Charging Profiteers and Fast Charge Battery Damage Threaten EV Take-Up

BEV owners could fall foul of unscrupulous profiteering when using public charging points for their vehicles.

That’s the concern of UK members of Parliament who have called for safeguards for consumers in terms of how much they can be charged for their vehicles’ charging costs. The Parliamentary Transport Select Committee has also said that while charging a BEV at home is much cheaper than using public charge points, this could put pressure on people who are less able to afford it, reports the BBC.

The committee also called for the government to make charging infrastructure accessible and reliable, both in rural and urban environments. There’s the added urgency to do this in view of the UK government’s deadline to ban the sale of all new ICE powered vehicles by 2030 and hybrids by 2035.

Consumers need to be protected from profiteering, the Transport Committee said. Property developers should also be required to provide public charging points and councils should make sure charging infrastructure is built, MPs added. “Charging electric vehicles should be convenient, straightforward and inexpensive and drivers must not be disadvantaged by where they live or how they charge their vehicles,” said committee chair Huw Merriman.

Meanwhile, BEV owners are being advised to avoid using public fast chargers because they risk reducing the overall life-span of their vehicles’ lithium-ion battery packs. A white paper by energy analyst IDTechEx advises consumers to charge less frequently targeting only the regular range they require.

The reports, Routes to 1000 Mile Battery Electric Cars 2021-2041, it suggests a consumers need only charge one-third of the number of times than many currently so, focusing on charging at home, at a hotel or supermarket but never in the street.

Raghu Das CEO of IDTechEx said long-distance BEV travel will be possible when the industry sorts out its priorities. He explained: “Initially, it is primarily a matter of fitting larger batteries in simplified formats with better battery management software as they become affordable. However, taken together, further lightweighting, simplification, new components and all-over solar body will increase range almost as sharply. No matter that the major impact of solid-state batteries will be after 2030 in our assessment. Huge gains are coming before that.”

He said that even today many BEVs have ranges of 320 miles with larger premium models boasting up to 500 miles. In view of that, the average owner need only charge about once a month. Das said: “We predict a wide choice of cars with 760 miles in 2031. This is a big deal because most people live in apartments in cities with no hope of their own charger. They can never again suffer the misery of street charging. With long-range, your car charges at destination delaying you not at all. Bear in mind that a car with barely adequate range can degrade to an embarrassing half the range with combinations of being hot, cold, old, full, driven hard, or towing and its resale value is poor.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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