More often than not, motorists are billed on a per-minute basis, and that can add up if a vehicle is slow to charge, as I found out plugging in a Hyundai Kona EV to an EVgo charger in Ferndale, Michigan, earlier this year. After about 50 minutes, the battery crossover had gained only 80 extra miles of range on the 50 kW Level 3 system. The bill? Around $16, or 20 cents a mile. At the time, Michigan gas cost around $2.30 a gallon. A gasoline-fueled Kona, with mileage of 23 city and 28 highway, would have averaged less than 10 cents a mile.
While faster Level 3 chargers operated by Electrify America and other companies levy a higher fee when pumping out more current, the premium is modest, so it still works out to a lower final price. And that’s before factoring in the convenience of not having to wait around for an hour or so.
Electrify America is now dropping its prices by 20%, which should make running an electric car while having to use public charging stations more cost-competitive with a gasoline vehicle, said Jones.
Yet another step some charging companies are taking will let their systems talk to one another and, in the process, accept competitors’ subscribers without charging exorbitant hook-up fees.
Such steps will be critical to gaining acceptance for battery-electric vehicles, said Palazzo and Pasquale Romano, the CEO of ChargePoint.