Volkswagen’s Elli adjusts charging tariffs Europe-wide
Volkswagen’s energy subsidiary, Elli, is set to change tariffs with higher prices coming in from June. This adjustment will affect not only Elli customers but also the charging fees of VW brands. We have learned that prices across the board are rising, including the previously affordable Ionity rates.
The unexpected price hike for Elli customers, as well as those of Seat/Cupra, Skoda, Audi, Volkswagen, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, comes as a surprise, considering Elli changed its tariffs in December last year. In contrast, other providers, including Tesla at Superchargers, have lately seen a downward trend in pricing. This shift aligns with the decrease in electricity prices from the record highs of the previous year. Elli justifies the new fees by stating, “With the measures taken, Elli is contributing to cushioning necessary price adjustments, which are a consequence of increased costs incurred by station operators, who pass on the infrastructure and electricity prices to Elli.”
Volkswagen says that new prices may vary by country and brand, and the specific tariffs will be provided within the respective apps. In all countries, tariffs will run per kilowatt-hours consumed, meaning time-based tariffs will no longer be available from June.
Elli has also reduced the minimum contract duration in all 28 markets from twelve to just one month. This change allows customers the flexibility to choose the most suitable tariff for their needs, particularly for longer trips during the summer holidays. Previously, customers could only switch to higher-tier tariffs within twelve months. Now, for example, after one month of using ‘Elli Premium’ (formerly Elli Highway) for a vacation, customers can switch back to a more affordable tariff.
Elli also changed the blockage fees, that is, the time they occur. Between 9 am and 9 pm, drivers may charge AC charging for four hours before a blockage fee incurs; the previous limit was 180 minutes. Between 9 pm and am, these fees will be waived.
While country-specific tariffs and kWh prices will be visible in the respective apps, electrive.net has obtained the new tariffs for Germany. The familiar three-tier structure remains intact, and this remains true for other countries as well. The three Elli tariffs commonly reflect the requirements of drivers who must charge their vehicles rarely, frequently or quickly. All but the ‘Drive Free’ tariff incur a monthly fee plus usage. Elli also used to set an operator-independent fixed price per kilowatt hour – except for Ionity. This is now changing with the introduction of “Selected Partner Networks”, and so are the names.
In Germany, ‘Elli Drive Free’ is now ‘Elli Free,’ the mid-tier tariff ‘Elli Drive City’ is now called ‘Elli Base,’ and ‘Elli Drive Highway’ is rebranded as ‘Elli Premium’.
In Germany, the monthly fee for the mid-tier tariff will decrease to €4.99, compared to the previous €7.99. The Free tariff remains without monthly payments, while prices for the premium tariff also appear to stay the same.
Furthermore, the ongoing costs per kilowatt-hour will increase by eight to 15 cents – again, this is in the German market. For example, AC charging in ‘Elli Free’ will now cost €0.69 per kWh instead of €0.60. While DC charging was already more expensive in the free tariff compared to Ionity (€0.81 per kWh vs €0.79 per kWh), it will further increase to €0.89 per kWh. In the mid-tier Elli Base tariff, charging at any DC station will cost €0.79 per kWh, the same as Ionity. Even in the expensive Premium tariff, DC charging is not significantly cheaper at €0.73 per kWh, compared to €0.58 per kWh previously, which means an increase of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Moreover, there is another notable change coming in across markets: the previous top-tier tariff, ‘Elli Drive Highway’, offered very favourable conditions for Ionity charging at €0.35 per kWh, with only a few manufacturer-bound tariffs being slightly cheaper. Despite the base fee, this tariff was financially viable for frequent drivers heavily reliant on Ionity charging. However, this calculation must be reconsidered, as the new ‘Elli Premium’ tariff will feature the ‘Selected Partner Network’ mentioned above. This SPN will be rolled out for Elli, Seat, Skoda, Audi, and Volkswagen and will “extend the previously exclusive price advantage of Ionity users to other partners,” according to Volkswagen.
With the changes coming in June, Elli will have three distinct contract models internally. New customers who sign on or after 1 June will be charged according to the new conditions. Customers who signed contracts between 20 December 2022 and 31 May 2023 will be charged the lower rates introduced in December. Existing customers who joined Elli before 19 December 2022 can continue using the old conditions until the end of their contract period.
Elli claims to operate over 400,000 charge points in partnership with over 800 providers in 27 countries. The network has doubled in size since its inception in 2019.
Info via email, with additional reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.