EV charging costs double

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【Summary】The cost of charging electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing as companies switch to per-kilowatt-hour pricing instead of charging based on time. Ivy Charging Network, a joint venture between Hydro One Ltd. and Ontario Power Generation, has introduced this pricing model, resulting in a 125% price increase for charging. While the new approach offers transparency, it reduces the potential savings of using EVs compared to gas-powered vehicles.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 12, 2023 10:16 PM PT
EV charging costs double

Electric vehicles have long been touted as a cost-effective alternative to gas-powered cars. With the ability to charge up on cheap electricity, EV owners could save a significant amount of money. However, recent changes in the way companies bill for using charging stations are narrowing the advantage of electricity over gas. Ivy Charging Network, a joint venture between Hydro One Ltd. and Ontario Power Generation, has introduced per-kilowatt-hour pricing as a pilot project at its ONroute locations. This means that drivers will now be billed based on how much power they consume, rather than how long they take to charge.

This change in billing is a welcome development for EV owners who have found the cost of charging their cars to be unpredictable when paying for time. However, the new pricing structure comes with an increase in cost. Ivy's rate is 62 cents per kWh, which means that a full charge of an EV's battery could cost significantly more than before. In fact, the previous pricing model based on time could deliver the same charge for less than half the price. This represents a price increase of 125 percent.

Comparing the cost of charging an EV with gas, the savings are still evident. For example, in the given scenario, the cost of a full charge at Ivy is $36, while the equivalent range in a gas-powered vehicle would cost $51.20. Therefore, the EV owner still saves $15.20 on a full charge, or about 30 percent compared to gas. However, this price increase is disappointing for EV owners who have always factored in the cost savings of electricity when considering the overall cost of owning an EV.

Charging at Ivy is not the only option for EV owners. Other charging stations, such as Petro-Canada, offer significantly lower prices. For example, at Petro-Canada, the cost per kWh is 30.2 cents, less than half of Ivy's price. Additionally, charging at home in Ontario can be done at an overnight rate of 8.7 cents per kWh, making it an even more affordable option. The rising cost of charging at Ivy may discourage some EV owners from relying on fast charging for their regular commutes or road trips.

While Ivy's pricing reflects the need to build and maintain a large charging network, it may deter some EV owners from fully embracing the electric revolution. The cost savings that make EVs attractive may diminish if charging prices continue to rise. This could lead to more drivers sticking with gas-powered cars instead of making the switch to electric. Ultimately, the transparency of the new pricing structure may be appreciated by EV owners, but the rising cost could dampen the enthusiasm for electric vehicles.

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