Are Electric Car Charging Stations Free?


If you have considered purchasing an electric car, you have probably wondered if all of the charging stations that you see around are free. Whenever you go out, you can see more and more electric car charging stations popping up. As the demand for electric cars continues to grow, the demand for a bigger electrical charging infrastructure grows.

If you have an electric car, you may be wondering if the charging stations are free. Most electric car charging stations are not free. The majority of charging stations will charge you for your power usage, although the exceptions to this rule include deals from the provider of the charging stations or your specific type of car is free to charge.

Electric car charging stations are popping up in order to reduce the customer’s “range anxiety”. This will help the customers drive further distances, without the constant fear of running out of energy. When these stations become more common, they become cheaper. In this article, you will learn why charging stations usually cost more money, and how to get the best charge for your money.

Why Charging An Electric Car Costs Money

So, why exactly does it cost money to charge your electric car at a charging station? Mostly you are paying for the power that you have consumed and also the cost of the fast-charging station itself. A lot of time and effort is being put into researching electric vehicle charging stations. The goal here always being to make the stations faster and more efficient for the user.

One thing that turns a lot of people off about electric cars is the time it takes to charge the car. While filling up your car with gas only takes a couple of minutes, charging your electric car to full charge at a charging station could take over an hour. Lots of time and money is being put into developing ways to charge electric car batteries faster, without damaging the battery. These charging stations are not cheap to purchase, and the buyer will be trying to recoup that cost with time. Part of what you are paying to charge your car is to pay for the cost of the machine which charges your car, much faster than the outlet in your garage.

Secondly, you are paying for the cost of the power that you are consuming. To charge your electric battery, you obviously need electricity. If you did not pay for that, someone else would be responsible for the bill. This is the biggest cost in getting your electric car charged (the charge for you car isn’t very expensive).

There are some charging stations that are free. For example, Tesla has the biggest electric charging network in the entire country, which is known as the Tesla Supercharger. Tesla will let you charge your Tesla Model X and Tesla Model S for free at their supercharging stations. Unfortunately, the Model 3 does not get this perk.

There are other locations that do offer free charging. Whole Foods has been one place that offers free charging. Many car dealerships will offer free charging during their business hours. While there are free charging locations, many are not free. If you are interested in finding the best place to charge your car, there are lots of apps available that will show you where the nearest charging stations are and even how many charging stations are currently occupied at any given location.

How Much Electric Car Charging Stations Cost

How much money does it cost to charge your electric car? This is going to vary quite a bit from place to place depending on where you are. Commercial power rates vary quite a bit across the entire country. Depending on how expensive power is where you are, you will either pay more or less. Be aware that the owner of the charging station has full control over the price. Even if they have the same brand of charging station as another place in town, they can always charge more if they feel like it.

Many electric car charging station networks also offer memberships. This allows you to make an account with them from an app. In the app, you can put a credit card on file so that all of your charges are billed to that card. Generally, membership will cost you anywhere from $4 to $8 a month. This will earn you a big discount on charging every time you go. This is a great method if you want to pay a fixed rate each month and not have to hassle with paying every single time you go to charge up.

You also have the option to pay for charging as you use it. As we mentioned, this will vary quite a bit based on the location you are in and even the time of day. Charging rates can vary based on how busy the locations are during those times. You also will find that most public charging locations will also charge for what is known as an “idle fee”. The idea is that you will be charged for every minute that your car is sitting there once it has finished charging. This is an incentive to get your car off the charger so that someone else can use it. These rates can vary from 50 cents per minute to a dollar per minute.

Also, the rate that you are charged will vary based on the type of charger that you are using. Typically, the faster the charger, the more that you will get charged. Charging rates could be anywhere from 40 cents per kWh or even 35 cents per minute. The pricing structure varies depending on where you are. Obviously, this is much more expensive than if you charge it at your house.

Is There Such A Thing As A Free Charging Station?

Are there any places that you can charge your electric car for free? As we previously mentioned, the owner of the location where the charger is found is capable of charging whatever they want. This means they can jack up the price however they feel but they can also make it free. Many people will use this approach to try to bring in more customers. They obviously spend more money on paying for everyone’s cars to charge but they hope to compensate for that by bringing in more business to their establishment. Some of these free prices could only be available for short periods of time when the owner is doing a special for their customers.

Tesla offers quite a bit of free charging stations for their vehicles. Depending on the car that you buy, you may be able to get free supercharging. Currently, this only applies to specific models, like model X and model S. This allows someone to get unlimited, and free supercharging. For the tesla models that do not qualify for the free unlimited supercharging, tesla also runs promotions that offer credits for a certain amount of free supercharging. This is a good way to get free charging for a limited time.

You also will find that a lot of car dealerships will offer free charging. They have chargers that they use for cars that they are trying to sell. Obviously, they do not need these all of the time, so they become available to customers. Another incentive for creating free chargers is that they hope you will look at new cars while charging your car.

Cost Of Charging At A Station Vs. Charging At Home

What is the difference in price between charging at home or charging at a charging station? It’s actually a pretty large difference. At home you are only paying for the power that you consume, which you are already billed for monthly. Depending on where you live, your rates will vary. Currently, the average rate is about $0.12 per kWh. Your total monthly cost would just be that amount multiplied by however many kWh you need. Most electric car owners can charge their car for less than $10 a month or maybe $20 a month if they drive quite a bit. This is obviously much cheaper than a months’ worth of gas.

Charging at a station can be a bit more expensive than charging at home. Generally, you are looking at $0.40 per kWh. This is about three times more expensive, but these chargers will charge your car much faster than people have the capability of doing in their own homes.

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