April 10th marked a month since I’ve transitioned over to an EV, and so far, not only do I have no regrets, but I also wish I had been able to make this transition sooner. Granted, EV’s are just beginning to move out of the Early Adopter phase, and into the mainstream – with more manufacturers beginning to have affordable EV’s hitting the marketplace.
When driving about 75 miles a day, gasoline gets expensive quickly – and electricity? While it’s gone up a bit, it’s still been significantly lighter on the wallet. Over the last month I’ve used six different branded station types: Chargepoint, Chargeport, Electrify America, EV Connect, GE, and Enel X. I’ve had different problems with all of them, ranging from ports not working, to what seems like a software bug, but I can’t seem to get an answer on. With that being said, I’m going to just provide a breakdown below of what my costs have been in that first month, and what (if any) issues that I encountered with each charging network.
For simplicity’s sake and easy points of reference, I will be utilizing a 28 day interval to mark the Thursday of Purchase, and the End of Day of the 4th Week, so March 10th to April 7th.
Chargepoint (Level 2 AC): Cost of charge $0.17/kWh, $27.23 spent, 163 kWh added
This is the primary servicer that I use predominantly because of proximity to my job, but with that being said they’re very straightforward – create an account, tap your virtual card, and go, but I’ve had issues with getting responses from support, as one of the chargers that I use has a side that’s been unavailable for at least two years according to app history. I’m unsure of who maintains it, and at least constantly hounding them through the app they’ve since marked the broken charger as unavailable.
Chargeport (Level 2 AC): Free City Charge, 7.35 kWh added
This was a free charge station that I used in downtown Syracuse when I went to run my half marathon – I only left it on the charger for about an hour as I was going to dinner and needed to move my car, but I had no problems at all, account setup was fast, and application easy to use.
Electrify America (Level 3 DCFC): Cost of Charge $0.43/kWh, $7.31 spent, 17 kWh added
Probably the most prominent Fast Charging network out there, created by VW with support for virtually all charging “standards” currently in use, but arguably the most expensive. An interesting note about the creation of Electrify America, this was a part of their settlement from fudging emissions numbers back in 2017 – you can read more about that here. I used this on my way to Syracuse to top up my charge when running into the restroom – then an absolute downpour hit while I was inside, so I hung out a little while to stay dry, and in the 30 or so minutes that I left it going, it went from 65% to 87% Charge. Not too shabby, though the car supports 100 kW DC charging, which means it should be able to go from 10-80% in not much more than that, but the 150kW CCS port peaked at 42.88 kW in delivery power. All battery charge speeds trickle off after 80%, but that 30 mins pushing max speed should’ve filled that battery up.
EV Connect (Level 3 DCFC): Cost of Charge $0.32/kWh, $1.41 spent, 4.37 kWh added
These are the predominant charging stations at the NYS Thruway Rest Stops, I really didn’t need to plug in on my way back, but I did need to use the rest room, so I added an extra handful of miles while I was inside.
GE (Level 2 AC): Free City Charge, No Power Added Yet
We have one of these chargers in town, and it’s a simple Level 2 AC Charger – I’ve tried to use this one twice, but this charger is where I learned my lesson about scheduled charging with the car. I use nothing more than a Level 1 at home and didn’t realize the leasee that had the car before me had enabled this, leading to me thinking every charger I used in my first couple of days of owning the car was broken… oh and the second time I tried, someone else who was having trouble with the station listed below wound-up using, so I just went home, and trickle charged the rest of the day (I wasn’t going anywhere anyways).
Enel X (Level 2 AC): $1 Session Fee + $0.18/kWh, $2.70 Spent, Historical Power Use not working in App
I was able to use this network once – two of them are listed as being “Outside of the Schedule” permanently – I’ve contacted the company about this recently, and it appears someone missed a step in configuration, so with any hope these will be live soon! The ones that do work are great, the app leaves a lot to be desired – very slow to load specifically. I deleted the app and will just proceed through the browser when using these stations for the time being.
Home (Level 1 AC): ~$0.07/kWh
I just use the standard charger that came with the vehicle at home for the moment, planning on putting in a 220v Level 2 this summer. Off of the Level 1, I recoup about 13-19kW of power over night (depending on when I get home) meaning this covers between 53-78 miles with average driving of 4.1 mi/kWh, in an 8 to 12 hour period. Not ideal, but it covers what I drive for the most part. Estimating my average of power recouperation, which would be 16 kWh, this is about $1.12 per day of cost to trickle charge at home. Meaning $31.36 has been spent on the first month (assuming we still have that $0.07 cost when I get the bill).
Total Cost for the First Month? $34.65 at public chargers, $31.36 estimated home cost, totaling $66.01.
By comparison, for 28 days, assuming the 1.5 tanks of gas I’d go through a week, at $3.85/gallon – presently at $4.39, but let’s use one of the last tanks I bought for reference:
That’d be 20.25 gallons of gas, at $3.85 is $77.96 per week, which equates to $311.84 in the same 28-day period. Which is a $245.83 savings in the first month… now if we use actual gas prices, currently averaging at $4.24 per gallon, equates to $85.86 per week, or $343.44 per month or $277.43 saved in the first month. This is just to and from work assuming four days in the office, one from home, not counting weeks where I go in five days, or wind up in the city on a weekend as well. Needless to day, I made the right choice.
What needs to be done? EV Infrastructure is so close to being good, the problem is fragmentation, and quantity. What do I mean by that?
Looking at Fragmentation: When I pull up to a DC charging station, it could be one of any five different companies, requiring me to download a separate application. Companies like Flo have streamlined this a little bit by adding ‘partner networks’ where their cards or applications will work as well, while also having their own station, but it needs work. A 3rd party developer would be ideal to take something like this over and integrate as many as possible into one.
Looking at quantity: When I stop at a rest stop, there are only two chargers. At the moment it’s not a real problem as EVs are still in the minority, but I see more and more every day. If the push really is to get people into EV’s and off gas, you need the infrastructure to be there (fragmented or not) to be able to support the vehicles you’re trying to sell.
I’m excited to take some longer trips in it this summer, and see how it does..
Thanks for all the details about the EV and charging. I am thinking about going all electric for a vehicle. My wife has a Rav4 hybrid and loves it.
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In my first week of driving it people just kept asking “what if” and “how do you” questions, with countless “yeah, but” responses, so I figured the best way to help quell people’s concerns and answer questions is in the long form responses. Glad you’re getting some info, and I would highly recommended it!