Before looking for a charging station, you need to know what kind of car you will be charging. Fortunately, this is pretty simple. Every electric vehicle (EV) made and sold in North America can use either Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations. This means that many of them do. If the car is compatible with Rapid 3 DC 3 (DCFC) constant current charging, you will often find these stations in the same area as Tier 2 stations, but there are not many.
Tesla has its own network of charging stations designed to work with the car and open mostly only to Tesla drivers, but that could change in the near future. All of this means that any type of electric car you drive will be able to find a charging station near you.
Some of these apps have websites that you can open on your computer or other device. They usually display a map with pins that you can click on to find charging stations. Clicking on one will show the network of charging stations the station belongs to, the price per kilowatt hour, the number of outlets and, in most cases, information about whether the station is busy.
Other Web sources include the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Center site. And even Google Maps provides very accurate notifications of nearby charging stations.
Some of these resources, like Google Maps, don't tell you what level the charging station is at. They simply show the power output of the outlet in kilowatts. Determining the electrical power level is still very easy, but if you are new to electric vehicle charging, it is recommended to use an app that will explain everything.
Electric car manufacturers such as Tesla and Nissan often install apps on their cars that can inform drivers about where to find charging stations, electric car rates when plugged into an outlet, and other useful information. Tesla is probably best known, but other electric car manufacturers, such as Ford and GM, also have their own apps that you can use to find charging stations that work with your car.
The major non-Tesla electric vehicle charging networks in North America include Elterify America, Evgo, ChargePoint, Volta, and Fordpass. All of them have apps you can use to find stations and pay for sessions and prices per kilowatt hour.
Some of these companies, such as Electrify America, offer monthly subscriptions. As of this writing, an Electrify America subscription costs $4 per month. The Fordpass station also works with Elterify America, which serves Ford electric car owners, for $1,000 and reduces the price of a kilowatt-hour.
The drawback of these apps is that they only show the nearest charging stations on the grid. So searching through multiple apps to get the full picture can be tedious. However, if you prefer a particular charging network, it may be worth insisting on implementing it, as it will be updated to reflect new stations added to the network. Another caveat: Because these applications are in their early stages, users report poor experiences with them.
The price you pay for charging depends on factors such as the network used, the subscription to a particular network, the price per kilowatt hour, the battery capacity of the electric car, and the method of charging at the outlet when plugged in. Before charging. the price of charging will probably be higher if you use a DCFC station, but usually at the level (below) the gas tank.
If possible, it is recommended that you use a free station or charge at home. However, if this is not possible, there are several payment options. Charging networks usually allow you to pay through the app, but many have reported problems with this. You can also pay by credit or debit card at the charging station itself. Whichever app you use to find the station, you can find out the price per minute or the price per kilowatt hour. This can then be used to calculate the total price.
CategoriesFederal & State Policy EV Technology & InnovationsBusiness ManagementHome EV ChargingTesla DriversElectric Car IncentivesNon-Tesla DriversEnergy5 UpdatesElectric Vehicle ChargersFast ChargingEV ChargerCharging StationElectric Vehicle Charging
Energy5 provides end-to-end EV charging solutions for businesses
Related articlesMore articles