Imagine: You've just finished a long day of driving, you arrive at your hotel at 10pm, you plug your electric car into the charging station, and you actually want to sleep as quickly as possible. Problem: This will cost you an additional 12 euros, on top of the normal shipping rate. Why? Because you used a Shell Recharge card and the hotel uses EVBox or Road's charging station management platforms, formerly known as E-Flux.
Charge cards and charging stations
Charging cards often not only work at a particular brand's charging stations, but also allow customers to charge at charging points of other charging station providers. For this purpose, companies conclude roaming agreements among themselves. As a Shell Recharge customer, you can also charge with EVBox and Road chargers. As a Shell Recharge customer, you may pay a different rate than customers with other recharge cards, depending on the recharge card rate structure.
Let's go back to December last year. Shell Recharge announces that it will offer block rates for some charging stations, such as EVBox and Road. After four hours of charging, you pay 5 euro cents per minute, up to a maximum of 12 euros. It doesn't matter if your car is full, or if it's at night; After four hours of charging you pay extra. Why? Because the two companies charging station “High costs charged to Shell Recharge”. An increase in the standard price would be unfair to EV users who charge at other charge point providers, which is why there is an additional price for the poles of these two companies only. In addition, the blocking costs willImproving the availability of public charging points'.
Shell's wording suggests that the two companies' charging stations also charge blocking costs, but this does not appear to be the case. To explain why this is not the case, we first need to explain what kind of companies Road and EVBox are. Unlike Fastned, for example, Road and EVBox don't just install charging stations. Alternatively, businesses, such as offices or catering companies, can request a charging station via EVBox and use the company's management platforms to indicate the costs that EVs must pay. Road does not install charging stations, but with this platform charging stations from other brands can be linked to the Road software platform. Therefore, Road and EVBox do not set charging station prices; This is what charging station owners do. Both companies work with AC chargers and DC fast chargers.
The Way: Less than 1 percent of charging points have a blockage rate
Road: “The additional fees imposed by Shell are unfair and have negative consequences for the sector.”
Not all charging station owners have blocked rates. For example, Road says that less than 1 percent of Road charging point owners have a blocking rate. Five percent of charge point owners also have a per-minute rate, which is an additional rate on top of the charging rate to cover parking costs, for example. “Roads have not and will not offer a general blocking rate to our network, as Shell has done. Instead, we are giving charging point owners in our network the option of using advanced rate structures,” The company writes. “We believe Shell’s ban on surcharges is unfair and has negative consequences for the sector, in particular for Shell recharge cardholders.”
In a conversation with Tweakers, Road CEO and co-founder Vincent van Vaalen emphasized that Road charging stations have no blocking rates, including 1 percent. “These are idle charges, so when the car is fully loaded, but still connected to the charger.” Moreover, this project is still experimental, which is why only a small portion of road charging points still incur idle fees. These blocking fees charged by Road customers are therefore different from the blocking rates charged by Shell: these blocking rates also apply while the vehicle is still charging.
According to Van Valen, the recharge blocking rate relates to Shell's current “flat fee” pricing structure. With roaming partners, you pay €0.76 per kWh for fast chargers and €0.53 per kWh for charging points up to 22 kW. The latest amount was 2 cents lower than before since December. Therefore, the introduction of the blocking rate coincided with a reduction in normal shipping costs.
“A collision between two proposals”
However, the price paid by recharging customers is not necessarily the amount paid by Shell to the charging station owner. With platforms like Road, this price can rise to €2 per kilowatt-hour, if the charging station owner so chooses. Therefore, it is not the route that determines this, but the company where the charging station is located. “The Shell Recharge flat rate is good for EV drivers, because they pay the same rate everywhere. But the drawback is that if that driver charges at a station that costs more than the flat rate, it costs you as a recharge fee.” Company Money Card If The customer was going to ship there. The current situation is really a struggle between two propositions.” Shell Recharge is not the only charge card company to offer flat charge rates, but to our knowledge it is the first to offer blocking costs. Furthermore, Recharge is a relatively large player in the charge card market .
€2 per kilowatt hour may seem like a lot of money, especially when you consider that it is four times the price Shell charges customers. “But entrepreneurs who install such a pole also have to incur costs. Suppose you have a business park where you want to install a charging station, and you have to lay a 3-kilometer-long cable or install a battery. Then as an entrepreneur, you can say: I would like to open “This charging station is for electric vehicle users who really need it, but then I will also charge a high amount for it. It is up to the owner of the charging station to decide, and then the electric vehicle driver can decide whether he wants to charge.” Van Valen also points out that charging rates can be linked to dynamic energy prices, so that the same-day charging rate can fluctuate from almost free to €1.20 per kilowatt-hour.
