Outrageous cost of commercial charging stations

Ron Miller

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Jul 31, 2016
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Columbus Ohio USA
#1
I don't have an EV yet; I have a Fusion Hybrid, but, like almost everyone on this forum, I'm so excited about getting my Model 3 that keeping up with the news is my favorite pastime.
So, I'm exploring the charging stations in my area in anticipation of having to be out and about when my battery's not well-charged. Fortunately, many of them are free. The mall I frequent even has a couple of free CHAdeMo stations (one of which is available as I'm typing this on a Saturday afternoon).
In reading about commercial charging, though, I find that most of them charge US$0.49-.60/KWh. Wow!! That's about 400-500% of what I'd pay at home. In doesn't vary much at all at stations that charge by the minute rather than by the KWh.
In effect, it makes driving an EV about 1.5-2.5 times as expensive (for fuel) as driving an ICE-powered car.
  1. Is there something wrong with my math here or is this highway robbery (pun unintentional and unavoidable)?
  2. Has anyone seen any reasonable compromises between these outrageous -- and frankly, prohibitive -- prices and the free stations that are scattered around.
  3. How is fee-based charging priced in Canada?
  4. Will fee-based charging ever be for anything other than emergency use? (Surely no one would have an EV and routinely charge it this way.)
  5. Is there any hint of what Tesla might be charging for Supercharger use beyond 400KWh/year? I figured that if it's not free, Elon would at least sell the electricity at a reasonable approximation of the price charged by the local utility, but now I'm not sure.
Parenthetically, I appreciate the free CHAdeMO charging at the mall, but after paying Tesla US$450 for the adapter, the break-even point would probably never be reached.
 

MelindaV

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#2
I don't have an EV yet; I have a Fusion Hybrid, but, like almost everyone on this forum, I'm so excited about getting my Model 3 that keeping up with the news is my favorite pastime.
So, I'm exploring the charging stations in my area in anticipation of having to be out and about when my battery's not well-charged. Fortunately, many of them are free. The mall I frequent even has a couple of free CHAdeMo stations (one of which is available as I'm typing this on a Saturday afternoon).
In reading about commercial charging, though, I find that most of them charge US$0.49-.60/KWh. Wow!! That's about 400-500% of what I'd pay at home. In doesn't vary much at all at stations that charge by the minute rather than by the KWh.
In effect, it makes driving an EV about 1.5-2.5 times as expensive (for fuel) as driving an ICE-powered car.
  1. Is there something wrong with my math here or is this highway robbery (pun unintentional and unavoidable)?
  2. Has anyone seen any reasonable compromises between these outrageous -- and frankly, prohibitive -- prices and the free stations that are scattered around.
  3. How is fee-based charging priced in Canada?
  4. Will fee-based charging ever be for anything other than emergency use? (Surely no one would have an EV and routinely charge it this way.)
  5. Is there any hint of what Tesla might be charging for Supercharger use beyond 400KWh/year? I figured that if it's not free, Elon would at least sell the electricity at a reasonable approximation of the price charged by the local utility, but now I'm not sure.
Parenthetically, I appreciate the free CHAdeMO charging at the mall, but after paying Tesla US$450 for the adapter, the break-even point would probably never be reached.
Ron - here's the link to Tesla's updated supercharger info page. For Ohio, looks like your state is one where they have to use the time of use instead of actual power used. so the fee in OH will be $.09 or $.18 per minute (under/over 60kW).
I think the chargers you see around that are free to use, those are being 'sponsored' by the property (if it's a mall, restaurant, etc) where as the ones with a fee are provided by that service for a profit. I'm sure most EV owners would rarely use them over charging at home, but maybe when traveling and that is your choice, it'd be worth paying.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#3
Beat me to it Melinda! The only thing I would add is that really the whole point of having an EV is that the VAST majority of your charging will be done at home. Of course there are a few situations where that might be difficult (apartment dwellers and such), but for the most part people will not be using public charging that often. In all honesty I will most likely never use a public charger other than a Supercharger for long trips. I think most people would be in that boat.

Dan
 

Ron Miller

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Columbus Ohio USA
#4
Thanks, Melinda. I didn't know that the prices were already announced. The Tesla rates are not unreasonable. The commercial vendors with the 6.6kW chargers ask $.04-06, so the .09 for a Supercharger is actually a pretty good deal. It translates to something like $.15/kW which is comparable to what I pay in electricity cost + distribution cost at home.

Of course, you're correct that the free ones are sponsored. No utilities are giving away juice for nothing, as far as I've heard. Somebody's paying for it.
 

TrevP

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#5
The main difference here is that Tesla is looking to only cover their costs whereas the others are for profit.

Use the others only if you absolutely need to but always charge at home, that's the lowest rate you'll always get.
 

AEDennis

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#7
The main difference here is that Tesla is looking to only cover their costs whereas the others are for profit.

Use the others only if you absolutely need to but always charge at home, that's the lowest rate you'll always get.
On the other side. Tesla does have other ventures, whereas other charging network providers do have to cover their businesses.

These are "for profit" enterprises and not regulated utilities and they do have the right to provide their goods and survive.

It's not like they're selling oil.