Charging price

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New member
Oct 9, 2023
Hi everyone! What do you guys think about the prices for EV charging today? I recently counted that apps like ChargePoint add nearly 79% to the charging station's original price and are not the only ones. What do you do about it: find cheaper solutions or prefer not to use public chargers or apps at all?
Sounds pretty spammy. Chargepoint doesn't set the price of charging on their network. With very few exceptions, the charger hardware is owned by other entities (property owner, company on site, etc) and that entity decides what charging will cost. The majority of public facing stations in their network are entirely free.

But if you're actually serious, let us know the methodology you used to arrive at that number.
My experience with Chargepoint in SoCal is that most all of them money...and your car :). The ones at my work charge $0.25/kwh and after 4 hours, an additional $0.05 per minute...yeah, they want you out. They used to just charge by time. Since SCE jacked up electricity rates for residential, it is less expensive for me to charge at work than at home, but not by too much.

Chargepoint at parking stalls at our city hall are a different story. I don't recall the price, but you'd have to be desperate to use it. But in general, I try not to depend on chargers other than ones at work and at home...and even if I plan to charge at work, I make sure I have enough energy to get home just in case the chargers are down or if they never become available...both have happened.

I've found some chargers, not necessarily chargepoint, that charge more than the equivalent in gas. Sustaining electric cars is an interesting topic. At first, when I got my Focus in 2012 [Thanks for pointing out my date mistake Scott], there were subsidies, free chargers, lower electricity prices, and HOV access. Although subsidies are back now, HOV access is only good for a few years from when you get your stickers in California, and free chargers are hard to find...and with so many EVs out there, if there is a free station, someone is already parked there. Electricity prices have trippled from what I was paying in 2010 and there is also talk of charging EV owners a tax per-mile. That just goes to the adage, "good things never last."
So, having been involved in the setup of many Chargepoint units, I can tell you that any fees for charging are dictated by the owner of the hardware. When they configure it, they decide if it's going to be listed on the map and if they want to bill. They can decide if it will be by charging time, connected time, energy, etc.

But each unit is influenced by the use case. Some use it as an amenity and only charge to encourage turnover after some time. Some just want to recoup energy costs, some have value as parking alone and reflect that in their price. And some are seemingly disconnected from reality, often by someone that put them in just to check the box of "we have charging" (CA has zoning requirements for it in new parking)

But otherwise I was just going by the overall network state. It'll vary by area, but in aggregate they have more free ports than fee ports. Since they sell the hardware and network access, I'd wager they'd prefer as many be free as possible, but they don't get to decide :/
I don't disagree. However, around here, they are hard to find. There was a non Chargepoint unit in front of Whole Foods that was free and I used it a few times, but now, it is always occupied...and if it isn't, its probably broken. Early on in 2012 - 2014, I could plan to charge at a free station, usually at a mall or shopping center, but as the number of EV's grew, the ability to rely on a free charge diminished. In fact, if I should ever have to rely on a charging station to make a round trip, I will hope that they do charge a fee because I'll have a better chance of being able to use it when I need it.

The last time I used a free station was at South Coast Plaza and was doing a lot of driving that day and was driving extremely conservatively on LA freeways. I was on track to get about 150 total miles on a single charge but needed a little boost to give me some margin. With some charge left to find a station, I used the chargepoint app to find any station. South Coast Plaza had some open stalls and I got a free charge for about 30 minutes till I was satisfied I could make it home. Not something I wanted to do. That was about a year ago and was the last time I used a public charging station.
Ever since I started driving electric, I made a point to find the free charging stations in my area. Sometimes, you gotta be sneaky. That is, not tell anyone its free, or it will get too much use and no longer be free. Right now, there is one about 2 miles away, that in the plug share app shows continually in repair. It needs to be repaired because the latching lever on the charge handle is broken. But nevertheless, it will charge your car. Its a chargepoint, and it looks really beat up. You can barely read the screen. But it works and its free, I am not complaining.

By the way, around here, the flat rate plan home power is 33cents a killowatt. In a tiered plan, its 28 cents off peak (11pm to 7am), but any other time is 35 cents. You can imagine that there is an incentive to find free chargers.
A tip on those broken handles - if it seems like it isn't charging, make sure to lift the button end up so the switch isn't triggered.

And push it down before removing even if you don't need to open a latch. That switch trigger tells the car to reduce draw and if you pull it out without that warning, it will likely arc.