion for company car drivers, it said.

Over the last quarter, the average cost of charging in public (including VAT) was 67p per kWh, which was a 19%, or 11p, increase on the previous quarter, according to Mina’s analysis of 32,500 real life charging events in its Mina EV Report – Summer 22.

The lowest recorded cost per kWh was 36p (excluding free chargers at locations such as supermarkets), while the highest was £2.77 – although this included parking charges in the price.

While Mina believes choice is a good thing, and the public network is improving hugely, there is still too much confusion around payments, rate of charge and, consequently, value for money. This is creating problems between drivers and their employers when it comes to reclaiming costs.

Mina Chief Executive Ashley Tate said: “Choice is hugely important for company car drivers, because our data shows they use chargers in very different ways. Sometimes drivers are happy to pay a high rate if they can access lots of energy and be on their way quickly to get on with their day, while at others, they want to pay less and take their time.

“But prices and speeds can vary wildly. This can lead to confusion about what is a good price to pay, or even how much you’re being charged, especially if a driver is paying for charging in lots of different ways on various cards and apps.

“So when it comes to putting in expenses, and then justifying to their employers why they used particular more costly chargers, or spent so much time stopped, things can get awkward. The choices you make around charging your car for business shouldn’t require constant explanations to your employer.

“Added to the confusion are the on-going conversations about the Advisory Electricity Rate, which we have definitively proved is currently far too low, but will never be fit for purpose, no matter what the flat rate figure. What company car drivers need is simple solutions, good data and clear advice to help make the right choices, relevant for their requirements at any given time.”

Mina Chargepass allows drivers to access 8,200 public chargers in more than 3,000 locations, and includes networks such as InstaVolt, and through their partner Allstar, the likes of MFG, Gridserve and Osprey too. 44% of the chargers that Chargepass access are either rapid or ultra-rapid making it the fastest public EV charging network dedicated to business.

It also avoids the awkward conversations about the choices drivers make, because by signing up to the Chargepass network, the driver and employer have implicitly agreed on the networks to use, acceptable pricing, and a course of action for how business mileage is paid for.

Tate said: “Using Chargepass, company car drivers can charge everything to one card which is then paid for by the business. But crucially, they, and their employers see what each charge cost and how fast it was through Mina’s online portal. By doing this, they’re able to create their own benchmarks for what charging should cost – and what they are prepared to pay.”

Tate is keen to stress that despite the price rises, drivers in EVs are still better off financially when compared to petrol or diesel. Its data shows that average drivers use public chargers to add around 90 miles of charge, to help them get to a destination rather than plugging into them for a full charge.

This means they are using cheaper destination and home charging for the majority of the time, and as a result, real life figures in the Mina EV Report – Summer 22 show that a typical small EV family hatchback will still cost around half as much in power over 10,000 miles than a petrol or diesel car, even with this autumn’s energy price increases.

 

 

 

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Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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