What Does DC Fast Charging an EV Cost? (v2) (EVGo, Electrify America, ChargePoint)

Charging in the snow!

EV Charging Landscape

  • EV adoption is expanding exponentially. The infrastructure for charging has to also (and is currently way behind). In the last three months, charging has gone from “I’ll just head to that charger and it will be fine” to finding many charging stations full (or broken). Look at the number of chargers available at the grocery store (or whatever spot) vs parking spaces and compare that to the number of EVs in the parking lot.
  • Charging needs to be convenient for all people. This means increased access in neighborhoods, retail locations, leisure locations, rest stops, and recreational destinations. And also increased availability on frequent travel corridors.
  • EVs (and other electrification efforts) are going to drive increased electricity usage. It is vital that we expand the use of low-cost renewables, like solar and wind, on the grid. Where I am in California, electricity prices keep going up (already more expensive than 75% of the country) and threaten the affordability of going electric.
  • Lots of enthusiasm for electric vehicles. Since my original post, several EV charging companies have gone public via a SPAC and the US infrastructure bill puts most of its clean energy investment into EV charging. And with more jurisdictions declaring a deadline to end the use of fossil fuel vehciles, EVs are a hot topic! So let’s work this out…

EV Charging Company Business Models Differ

  • EVGo: Has changed their billing model in California since I complained about it in my last post. Now they charge for the energy consumed (yay!). However, still not that simple, since the price of energy varies during the day (sort of reflecting the Time Of User energy rate times utilities use). There are also per session fees, and all of this varies depending on whether or not you use the app, pay a monthly fee, or just walk up and swipe your credit card (the most expensive option). Even so, it is a solid improvement.
  • Electrify America (EA): Offers a flat price for energy, no matter the time of day. While I have seen a couple different rates at different chargers, this is by far the simplest model. Offers a monthly fee ($4) option for lower rates and that even becomes a credit for charging. Haven’t seen any session fees, but there may be fees for staying plugged in after charging is done.
  • ChargePoint: Emerged to give parking lot owners a business model for charging, but as a result, there is no standard pricing. Pricing at ChargePoint charging stations can be incredibly confusing. This is because any given charger can (but may not) have fees based on (1) parking — flat or time-based, (2) a per session charge, and (3) the cost of energy (which may vary during the day). Basically I look at the cost of energy and assume it will be 25% more than that at least.

What Does It Cost to Charge An EV?

How much of my EV charging came from each DC Fast Charging network
  • What is the cost per kWh? I think this is useful when compared to your cost of energy at home. It can give you a sense of the premium you pay for the convenience of fast charging.
  • What would the cost be to fill up the “tank” on the car? This is what the cost would be for filling the battery completely (eg cost per kWh * 60, for my car).

And the DC Fast Charging winner is…

Average kWh and “full tank” cost from a year’s DCFC data

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