Remember how rising gas prices weren’t a concern to electric car owners? Electrify America is giving users of its DC fast charging network a reminder about one of the biggest frustrations of owning internal combustion engine cars again — by increasing electricity rates at its stations (via Ars Technica).
Starting on March 6th, Electrify America will be charging US customers a standard rate of $0.48 per kilowatt hour. The company, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Auto Group, was charging $0.43 per kWh, but now, it is emailing customers to share the price increase details.
Tara Geiger of Electrify America’s corporate communications emailed the company’s statement on the price changes to The Verge:
Electrify America has been able to maintain consistent and uniform pricing since September 2020; however, rising operational and energy costs have now made adjusting our pricing necessary. Our focus remains on meeting the needs of electric vehicle drivers of today and tomorrow by investing in our network expansion and enhancement to customer experience.
Customers paying for Electrify America’s $4 per month Pass Plus subscription will also be affected. The company had advertised that Pass Plus saves “about 25 percent on charging” with the monthly fee plus a reduced $0.31 per kilowatt hour rate. Now that rate is increasing to $0.36 per kilowatt hour. Geiger adds that Pass Plus subscribers “can still benefit from savings of about 25% on charging,” confirming that the announced price increases apply to Electrify America only and that they are not temporary.
Electrify America also is increasing per-minute charging rates in applicable states like Massachusetts and Texas, where companies aren’t allowed to directly bill customers by the kWh. Users in those states will now be paying $0.19 per minute for sessions with peak charging speeds up to 90kW, up from $0.16. For quicker charging cars, up to 350kW, the rate is increasing from $0.32 per minute to $0.36.
And Pass Plus subscribers in those states will see rates increase from $0.12 per minute to $0.15 for sessions peaking up to 90kW and $0.24 per minute to $0.29 for quicker charging cars.
Comparatively, Tesla owners using the Supercharger network pay variable rates that can range from around $0.25 per kWh to as much as $0.50 depending on the state and time of use. Tesla has been increasing Supercharger prices for years but has also recently decreased prices in some areas.
Personally, I’ve experienced an average rate of $0.38 per kWh at Superchargers while driving in the Mid-Atlantic region this past December. In one session, I’ve added 46kWh of electricity to my battery, which cost me about $17. If the rates matched that of Electrify America, it would have cost me about $20 at the old standard rate and $22 at the new one.
Electrify America, after Tesla, is the largest coast-to-coast fast charging network in the US. In addition to its 800-plus stations in North America, the company is working with Ikea and TravelCenters of America to increase its reach to EV drivers. There are even cool Electrify America Sky Club Lounge-like locations in the works, which might just make the whole price increase worth it — whenever it gets built.