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Car manufacturers split on domestic charge point fees

Date: 14 August 2014   |   Author:

Car manufacturers are divided on whether they will absorb the cost for fleet drivers to install domestic plug-in car charge points after British Gas withdrew its free offer.

British Gas is now offering a 3kW domestic charging point for an installation charge of £115, after the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) reduced its maximum grant support from £1000 to £900. British Gas originally provided the 3kW charging kits for free on the condition users would provide anonymous data about charging habits back to the supplier. The company is also adding £115 to the price of its higher-powered 7kW kit, taking it to £214 from £99.

British Gas has partnerships with Renault, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi Vauxhall, VW and Volvo to provide domestic charging kits for the brands' customers. Renault and Nissan have both offered to absorb the cost for customers, with Renault also absorbing the cost of a 7kW charge point. Nissan will absorb the cost of a 3kW charge point but will charge a £99 installation fee for a 7kW version. Mitsubishi, Volvo and Vauxhall are currently asking customers to pay the £115 plus VAT installation charge. Toyota and VW were discussing whether they would absorb the cost but a decision had not been made as BusinessCar went to press.

Plug-in car charging specialists and British Gas rival Chargemaster said will continue to offer free 3kW domestic chargers in England, Scotland and Wales until 31 March 2015, while a 7kW unit is available for £95.

Meanwhile, OLEV is introducing a policy from 31 August that will require those looking to install charge points at home to prove they own a plug-in car. BusinessCar asked the OLEV how this would be administered, but was told it had not yet been determined.

The organisation originally introduced the domestic charging grant in 2013. The revised home charging grant of £9 million is due to run until 31 March 2015 or until the funds are exhausted.