Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Intelligent Data-driven Optimisation of Charging Infrastructure

The jungle of charge tariffs in the Netherlands

Posted at: 22 Feb 2016 | IDO-Laad

In December 2015 nearly 1 out of 4 sold cars was electric in the Netherlands, adding to a total of over 90.000 PHEV’s and EV’s. Many of these cars make use of the public charge infrastructure were the costs of charging are very diverse. With many different charge point operators and service providers for charge cards it is almost impossible to determine the real costs of charging. This blog serves as a guide in the jungle of charge tariffs.

An overview of charge tariffs, click to download the complete PDF

A short introduction into the costs of charging in the Netherlands. Charging at (semi-)public stations is nearly always paid for. EV drivers use a charge card to activate a charge station after which the user can plug-in their car. The charge cord cannot be disconnected until the card is swiped once more ending the charge session. The EV user receives a monthly bill with all the charge sessions. Due to interoperability users can use their cards at all charge stations.

A short historical overview:

  • Until the end of 2012: Charging is for free using a charge card from the E-Laad foundation
  • 1 January 2013: Start of paid charging. Costs vary between €0,28 and €0,30 per kWh. The E-Laad foundation stops issuing charge cards and commercial parties enter the market.
  • June 2014 – Present day: The market for charge stations is no longer government controlled and more Charge Point Operators and Service Providers enter the market.

To understand the differences in charge tariffs it is important to make a distinction between commercial parties that install and maintain the charge stations (Charge Point Operator, CPO) and those that offer charge cards which can be used at all public charge stations (Service Providers). Since June 2014 CPOs are free to determine the pricing and price of charging. These costs are billed to the service providers. Service providers charge the EV user with these costs and are free to add costs for their services (e.g. subscription fees).

The price and pricing mechanism differ between CPO’s. CPO’s are also not restricted to a single tariff but can vary this often depending on the location or the charge speeds. The pricing mechanisms between CPO’s differ a lot: At CPO1 you are only billed for the amount of kWh charged, at CPO2 you are charged depending on the time connected (not necessarily charging) and at CPO3 you are billed not only the kWh but also a per-use fee. On average the per-use fee equals €0,42 and the usage fee is €0,32 per kWh.

Next to the costs of the CPO an EV users also pays for using the charge. There are also large differences between the fees charged. Purchase costs (€0-€10), monthly subscription costs (€0-5), pay per-use (€0-€0,61) and a increment per kWh (€0-€0,03) or using a fixed tariff across all different CPOs belong to the options. This means that charging at a similar station can be cheaper or more costly depending on the service provider used. A good selection of service provider and charge station can save you several euro’s per charge session.

An example to illustrate these differences. You drive a Nissan Leaf with a 24 kWh battery package. On average you use 60% of the battery before recharging. Depending on the service provider used at the same charge station you can save up to 2 euros per session. At a different charge stations using the same charge cards the roles are reversed, the other service provider can save you €1,50. The difference between the charge stations using the same charge card is more than €3!

Driving 15.000 km annually (consumption 1 kWh : 5 km) and an average session of 14 kWh (as stated in the example) requires 214 charge sessions. In a hypothetical situation charging only at the same charge station could cost €825 annually using service provider X and €1269 using provider Y. A difference of €439 annually only by switching from service provider. This is not the most extreme case, costs can differ even more when selecting the right charge station.

Do you want to know what you pay at the charge station in your neighbourhood? Download the PDF file with an overview of the most used charge stations and service providers. Are you aware of the differences in tariffs when charging? Please send us an email or contact us at twitter (@idolaad).

*Disclaimer: The overview shows the most used charge stations and service providers. The overview is composed with great care and figures are verified by contacting the service providers. Data are retrieved in November 2015 but are subject to changes over time. If the data is incorrect please contact use. For a the research methodology used please see the following document (Dutch!)