Smart Transport

NewMotion calls for unified electric vehicle charging networks

Shell-owned NewMotion is calling on the electric vehicle charging industry and vehicle manufacturers to work even closer together to create an open network with payment compatibility across all providers.

Sytse Zuidema, NewMotion chief executive, wants to see price transparency across all networks, as well as a future where drivers are only having to use one payment card, or network card that is compatible on any network.

Zuidema said: “The industry is currently at a crossroad of the mobility and energy transition as electric driving has become more popular and is upscaling into its next phase: mass adoption.

“To make e-mobility accessible for everyone, the industry needs to mature, and we’d need to see improved collaboration between all parties in the energy transition, but particularly car manufacturers and EV charging solution providers. This will be the only way to live up to the promising future of electric driving.”

His comments follow on from NewMotion’s EV Drivers Survey 2020 of 4,492 EV drivers in Europe.

The survey gathered opinions from EV drivers across the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands and showed that 45% are still worried about the lack of future available charging points.

A further 46% mention an increase in the availability of charge points as the one thing that will significantly improve their charging experience.

The use of a single charge card (41%) is also seen as an important improvement to the EV charging experience, since this will help to more easily access available charge points while on-the-go.

Despite some still being concerned over charging infrastructure, over three-quarters (77%) of respondents have a charge point at home, while 55% have a charge point at work.

From the respondents who do not have a charge point at home, 53% say they also do not have one available at work.

The survey shows that 61% of the people without a charge point at home use a standard socket to charge their EV at home, which can lead to safety issues such as overcapacity of the sockets and cables.

Charge cards and price transparency

EV drivers on average carry 2.5 charge cards and 15% even have five or more cards. EV drivers in France carry the most charge cards (3.48 cards on average), followed by Germany (3.37) and the United Kingdom (3.19). The situation is better in the Netherlands (1.82) most likely because most charge points are interoperable and because of the high volume of charge points, which is the highest in Europe.

The price of charging is an important topic amongst EV drivers with 43% saying they know what they will pay for a charging session before starting the session.

A further 37% say they will specifically look up the price of a session before they start charging.

Two out of five respondents say they’ve had at least one instance where the actual price of a charging session turned out to be different than a price shown beforehand at the charge point.

Zuidema said: “The survey shows that one single charge card, as well as price transparency, are important topics for drivers. Improving on these topics will help with making electric driving more attractive to a broader audience.

“We believe in the creation of an open and accessible public charging network to provide EV drivers with the ease of charging their vehicle anywhere. One roaming network, smart charging and full-service solutions will fulfil the desired ease of use for EV drivers.”

Charge convenience main priority for EV drivers

For those who own a charge point, ‘ease of use’ is the most important factor when choosing a charging solution, with more than half (52 percent) citing this as their main purchasing driver. A third (33 percent) mention the price of the charge point as important, while a quarter (26 percent) say that a recommendation from a third party such as a leasing company, a car dealer or employer, as most influential to their decision.

In the Netherlands, a charge point at work is quite common: 72 percent of the respondents say they have a charge point at work. The chance you’ll find a charge point at an office in the UK or Germany is significantly lower: only 29 percent of British respondents and 41 percent of the German respondents have this.

Saving money is the most mentioned reason for switching to an electric vehicle with 61% of EV drivers say they drive an EV to save money, closely followed by the driving experience (58%).

A quarter of the EV drivers mention secondary benefits as an important driver to switch to an electric vehicle. The contribution to a better environment (10%) is not frequently mentioned as a main reason for switching to an EV, although EV drivers generally see themselves as ‘environmentally conscious’ (81%).

Current EV drivers are very enthusiastic about driving electric EV. Most people (86%) believe their next car will be an electric vehicle, while only 2% would switch back to a conventional fossil fuel powered car. Additionally, 9 out of 10 people would recommend an electric vehicle to others, only 3% indicate they would not recommend owning an EV to others.

EV drivers even believe driving electric will rapidly be the norm with 60% expecting ‘full electric’ will be the most dominant fuel type for cars in 2030.

Of those surveyed 14% expect ‘hydrogen’ to be the most dominant full type in the future, while 13% have high hopes for hybrid. Only 12% expect fossil fuel to remain the most dominant fuel type.

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