According to Van Valen, flat fees were once designed to relieve the customer, but now they are not transparent. “I also think this will cost Shell customers. According to our figures, 60 percent of charging sessions are longer than four hours. This means that as a Shell customer, you have to get out of bed afterwards to move your car, or end the problem.” session.restart to avoid blocking fees. I think customers will then switch to cards from other providers, where they simply pay what the charging station owner asks, with a small additional amount for the card. “I can't imagine that and other charging card administrators will offer blocking fees.” EVBox tells Tweakers that its platform does not allow price blocking at all. Also through this platform, customers and charging station owners set the price they charge for a charging station.
EVBox would like to provide clarity on our pricing. Various reports may have caused confusion about this matter in recent days. We would like to stress that we do not charge any blocking fees.
Ten percent of the charging station network
Martin Hashmang From Loadpastop10.nl writes about “Ethical Dilemma” and “Clumsy Shell Communication.” For example, he notes that reports from Shell often changed on the same day and that communication was very short. Meanwhile, charge card providers rarely share their plans widely, Hashmang says, for fear of backlash. Additionally, the move makes Shell's pricing less transparent and simple, while the appeal of Recharge is that you pay the same price per charger, Hachmang points out. EV drivers with a recharge card must now check their recharge app to see if ban costs apply. It is not always clear from the charging station whether or not it is managed by EVBox or Road. According to Hachmang, the two charging station companies cover approximately ten percent of the Dutch charging station network and include semi-public chargers in businesses, parking lots, hotels, restaurants, etc.
VER: “You can't suddenly fine people with an old electric car with a ban fee.”
Writes the Electric Drivers Association That situation does not help in energy transformation. “Uncertainty about charging rates, energy costs and car taxes is the main explanation for the disappointing growth in electric driving.” Additionally, a VER spokesperson points out that the “blocking issue” that Shell wrote about hardly plays a role. “Of course there may be local bottlenecks, but this is not a big problem at the national level. This is clear from the research conducted by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, our national charging survey and the figures from charging station providers. Furthermore, we believe that four hours is very sufficient.” This is extreme for an AC charging station. It often takes six to eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle, and older cars often need longer. “You can't suddenly fine these people with ban fees.”
VER also believes the move will mean Shell Recharge customers will use different cards at EVBox and Road charging stations. “I also don't think other charge card providers will be offering these rates soon.” This does not mean that idle fees are always bad with respect to VER. “For example, Tesla charges an inactivity rate of fifty cents per minute if you keep a fast charger busy. However, with fast chargers, you very consciously fast charge and then leave again. If you stand there with your full electric car on, then you “It takes up a space that can't be used by someone else on the road who needs to charge quickly. But with AC chargers, it's difficult to determine when someone is at a charging station.”
Additionally, these AC chargers speak to a future in which technologies such as V2G and “smart charging” will play a role, and where electric vehicle batteries are used as buffer batteries for sustainable energy storage. The batteries can then store energy or discharge it in the event of a shortage or surplus of sustained energy. This rarely happens in practice, but in such a case ban rates are actually undesirable, as VER points out. “Ultimately, the idea is for the car to stay at the charging station longer.”
In addition to the high costs of installing a charging station, which Road CEO Van Valen talks about, a VER spokesperson says high rates for charging station owners can be a way to keep others out. Charging stations are often found in offices and are primarily intended for employees and visitors. “If you, as an electric car driver, really need to charge and you're in the area, you can charge there at a higher price. But the office owner did that intentionally to limit other people's use of it.”
Shell told Tweakers that it charges rates intended to “provide customers with an easy and predictable shipping experience.” “Rather than inconvenience our customers by removing more expensive charge point operators from our roaming network, and to ensure we can continue to offer fixed rates to public charging networks, we have introduced a blocking fee on a limited number of charge point operators for charging sessions past 4pm.” The introduction of this rate was associated with a reduction in fixed freight costs. For example, at some “relatively high-charging” charging points, transshipment customers pay an additional fee, while the remaining customers pay a lower fee.
The company says it does not currently plan to introduce a block rate at its charging points, but it does not necessarily exclude other charging station providers in its reporting. “Shell’s decision to impose blocking fees may be a result of higher kilowatt charging rates, time-based fees, transaction fees or a combination of fees that apply to at least part of the charging point operator’s network.”
Overall, it appears that Shell's move will mainly have losers. A recharge customer who wanted to charge without worry and always pay the same amount should now pay attention in the app to avoid being charged extra charges. EVBox and Road also had to clarify that they did not suddenly implement block rates. And the fossil fuel driver who has had doubts for various reasons about switching to electricity? He was now given further reason for doubts.
“Total coffee specialist. Hardcore reader. Incurable music scholar. Web guru. Freelance troublemaker. Problem solver. Travel trailblazer.”