How Much Does It Cost For A Fast Charger?

Fast charging is a relatively new and emerging method of charging. Usually charging an electric vehicle can take a few hours to completely charge but fast charging can charge an electric car battery by a significant amount in a short period of time, even as little as 30 minutes. Fast charging allows for convenient and quick charging of your electric vehicle to enable you to get back on the road as quickly as possible.

How much does it cost for a fast charger? Fast chargers, also known as Level 3 chargers, can be used in public and cost around $0.45 per kWh. So a 100 kWh battery will cost $45 to charge from 0-100%. To install a fast charger at your home is extremely expensive and can cost up to $50,000. 

Fast chargers are still a technology that is being developed. Fast chargers are safe to use for charging but it is not suggested that they are used to charge your vehicle every single time. Fast chargers aren’t as common to find as level 2 chargers are but they are becoming more prevalent and easier to find. 

Cost To Use A Public Fast Charger 

Electricity prices are going to be different from state to state and even possibly city to city and this is going to be largely what determines the cost of using a public fast charger. Most fast chargers are going to cost $0.16 to $0.45, this is kind of the average price range you are going to see across the country. The thing is though not all fast chargers charge you by the kWh you use, there are fast chargers that may instead charge by the amount of time your car is charging. The prices are going to look different depending on which way the charger charges you for use. 

Fast chargers are actually cheaper compared to most other chargers which are surprising to me since they are the fastest mode of charging. I have found that the average price for level 2 public chargers stations in the United States is somewhere between 20 cents and 70 cents per kWh. The average for fast chargers is slightly lower than that. 

These prices are also going to depend on whether you have a membership for that particular charging company or not. There are a lot of companies that have charging stations that charge a monthly fee of 5 to 10 dollars but then offer discounted rates when charging. This can be a way to save money if you know you will be using a certain charging station a lot. 

Tesla Superchargers are a type of fast charger but are exclusively for Tesla vehicles at the moment. Tesla Superchargers charge at even a fast rate than most DC fast chargers and are actually cheaper to use than most DC fast chargers. The Tesla Supercharger is on average between $0.034 and $0.17 so the higher end of the Supercharger rate is near the low end of what most DC fast chargers are at. If you have the ability to use a Tesla Supercharger it is most likely going to be less expensive than another DC fast charger. 

Cost To Install A Personal Fast Charger At Your House

The most common charger that is installed in homes is a level 2 charger. Level 2 chargers will fully charge your car’s battery from empty in 8 hours or less depending on the size of your battery. Compared to fast chargers, which are level 3 chargers, they are much slower but still plenty fast to charge the car if you plug it in overnight. Level 2 chargers are also cheaper and for this reason, they are often installed instead of level 3 chargers in most homes.

If an overnight charge isn’t fast enough for you however you can install a fast charger in your home but I will tell you, it won’t be cheap. From various sources, it seems that on average it will cost you around $30,000 just for the hardware. The very cheapest estimate I have seen for the hardware is $12,000 and I have seen many sources that say prices can easily be over $50,000. Prices for installation can be another few thousand dollars. 

This price is especially astounding when you compare it to the cost of installing a level 2 charger at home which is much, much cheaper. The average cost of purchasing and installing a level 2 charger is between $300 and $1,200. Clearly, there is a big jump between the price of level 2 chargers and level 3 fast chargers and that is mainly due to the fact that fast chargers aren’t really being made with home installation in mind they are mainly manufactured for the public charging stations. 

 The technology to have fast chargers at home is still being developed so it is still quite expensive to install a fast charger at home. If you are considering installing a fast charger at home I would recommend taking a second look at why you want one at home because you can literally buy another electric car for the price of installing an electric car. It is expected that this will most likely change as technology changes in the future but for now, this is the reality.

Another thing to consider is that public fast chargers are usually pretty cheap to use, so the amount of money you would be saving by using an at-home fast charger isn’t going to be as much as if you use level 2 chargers in public. Both have very small changes in amount per kWh. However, having a fast charger at home gives you access to a fast charger whenever you want it you never have to worry about someone else using your fast charger. These are all things to consider when thinking about installing a fast charger at home.

Can I Use Any Fast Charger Or Are Some Of Them Only For Certain Electric Vehicles?

Most fast chargers are compatible with all types of electric cars. Depending on what electric car you have, you may need to use an adapter for your car. The most standard plug type is going to be on commercial fast chargers so you shouldn’t have to worry about having an adapter, unless you have a car that isn’t a standard J-plug. Like most things, there are always exceptions to the rule, however. There are many popular charging station companies like Chargepoint, RWE, and EVbox which allow any electric vehicle to be charged. 

Tesla Superchargers at the moment are only available to Tesla vehicles. Tesla Superchargers have the capability of charging a vehicle even faster than most fast chargers can. Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla, has tweeted that Tesla is working towards making Tesla Superchargers available to all-electric vehicles. To be competitive in the charging market, chargers will have to be made available to all types of vehicles. 

