Plans to introduce new, more competitive electricity rates for electric car users were announced on Wednesday, with Energy Minister Miriam Dalli touting them as some of the cheapest across Europe.
The rates form part of a first draft of a national policy on the charging of electric vehicles, which is open to public consultation until September.
The proposed rates will apply to residential and non-residential charging points for electric vehicles (EVs).
Charging your EV at home
To charge an EV at home, you will need to install an additional, specialised meter. Users can opt for a single-phase meter or a three-phase one if they want faster charging.
A single-phase meter will cost €50 in installation costs plus €4 every month as a service charge.
A three-phase meter will cost €80 to install plus €6 every month in service charges. Those prices are inclusive of VAT.
Off-peak tariffs will start at 0.1298c per unit of electricity and will apply for a maximum of 84 hours of charging per week.
Home users will be charged that rate if they charge their EV:
- From 12pm to 4pm
- From 12am to 6am
- All day on Sunday
When charging during peak hours, residential users will pay their standard residential electricity tariff.
Asked by Times of Malta about accessibility issues faced by people living in apartments, an Energy Ministry spokesperson said such people could install a submeter in their garage, if they had one.
Those without a garage would have to use charging pillars available, and that was why operators would be incentivised to to set up EV charging spots in car parks, supermarkets and various other public spots.
Charging your EV at public charging spots
The government had previously committed to setting up 130 pillars featuring various charging points by the middle of this year. An Energy Ministry spokesperson told Times of Malta on Wednesday that these would be completed by the end of the year.
According to the government's plans, operators of public charging points will be charged off-peak prices - 0.1298c per unit - during the same off-peak times applicable to residential users.
During peak hours, service providers will be charged 0.1485 cents per unit.
Those are the prices that service providers will be charged. Operators – who will pay a €75 licence fee per charging point every three years and have 10-year licences – will be free to then set their own prices to charge consumers.
Dalli said operators would be obliged to be transparent with their pricing.
All public EV charging points will be interoperable, meaning EV users will be able to switch between one provider and another without requiring any additional equipment or adapters, and allow for ad hoc charging.
Dalli said the government wants to ensure that payment systems and socket outlets are all standardized across operators.
Rates 'among Europe's cheapest'
She said Malta was ahead of EU member states in drafting policy to regulate the industry before opening up the market.
"The market for these vehicles is just opening up we are taking the opportunity of regulating it and implementing policy which we will continue to build on and adapt, rather than doing this the other way round," Dalli explained.
A total of 4,000 electric vehicles had been registered by August 2021.
PN: Nothing new
In a reaction, the Nationalist Party said that Dalli had not given any tangible information about how the number of public EV charging stations would be increased, or how to tackle problems with charging stations being damaged.