Charging for Charging

With the disappearance of charging your electric vehicle for free in the Netherlands last year time has come for a more mature EV charging market. One where consumers can pick a service provider with the best service and/or the lowest fee for charging. Also the disappearance of the foundation E-Laad from the charging card business has enabled some other players to enter this market and others to finally seize the market they were already in. In order to compare the various package on offer, I've made this detailed blog post and will only cover the basic charging when not at home. All providers enable you to charge at a public station in the Netherlands and the vast majority of the public stations is accessible through the OCPP.

To the kWh

As most of the providers charge you for the kWh's you take, I've used that is the central unit to compute everything against. Some providers have decided to charge for the time you are connected to the charger. I've recalculated those values towards kWh as well. Below is a simple table with a relation between kWh charged and an average range you can drive. For this I've taken a 25 kWh battery pack (a bit bigger than the Nissan Leaf) and driving range of 100 km on a full battery (a more conservative range than Nissan specifies).

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Note that the average driver in the Netherlands drives about 12.000 km a year, a number that is slowly dropping year after year. With these statistics that would put people in the 300 kWh range.

The Providers

For the charging service providers I've used the biggest here in the Netherlands; Nuon, Essent, The New Motion and ANWB. The other utility company, Eneco, made an announcement their pricing would be up in december last year, but so far the site shows nothing yet. The table below shows the various subscription models available. Normal charging is just allowing access to the normal public chargers. Quick charging allows access to all normal chargers, but also to the 40+ quick charging stations in the Netherlands. The flat fee is the monthly subscription charged by some of the providers, the last column lists the price you pay per kWh.

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Time to charge…

At the moment The New Motion (TNM) and ANWB use a fee that is based on time instead of kWh as the others do. Most of the others are utility companies that are already used to charge people per kWh used in their household, so it makes sense for them to use that same metric here. The New Motion feel strongly that their time based system is more fair for consumers. I'd say that time is usually a concept better understood by most people that the kWh is, so from that perspective a time based metric would prove a better understanding of the pricing mechanism. In order to compare the various systems I've used the below conversion to get from the price per hour to a price per kWh:

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The power is rated at 3.68 kWh, confirmed by The New Motion and their brochure of the Lolo. In practice it would be interesting to see what the actual power output of the various meters will be, also for the other providers and see if everything converted to time will yield different results.

Taking the various schemes and prices into account over a range from 0 to 500 kWh, the following (not surprising) graph turns up. Most of the pricing schemes are very similar, the only one standing out is the Nuon - Business package. It appears a package that is only attractive if you really drive a lot of miles in your EV. With EV drivers being a minority at the moment and the people driving such distances also, I'm not sure how much of a market there is for that subscription.

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The table from this graph in full:

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Conclusion

If you are a heavy user of your electric vehicle and really drive a lot; the Nuon - Business subscription is your deal. For all the others, it is currently a matter of taste, preference of the service of one or the other provider or simply because you already get the power at your house from them. For the future I'd like to find out the actual power that you can draw from the various stations; if there is a difference than the pricing per kWh versus the pricing per hour can create a difference.