Get them hooked and then slug them later when they are far too invested in the product to back away. Clearly IONITY, a European EV charging network, were thinking this when they hiked their EV charging prices by more than 500%.

I am sure that the fact that this happened on Brexit day was entirely coincidental.

The IONITY charging network is owned by BMW, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and VW Group (with Audi and Porsche) and they announced that prices were going up over 500% starting January 31 when they change to a pay-per-kWh system.

Excuse me, slight pause here, while I wipe away the tears that are blurring the screen.

Before January 31, IONITY charged a flat, fixed rate of €8 for a DC Fast Charge (DCFC) charging session. Obviously this was a win for EV motorists who arrived at the charge point with a nearly flat battery. Rock up with, say, 10% battery remaining, and add 60 kWh during your charging session, for a total of about €0.13 per kWh.

Comparative European power costs are:

France – about €0.19 per kWh at home, and €0.24 per kWh at Tesla Superchargers.
Germany – about €0.30 per kWh at home, and €0.33 at Tesla Superchargers.

But now, IONITY is charging users a whopping €0.79 per kWh. (see PDF press release). The Audi e-Tron battery is 95 kWh, so if you “filled it up” with 80 kWh, that’s €63.20 to travel probably about 250 km.

Let’s say you are typically getting 6l/100km on petrol. 250km would use 15l. Current European prices are around €1.50/l so the evil fossil fuel cost for the same 250km trip would be €22.50 leaving the cost of virtue a tad over €40 for the 250km trip.

But wait, there’s more:

IONITY are rolling out a new generation of their charging stations. The award-winning design incorporates a stunning multi-functional LED-light-ring (HALO), which “acts as a reassuring beacon on the highways at night and makes it easier for drivers to find charging stations on forecourts.

Be still my beating heart! Multi-functional LED lights! What will they think of next? That’s going straight to the pool room!

Not only, but also …

This new generation charger has a “new advanced HMI screen flow (Human Machine Interface) with optimized menu navigation” which provides customers with “an intuitive service, providing stress-free methods of payment.”

Well, at €40 virtue cost per 250km who needs more stress in their lives?

No steak knives, but …

The charger offers a standardised HMI in several European languages as well as a 24/7 hotline, assisting customers on-site in seven languages. (Does it handle abuse in seven languages when the virtue signallers realise the cost of smug?)