Drivers of electric cars from Volvo and Polestar may rejoice. The companies’ partnerships with Plugsurfing is reaping fresh tariffs with a significant price reduction for ultra-rapid charging at Ionity stations.
Plugsurfing’s partnerships with Polestar and Volvo Cars both agreed in June 2020 to bring new benefits for owners of electric models from both brands: Starting 1 July, they will be able to charge at all Ionity public fast-charging stations at a greatly reduced rate of 35 cents per kWh.
The reduced Ionity rate applies to all current Polestar 2 owners who use their Plugsurfing charging card supplied with the e-car and all new customers who order their Polestar 2 by 31 December 2021. Every Polestar EV is delivered in Europe with an RFID tag from Plugsurfing as standard.
Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, likened the Plugsurfing partnership with a similar one the brand scored with ChargePoint in North America.
At Volvo Cars, preferential pricing for customers of all-electric vehicles using the Plugsurfing card or app will apply to new customers for the first twelve months of vehicle ownership and to existing customers for twelve months beginning 1 July 2021. At Volvo, the Plugsurfing membership is included automatically when buying an all-electric Recharge model.
Volvo updated the ‘Volvo on Call’ app into the ‘Volvo Cars App’ and added a charging platform to incorporate the new offer. The app allows customers to pre-condition or monitor their electric cars and can now also search for and navigate to charging points and control and bill the charging process. “Volvo Cars aims to change the current fragmented public charging landscape into an all-in experience that is convenient and hassle-free,” said Olivier Loedel, head of electrification ecosystem at Volvo Cars. Alternatively, the preferred rate is available via the Plugsurfing charging card or app.
Apart from Volvo and Polestar, Plugsurfing also entertains cooperations with Nissan, Kia and Jaguar in Europe to name but a few. Founded in 2012 in Berlin, Plugsurfing was acquired by the Finnish charging infrastructure operator Fortum in March 2018.
Ionity, a joint venture by major German and other carmakers, had changed its pricing model from a base fee for any ultra-rapid charge to a kilowatt-hour model prized at a juicy 79 ct/kWh. Much to the dismay of mobility providers who since had to adapt the pricing as reported or else exclude Ionity from the packages.
Accordingly, Volvo’s Loedel was excited to “offer our customers one of the most competitive prices for charging at Ionity, one of Europe’s largest public fast-charging networks.”
Ionity currently operates 340 high power charging stations across 24 European countries. Initially, the plan included 400 charging sites by the end of 2020.
At the same time, rumour continuously has it that the company was seeking external investment to accelerate growth and make up for losses. Ionity said in March it was in “constant dialogue” with its joint venture partners and was examining further investment opportunities. “In principle, additional shareholders are welcome for the joint venture.”
Ionity is backed by the carmakers Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen (via Audi and Porsche), and Hyundai-Kia. To date, the five shareholders each hold 20 per cent of the joint venture.