Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has proposed a draft of retail electricity pricing with 3 different approaches for calculating electricity tariffs for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Among these approaches, the method that aligns the commercial electricity pricing scheme is the most likely to receive approval from the Ministry of Justice.
Vietnam has long implemented "Decision No. 28/2014/QD-TTg on regulating the structure of electricity retail tariff". In November 2023, the MOIT proposed a new retail electricity price scheme to the Ministry of Justice. About electricity retail tariff for EV charging station operators, three potential pricing methods have been deliberated:
Option 1: Exclusive pricing mechanism. Unlike industrial or commercial electricity rates, this approach will devise a distinct pricing method tailored to electricity retail tariff for EV charging station operators. The option is for electricity generators to accurately reflect their generation costs.
Option 2: Calculated based on commercial electricity rates. Since commercial electricity rates is higher than the average electricity price, this approach may increase the electricity purchase cost of charging station operators and may pass it on to EV consumers, potentially impacting consumers' willingness to adopt electric vehicles. Nevertheless, this option has garnered support from Vietnam Electricity (EVN), Hanoi Electricity Company, and the Vietnam Consumer Protection Association.
Option 3: Calculated based on industrial electricity rate. As industrial electricity rates are lower than the average electricity price, this approach could decrease the cost of electricity for charging station operators, thereby stimulating the development of the EV market. Both the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport and Vietnam EV maker Vinfast support this proposal. However, this pricing method may not accurately reflect generation costs. To cover this loss, the electricity generators may raise the electricity bills of other electricity consumers, which may conflict with the expectations of the Vietnamese government.
Vietnam's retail electricity pricing is based on usage periods. For instance, for commercial electricity rates in the low-voltage electricity category, during peak periods, prices may surge by 179% higher than off-peak hours and 71% higher than regular hours. Experts and industry representatives widely support commercial electricity rates, to avoid increasing the electricity fees for other consumers. Currently, electricity rates for charging stations are based on the category of the operating location. The new pricing scheme aims to standardize the calculation method.
The Vietnamese Transportation Newspaper citing energy experts, making a comparison between EVs and gasoline cars. If a 2.0L gasoline car consumes around 10 liters of fuel per 100 km, the fees would be approximately 240,000 VND (about 10 USD). In contrast, an EV traveling the same distance consumes 20 kWh of electricity. If an EV owner installs a charging station at home (approximately 3,200 VND/kWh), the electricity fees would be about 64,000 VND (around 2.66 USD). Therefore, the cost of driving a gasoline car is roughly 2.7 times higher than that of an EV.
In the sharing charging stations section, Vinfast charges 3,255 VND/kWh (about 0.14 USD), similar to the cost for an electric car owner with a home-installed charging station. However, Vinfast charging stations are restricted to their brand EVs only.
Other compamies like EV One company, consumers should pay 7,900 VND/kWh (about 0.33 USD) for AC standard charging and 9,900 VND/kWh (about 0.41 USD) for DC fast charging. Overall, electricity charging costs remain lower than gasoline fuel costs.
The table above reveals that even when using fast charging services, the fees for EVs remain lower than gasoline vehicles, furthermore with standard charging services, the fee is only 66% of that of gasoline vehicles. Vietnam is still working on expanding charging stations to boost the utilization of electric buses and private EVs. The industry hopes that new electricity pricing schemes will expedite market development.