New pricing plans, mobile app now available for download
Last month, Electrify America held a technology workshop at their Reston, Virginia headquarters and InsideEVs was there to report on the EV charging network’s progress. During the workshop we learned that a mobile app would be released “very soon”, and that Electrify America would be offering two different membership plans, along with a new pricing structure.
Electrify America News
They kept to their word, and exactly a month later, the app is now available for download (Android and iOS) and so are the new prices. The prices vary from state to state, we assume at least partly depending on the electricity cost there, but not strictly.
Playing around with the app, I only found two different price schedules and I looked at most of the states. Pricing varies from $.15 to $.99 per minute:
EA Pass ($0/month) EA Pass+ ($4/month)
1-75 kW $.21 or $.25 per minute $.18 or $.15 per minute
1-125 kW $.58 or $.69 per minute $.42 or $.50 per minute
1-350 kW $.89 or $.99 per minute $.60 or $.70 per minute
It’s unclear if Electrify America will further adjust the cost per minute in the future to more accurately represent what the electricity costs for the specific regions. It’s definitely simpler as it is today, but it’s understandable if they need to have more price variance, because electricity rates do vary greatly across the country.
As for the two plans, Electrify America Pass plan has no monthly fee, but there is a $1.00 session fee added to each charging session. This plan may make sense for those that will only use the Electrify America network on occasion, maybe once or at most twice per month.
For those that will use the network more frequently, Electrify America Pass+ would most likely be a better option. There is a $4.00 per month membership fee but the $1.00 session fee is waived. Additionally, the cost per minute of charging is also reduced by about 20%.
“We prioritize customer satisfaction and are constantly innovating to enhance the EV charging experience,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO at Electrify America. “With new membership plans, reduced pricing and a mobile app that makes charging with us easier than ever, we are confident that a growing number of consumers will consider making their next vehicle purchase an EV.”
Kia Niro EV charging at an Electrify America station
You’ll also notice the price per minute has three different levels; 1-75kW, 1-175kW, & 1-350kW. Initially, I wondered why it wasn’t listed as such: 1-75kW, 76-175kW & 176-350kW and the answer explains why.
When the user plugs in, the car communicates to the charging station what its maximum charge rate is, and that sets the pricing plan for the entire charging session. So if your EV can accept 80 kW, you’re paying the 1-175kW rate the entire time your charging, not only for the few minutes you are charging above 75 kW. If Electrify America had explained it as I had expected, then it would imply that once the vehicle’s charge rate dropped below 75kW, then a new, lower rate would begin, and that doesn’t happen.
Basically, this per-minute pricing scheme incentivizes drivers to unplug once they are close to fully charged and their charge rate has tapered off dramatically. You don’t want to be paying $99/minute if your EV is 90% charged and only accepting 8kW, right?
Personally, I don’t have a problem with this charging system. It drives me nuts when I pull up to a DC Fast charger and there’s an EV on it that’s 96% full, pulling less power than a level 2 station, and the owner is nowhere to be found. Incentivizing owners to charge up to 80% – 90% and then move off is a good thing in my book.
On that note, Electrify America is also instituting an “Idle Fee” of $.40 per minute. It begins ten minutes after the vehicle has finished charging. During which time the owner will get a text message warning them that they have to move their car or be charged the idle fee.
As for the mobile app, Electrify America states:
The company’s mobile app, available for both Android and iPhone, allows users to manage the entire charging session on their mobile phone. EV drivers can now locate a charger, pay for and start a charge, as well as track their charging session right from their smartphones, making charging with Electrify America even more convenient.
The app allows you to locate Electrify America sites that are currently open, as well as locations that are under construction, and will soon be online. It also allows members to pay and and track their charging sessions.
Also, if you become an Electrify America Pass member, you’ll be able to see the state of charge of the EVs charging in your area, so you’ll know if they are almost finished charging. You can also have the app notify you when a station that was in use becomes available.
What do you think of Electrify America’s new pricing structure? Is per minute pricing better than per kWh? Before you answer that remember, the time an EV occupies a station is very important now that more EVs are hitting the streets. If slower charging EVs are penalized at the pump, perhaps more manufacturers will put a higher priority on making their EVs charge faster, and everybody wins.
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