End of Per-Minute Pricing on Ionity: A Positive Change (But Not for Everyone)

Effective July 1, 2022, Ionity will change its rates to charge customers per kilowatt hour in France. It is the end of a very French specificity, which favored certain electric vehicles to the detriment of others.

It is on the occasion of the inauguration of the 100and IONITY charging station that the announcement was made. On July 1, 2022, the charging network will change from a per-minute rate to a per-kilowatt-hour rate.

In order to bill customers per kilowatt-hour consumed, charging station operators must comply with a specific standard involving a certified meter. It was a French specificity that led IONITY to opt for a per-minute rate, a simpler solution to configure, but which has always been the subject of debate.

With this change, some electric vehicle owners are likely to be disappointed, while others will be pleased with the news.

The new IONITY rates in France from 1 July 2022

For users who do not have a specific IONITY subscription, the new prices will be as follows:

  • €0.69/kWh on 350 kW terminals
  • €0.39/kWh on 50 kW tri-standard terminals

Until July, the price of 350 kW terminals remains €0.79/min, excluding the service subscription formula.

Car manufacturers, members of the IONITY consortium, offer preferential rates to their customers through subscription formulas, often offered in the first year. This is particularly the case for vehicles from the Volkswagen group, the BMW group, the Hyundai group, but also Mercedes or Ford. Preferred rates will also evolve to account for the change in billing between the per-minute rate and the kilowatt-hour rate, even if prices remain substantially the same.

Business winners and losers

On the Ionity charging network in France, the faster you could charge, the more the charge would be financially attractive. In this niche, vehicles like the Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Tesla Model 3 and Y, Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT had a widely publicized competitive advantage. In addition to reducing the time of imposed recharging breaks, they offered a cheaper full of electrons for the same amount of current than other vehicles with a more limited charge.

IONIQ 5: 10 to 80% in 18 min on IONITY // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

The happiness of some being the misfortune of others, this price change gives a little more equity to all electric vehicles that want to charge on the road. Whether charging faster or slower, all vehicles will have a tariff equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed. It must be said that it would not come to the idea of ​​imagining a different refueling depending on the time it takes to do so, so why would this reasoning be normal for an electric car?

The temptation to recharge to 100%

There was, however, an advantage to this per-minute price, and that is that many electric vehicle owners did not drag charging stations. As charging times increased to fill the battery between 80 and 100 percent, fewer vehicles were tempted to refuel as it was much more expensive.

With the kilowatt-hour price tag, some drivers may once again be tempted to fill the battery up to 100% during charging intervals, extending their occupancy time at a charging station. A tension can build up quickly during busy periods on highways, because if the number of Ionity stations has increased, the number of terminals per station remains limited and can quickly build up queues at certain times.

An update on the IONITY network

On May 19, 2022, Ionity opened its 100th charging station in the Paris region. In fact, the network already has 102 stations, for 430 fast charging points, already open in French territory. The network is rapidly expanding in France and Europe, where IONITY already has 416 stations.

IONITY charging network as of May 2022 // Source: Ionity website capture

Ionity announced this with its Charging Oasis concept, but the network is also increasingly developing off-road. The last station opened on May 19 is in the parking lot of a Novotel hotel. Tesla owners will likely get a sense of déjà vu, as this is the type of location the American brand has favored for years for its superchargers.

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