Another thing to be aware of is what your car manufacturer’s suggestions are for using fast chargers. Fast chargers can harm your vehicle’s battery if your electric vehicle doesn’t have the capacity to charge at a high speed. Most electric vehicles can be charged by a fast charger without any problems as long as you do it in moderation. There may be some smaller electric cars that aren’t built to handle the amperage that fast chargers use so make sure you check into that before using a fast charger and accidentally blowing up your car’s battery. 

Does It Cost Less To Use A Fast Charger At Night?

Electricity providers across the country offer lower rates when you use electricity during off-peak hours. Off-peak hours are usually between 7 pm and 8 am during the weekdays and in quite a few places the entire weekend is considered off-peak hours. You may have heard of this and wondering if applies to fast charging. If you have a fast charger at home and your power company provides this discount then, of course, it will cost less to use the fast charger at night. 

Using public fast chargers can be a different story. A cost difference between the day and night is going to completely be the choice of the company that owns the charger. For most fast chargers, you won’t receive cheaper rates but there are always exceptions. One instance where you can get cheaper fast charging at night is using Tesla Superchargers in metropolitan areas in California. Tesla has instituted a 50% discount on their Superchargers during the night to help fight heavy traffic and try to keep the chargers from clogging up during rush hours. 

Tesla is only giving this discount in California at the moment. Tesla offers this discount to try to help decrease the usage of Superchargers during the day because there are often not enough Superchargers for people to use because of the large number of Teslas in California. It is possible that other companies may follow suit if they see the same problem arise in metropolitan areas as the popularity of electric cars continues to increase in the future.

Should I Charge Completely Full At Fast Chargers Or Only To 80%?

It is suggested by most manufacturers and by most fast charging companies that you only charge your car to 80% using a fast charger. Though you may want to charge your car to 100% to get as many miles as you possibly can, it can be dangerous to your car’s battery if you charge it to its full capacity all the time with a fast charger. The danger comes with the speed at which the fast charger charges your car. At this rate, the fast charger pumps electricity into the battery is can easily overload the battery if it gets too close to 100%. But this will only happen if you do it too much.

Eighty is just a pretty standard number that has been chosen by experts in the electric vehicle industry of what the suggested battery percentage should be when using fast chargers. If you are nervous about running out of charge, don’t worry too much because only having your battery at 80% won’t completely destroy your car’s range. Charging the battery to 100% if you are going on a long trip or need the extra charge shouldn’t be a problem if you are using a level 1 or level 2 charger. 

There are some electric car enthusiasts who say that even charging your electric car more than 80 percent at any time can be damaging for your electric car battery, but this isn’t true. The only thing that I have found that relates to this claim is that if you were to keep your electric car charger at 100 percent for a long period of time, for example, over a month then it can increase the rate at which your car battery degrades and it will start to lose battery life quicker than it would have otherwise. 

How Do I Use A Public Fast Charger?

Public charging really isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Since it is something new, many people are nervous about using them. In reality, using charging stations is not that much different than using a regular gasoline pump, the main difference is that most charging stations have apps that you use to operate them and pay for them. There are many different companies that have electric charging stations and depending on which company it is will determine which app you need to have on your phone. 

Through these apps, you can control a lot of different things. Besides paying through the app, you also have the ability to start and stop charging and with some companies even have the ability to set it to charge for a certain amount of time. After you have used the app to log into the machine you can plug the cable into your electric car and then let it charge. It may be a smart idea to download a few of the most common charging station apps to be able to not have to worry about waiting to download a new one every time you get to a charging station. 

After you have created an account on the app for most of these chargers the charging company will store your information and just have you sign in when you get to a charger. There are some companies that may even give you a card you can scan to sign in every time you arrive at a charging station. After you have signed in it is very simple to use the charger. You just pop open the charging port on your car, plug in the charger, and then let your car charge. 

Most public fast chargers are going to charge your car in an hour or less so you won’t have to worry about waiting forever to be able to use your car again. Fast chargers are usually the best option when trying to go on long road trips or if you are in a rush and just need a little extra charger. Fast chargers can really cut some waiting time of trips that are going to take you hours to complete but if you are just running errands around town, an at-home charger or level 2 charger could probably do the job. 

Be aware as well that there are a lot of public charging stations that you don’t even have to pay for! Many cities and local governments install free charging stations at various locations around the city as an incentive to drive electric vehicles. Well, it turns out there is this amazing website called PlugShare that literally has all of the free charging stations in the entire United States listed. 

Plug share is super nice because you have the ability to specify your location and it will show you all of the available charging stations near you. Not only that, but there are a ton of filters available including if the station is free or requires payment, the type of plug/sockets shapes available, and even what charging company it is. Once you find a charging station that is at a good location for you the website can even redirect you to navigation apps, like Google Maps, and give you directions on how to get there. 

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