antilaugh wrote:Nice! TY for answering my dumb question that I should've asked myself a long time ago.
Does anyone have any preference re: charging services?
Personally, I prefer the reliability of ChargePoint
, but the real answer is "all the companies with fast chargers along the roads you plan on using".
You can sign up for free (I think) with Electrify America (EA)
and ChargePoint (CP
) and EVgo
, then download their apps to show which units are in use and which ones are available during your trip, as well as to start the actual charge going. I would sign up for all three, if you can do so for free. EA now charges exclusively by kWh, so it has become the cheapest alternative IF YOU GET A PAID subscription. There are far more EA "plugs" (not sites, actual individual chargers) along the N-S California routes than the other companies. And since EA generally has 4-8 units at each spot, it is unlikely that you will get "frozen out" because the only charger (or both of them) are in use when you arrive. Well, unless you are travelling around Thanksgiving ... But there have been problems with units at EA just not working, having to try several units, having to call customer assistance, and the trick of supporting the charger handle during authorization until after full charging has started. A good reason to have a backup plan (fall back charger). You *might* want to get the EA paid subscription, and use EVgo (non-sub) and ChargePoint (one price for all) as the backup chargers - they tend to be only 25-40 miles apart (sometimes only just down the road a mile or two).
Both EA and EVgo give "paid subscribers" a lower rate. (EVgo used to have a deal through AAA that gave you a "free" paid subscription, so that you get the lower rate - but with no free charging included, just the lower rate.)EVgo
: no sub ||. subscrip
LA/OC : .27/min || 0.23/min
San D : .32/min || 0.28/min
Califor : .30/min || 0.26/min
The issue with EVgo chargers is that they are often 100 Amp "50 kW" (sic) chargers, which will charge your Bolt at about 38 kW, so the per-minute charge is somewhat inflated. There ARE some 125A chargers (~48 kW) out there (but you have to guess which are which), and even a few 200A chargers (in San Jose at whole foods market on The Alameda, for example). Your Bolt can pull a max of 150A (~52-54 kW) up to about 50%, then will pull about 105A (up to about 70-73%) then drop to about 65A. So, as said earlier by a different poster, the most cost effective when paying PER MINUTE is to charge up to 55% or so, then move on.
EVgo also participates in "Drive the Arc", (DCFC from Monterey thru Bay Area to S and N Lake Tahoe), which sometimes offers FREE charges if you have the DtA app. So definitely sign up for free EVgo account!https://www.evgo.com/ev-drivers/drive-the-arc/
(somebody posted a link to the "free charging" page ... can. you do it again?)EA
Pass member (no charge) : $0.43/kWh
Pass+ member ($4/mo charge) : $0.31 kWh
EA now charges exclusively by kWh, so it has become the cheapest alternative IF YOU GET A PAID subscription. It used to be the case that you could drop the Pass+ at any time for no charge (it isn't a "year subscription" - or it didn't use to be; check it out by calling them). So, with a 12 cent difference per kWh, you break even after only 33 kWh (make up your $4 monthly fee). You will probably use about 90-100 kWh driving north, and the same driving home. PLUS, you aren't paying by the minute, so you can charge up to about 65-75% and not worry about the additional cost (just the extra few minutes "lost" because the car is charging at a lower rate. And there are lots of EA chargers in the Bay Area. There are also a bunch of ChargePoint $0.25/kWh spread around the Bay Area as well (one about 10 miles south of SF just off US-101).ChargePoint
along freeway travel corridors is generally $0.25/kWh *and* $0.10/min (which works out to a bit over $0.36/kWh at under 50% charge (on a Bolt). There are $0.25/kWh (no per-minute charge) at ChargePoint headquarters (4 chargers, just off CA-85 & CA-17), at "Park Place" mall (4 chargers, just off US-101 & CA-92), and $0.25/min at NASA (8 chargers, US-101 & CA-85). There's even a singleton charger almost under the Dumbarton bridge (CA-84) near Fremont that only charges $0.12/kWh (good place to stop and charge up if you have an hour in the East Bay). Driving across the bridges costs $5, however.Recargo
: there is ONE Recargo sit just north of Salinas just off US-101. It has the benefit of having SIX 75-200 kW chargers, being next to a shopping (mini) mall with food, and only charging $0.24/min. So if you drive up US-101, or just head to Monterey, it's an option.
I double and triple recommend the plugshare app. Set preferences for "DCFC" only (CCS/SAE plug), 50 kW minimum charge, and "show those in use". Look at all them chargers along 101, I-5 and CA-99.
Recap: sign up for all the free charging networks, download their apps (and plugshare), and TRY THEM OUT before leaving home so that you know what to expect during your trip. (You don't need to do a full charge, just charge for a minute or three so that you get the hang of it - no surprises on travel day.)