Elec­tric car driver? You could soon be charged more

FREE AT POINT OF USE RE­FU­ELLING NET­WORK ‘FI­NAN­CIALLY UN­SUS­TAIN­ABLE’

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By NIALL GRIF­FITHS

DRIV­ERS in Greater Manch­ester could have to start pay­ing each time they charge their elec­tric ve­hi­cles from next year.

Cus­tomers can cur­rently pay £20 per year, or down­load a free mo­bile app, to use the Greater Manch­ester Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle (GMEV) charg­ing net­work, which was in­tro­duced in 2013.

But it has been sug­gested that it would be ‘fi­nan­cially un­sus­tain­able’ for it to re­main free at the point of use as elec­tric ve­hi­cle own­er­ship con­tin­ues to grow.

An ex­tra bill re­quir­ing users to pay for elec­tri­cal charge per kilo­watt hour (kWh) is now be­ing con­sid­ered by re­gional lead­ers, with the aim of rolling it out early next year.

There are two charg­ers with vary­ing speeds on the GMEV net­work. Fast charg­ers de­liver be­tween 7kW and 22kW, while rapid charg­ers are quicker and de­liver be­tween 43kW and 50kW.

Un­der the pro­pos­als, it would cost £10 – 25p per kWh – to charge a Nis­san Leaf elec­tric car us­ing a fast charger and £14 – 35p per kWh – with a rapid charger.

De­spite the ad­di­tional cost it would still be cheaper than spend­ing just un­der £21 to fuel a Ford Fo­cus petrol car to travel the same dis­tance.

A re­port by Ea­monn Boy­lan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Greater Manch­ester Com­bined Au­thor­ity, re­veals the GMEV cost the city re­gion £200,000 to run and main­tain in 2018/19.

“It is not fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able to con­tinue to op­er­ate the GMEV net­work with­out in­tro­duc­ing a charge within the con­text of a grow­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cle mar­ket,” it says.

“The pro­posal to in­tro­duce a tar­iff on the ex­pand­ing GMEV charg­ing net­work will se­cure a long-term rev­enue stream to as­sist in fund­ing the costs as­so­ci­ated with the pub­licly owned elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture in Greater Manch­ester.”

Re­search con­ducted by Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester shows the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, and lower run­ning costs, are the main draws of own­ing an elec­tric ve­hi­cle.

The price and lim­ited range of elec­tric ve­hi­cles, com­bined with a lack of charge points, are seen as de­trac­tors.

But Mr Boy­lann says the con­cept of elec­tri­cal ve­hi­cles is still rel­a­tively new, and be­lieves there is a ‘sig­nif­i­cant de­gree of un­cer­tainty’ around future sup­ply and de­mand.

He added: “As a re­sult, it is dif­fi­cult to ac­cu­rately pre­dict how the ex­ist­ing GMEV de­mand will re­act to the in­tro­duc­tion of a tar­iff. TfGM will need to mon­i­tor the de­mand on the GMEV net­work and pe­ri­od­i­cally re­view the de­tails of this tar­iff in re­sponse to chang­ing mar­ket con­di­tions.”

If ap­proved, the tar­iff will in­crease by 1p a year up to 2026 which, com­bined with the rev­enue from the an­nual charge, will cover around 70pc of the net­work’s run­ning costs. The re­port will be dis­cussed by a com­bined au­thor­ity scru­tiny com­mit­tee on Novem­ber 29.

Elec­tric car charg­ing points in Greater Manch­ester could cost driv­ers more from next year

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