European laws and regulations require any party that wants to sell something to indicate to the consumer in advance what the price is. This applies to the butcher on the corner, but also to the EV market, which for years focused mainly on technological innovation. To take our service to a higher level and to comply with regulations, as of December 1st all Last Mile Solutions apps show all price information before, after and during the charging session.
From charging for free to full price transparency
The EV market in The Netherlands started up in 2008 as an innovative project, in which existing cars were converted to electric and the first charging stations were assembled.
In those early days, charging was still free to stimulate electric driving, but as the number of electric vehicles and charging points increased and a price per kWh was introduced, there was pressure from legislation and regulations on the sector to clarify the costs of loading.
This meant that more information had to be shared than just the final price. To make this possible, systems and protocols had to be adapted. In 2012, a start was made on collecting all information about the locations of charging stations and the charging rates, but the quality of that database still left much to be desired.
The interests of stakeholders
In 2017 the ACM indicated that it would tolerate the situation for a while longer, but that clarity was needed. All parties in the chain – from operators of charging stations (CPO’s) to issuers of charging cards (e-MSP’s) – have their own interests. Price transparency would provide insight into where the money is earned, and so a political game arose.
In the following sector meeting a number of solutions were proposed, such as referring to a website on the charging station with an overview of the prices. But the price of a charging session consists of two components: the price you pay at the charging station (CPO), plus the price for using the charging card (e-MSP). Together they determine the final price. As CPO it is therefore difficult to say anything about the final price, because he does not know what the e-MSP charges. This stood in the way of real transparency.