Friday, June 21, 2024

Disclosure: Paying up to 70 percent too much for charging

The report from the Competition Council reveals that half of consumers pay up to 70 percent too much for charging their electric cars due to a complicated market with opaque price structures.

De Danske Bilimportorer shares the concern and supports the Competition Council's seven recommendations to improve competition in the charging market. Among these recommendations is a ban on "bundling" charging services, a practice where home and outdoor charging are combined into one subscription.

"Prohibitions against specific market solutions should generally be very careful, but the Competition Council sees the ban as necessary to create competition on the market. That is why we also support a temporary ban so that consumers can get the best and cheapest products," explains Allan Skytte Christensen, Chief consultant at De Danske Bilimportorer.

Bundling is a practice that does not exist in other countries, and it must be seen in the light of the Danish tax refund scheme, where charging operators are involved in order for consumers to be refunded the electricity tax.

With a ban on bundling, it will still be possible to offer free-to-use subscriptions for either home or outdoor charging, but it will be prohibited to sell subscriptions that combine both.

Allan Skytte Christensen emphasizes that the ban is only necessary until the market develops and offers for free-to-use subscriptions are controlled by consumer demand.

"Right now, the Competition Council believes that bundling home and outdoor charging amplifies the problems in the market and keeps consumers in closed charging networks, which harms competition," he says.

De Danske Bilimportorer believes that the Competition Council's seven recommendations are a step in the right direction to make the market for charging electric cars more transparent and competitive. By banning bundling, consumers can choose the most attractive and affordable solutions, which will contribute to more effective competition and ultimately lower prices for charging electric cars.

Recommendations on the home charging market
In the market for home charging, the Competition Council has three concrete recommendations regarding taxes, increased price transparency and reduced switching costs:

  • Recommendation 1: The current reimbursement scheme for charging at home must be abolished.
    The reimbursement scheme, and especially the connection with an operating responsibility on the charging box, has unintended consequences for competition and should therefore be abolished. In this connection, it can be considered whether the reimbursement scheme should be replaced with other (more effective) incentive mechanisms.
  • Recommendation 2: Opportunities to compare prices on home charging agreements must be improved.
    In order to be able to compare the prices, a standard must be developed on which the providers can calculate and present a total monthly cost that different types of electric car owners can expect to pay for the offered charging discharge.
  • Recommendation 3: Consumers must have better options to be able to keep their charging box when they change providers of service agreements and other services associated with the charging box.
    Consumers should have better options to keep their charging box when they change providers of service agreements or take over a rented charging box at a reasonable price if they want to withdraw from such a subscription agreement.

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