As Electrify America opens its first ultra-fast highway charging location today in Chicopee, Massachusetts, it has announced initial pricing and added an interactive location map to its website.
The new map shows 11 additional locations coming soon in the southern and eastern parts of the U.S. and one location in eastern Oregon on the west coast. Although not shown on the website, a spokesperson said the Brugh’s Mill Store location in Virginia is also open beginning today.
According to an operator answering Electrify America’s support number, the initial Massachusetts location will charge 30 cents per minute plus a $1 session fee. A half-hour charge would thus cost $10. Prices may vary on per-state basis although it is expected to typically be 30 to 35 cents per minute. For now, the same prices apply regardless of whether a 50 kW CHAdeMO or a higher-powered CCS cable is being used. Subscription-based pricing is being actively considered but has not yet been announced.
As a comparison, charging operator EVgo has a non-subscription price of 35 cents per minute in Massachusetts but no session fee which would be $10.50 for 30 minutes. A subscription plan is available for $9.99 per month that pre-pays that much in initial charging and lowers the fee to 21 cents per minute. After the first 47 minutes ($9.99 divided by 21 cents) of charging in a month, that would lower the 30 minute cost of charging to $6.30.
Tesla’s “pay as you go” fee at Supercharger sites in Massachusetts is 23 cents per kilowatt-hour rather than being billed per minute. Whether billing is legal on a per-kWh basis differs from state to state. Historically, only utilities have been allowed to sell electricity on a per-kWh basis but some states have updated their laws to allow it for EV charging and Massachusetts is one of those states.
A pay-per-minute rule has the effect of penalizing slower charging vehicles since they add less energy per minute than faster charging vehicles.
At a 60 kW average charge rate, a kWh is being added to a vehicle every minute so 23 cents per minute or 23 cents per kWh would be essentially the same cost to a driver.
If a future vehicle like a Jaguar I-PACE or an Audi e-tron were charging at an average rate of 90 kW at an Electrify America station with a 30 cents per-minute rate it would be adding about 1.5 kWh per minute of charging time so the per kWh price would effectively be 20 cents. That is roughly similar to what a Tesla vehicle might average at one of the Tesla Supercharger locations in Massachusetts at 23 cents per kWh.
Meanwhile, a slower charging vehicle like a Chevrolet Bolt EV might have an average charging rate of a bit under 60 kW and so it’s per-kWh price would effectively be a bit higher than 30 cents at the same Electrify America station. A Bolt EV successfully charged at the new Chicopee location today at a peak rate of 56 kW and a Kia Soul EV charged at up to 68 kW even though Electrify America had said the CHAdeMO charge cables would be software-limited to 50 kW.
Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly said Tesla’s Massachusetts pricing was 23 cents per minute. This has been corrected to say 23 cents per kWh.
Both Tesla and Electrify America have a severe “idle fee” for cars which have finished charging but have not yet been disconnected. Both charge 40 cents per minute ($24 per hour). Electrify America has a 10 minute grace period before the idle fee begins while Tesla’s fee begins accumulating immediately but is waived if the car is unplugged within the first 5 minutes. EVgo does not have an idle fee. Tesla’s idle fee does not, however, accumulate when more than half of the charging spaces at a location are empty.
See also: Electrify America releases annual reports as first ultra-fast station set to open
Paying for DCFC per minute also penalizes people who use DCFC to “top off” their cars with a relatively high SoC or people who want to “top off” to at or near 100%
Someone who hooks up to DCFC with 15-20% is going to get a LOT more juice in 30 minutes than the person who is at 60% or more. And the person who wants to charge from 20% to 80% will end up paying a lot less than the person who charges from 40% to 100% for the same amount of kWh received.
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Yes every charging location should be by the kWh. The states that don’t allow that will never enforce it and can’t they don’t even monitor the power output from Level 2 charging and many are low.