Consumer watchdog finds huge variations in electric car charges

A charging station in Amsterdam. Photo:

Electricity rates at public car charging stations vary widely and should be displayed on site, consumer organisation Consumentenbond has said.

Electric car owners can pay as little as 20 cents per kilowatt hour at one charging station and 70 cents at the next, depending on the municipality, operators and what payment system they use.

There are currently some 51,000 public charging stations and 70 types of loading passes, all offering different rates.

A survey by consumer organisation electric drivers association VER among 2,000 electric car drivers found that just one-third knows how much they will be spending at any given charging station, spokesman Maarten van Biezen told the programme.

The organisation for charging station and pass operators DOET commented that there are plenty of apps and websites which can help consumers compare rates.

But navigating all the options online is a “nightmare” for consumers, a spokesman for consumers’ organisation Consumentenbond told Nieuwsuur. “There are dozens of cards and not only do they have different rates but conditions vary as well,” he said.

The Consumentenbond is calling for a legal obligation to display rates at the charging stations while VER wants a “reliable app”. “Electric car owners are unwittingly paying too much to charge their cars. It can make a big difference financially it you can find out where the cheapest charging station is,” Van Biezen said.

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