K Charge fast charging subject to a fee from May onwards – new K Charge app for electric car drivers

The charging of electric cars at K Group’s fast charging points will become subject to a fee from 2 May onwards, with the customers also accumulating K-Plussa loyalty points in the process. K Group has also introduced a new K Charge mobile app to make the electric car charging process go smoother. Drivers of electric cars have welcomed K Group’s own network of charging stations: more than one million kilometres have already been driven on Finnish roads this year powered by renewable electricity from the K Charge network.

From 2 May 2019 onwards, registered users of the K Charge fast charging points will pay €0.20/minute for the charging, while also accumulating K-Plussa customer loyalty points. The use of basic charging points will continue to be free for registered users.

K Group has also introduced a new easy-to-use K Charge mobile app that allows users to conveniently start and finish the charging process, pay for the use of fast charging points, check for K Charge locations, and find out if charging points are available. K Group will develop the app together with the users, with e.g. a charging history feature to be added later. The app is available at Apple App Store and Google Play Store in Finnish, English and Swedish.

“Electric cars are quickly becoming more mainstream and a serious consideration for an increasing number of drivers. Since the beginning, we have intended to make electric car charging not only a successful service but also a business, and introducing fees for fast charging is a natural step. K Group believes in electric cars and we are investing on many fronts in making it more popular in Finland,” says Heikki Ahdekivi, K Group’s Vice President in charge of new business development and the charging network.

The payments can be made with the K Charge app or with an RFID tag that can be ordered free-of-charge. Unregistered users can pay via the app or the K-Lataus.fi website. Unregistered users will pay €0.20/minute + €1 start fee for fast charging, and a €1 start fee for the use of basic charging points.

K Group’s charging points a hit with customers

K Group is building a nationwide network of electric car charging stations at its K-store locations. Having charging points in places people visit regularly makes life easier for electric car owners and lowers the threshold for others to buy an electric car, as the cars can be charged during a visit to the store.

Most new charging stations will have four basic charging points and two fast charging points. Thus K Group will significantly increase possibilities for electric car charging locally.

“K Group has the most extensive network of stores in Finland. This means we are uniquely positioned to also serve people with electric cars. Customers have welcomed our concept, with hundreds of cars charged every day at our charging stations. On average, people use our charging stations for 30-60 minutes at a time. More than one million kilometres have been driven on Finnish roads this year powered by renewable electricity obtained from K Group’s charging points,” says Ahdekivi. 

Electric cars can already be charged at more than 50 K-store locations across Finland, with new stations to be opened during the spring in the greater Helsinki region, Kirkkonummi, Joensuu and Rovaniemi. By the end of this year, the K Charge network will comprise nearly 400 charging points at over 70 K-store locations.

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