We measure electric vehicle batteries in kWh, so if you’re paying to charge an EV, you’d probably expect to be charged by the kWh. And now, if you use an Electrify America charging station in one of 23 states or the District of Columbia, you’ll be able to do just that, as the charging company has rolled out a new pricing structure. For the remaining 27 states that require customers to pay by the minute for the electricity they use, the company has simplified its plans and dropped its prices.
When Electrify America started rolling out the first phase of a $2 billion charging network in 2019, it did so with a complicated payment structure. When you plug an EV into a fast charger, as part of the handshake process, the car tells the charger the maximum level of power (in kW) it can accept.
Electrify America used this to determine how much you’d pay, with three different bands (0-75kW, 76-125kW, and 126-350kW), each more expensive than the previous. And as I discovered, it was quite possible to pay the higher fee even if your car sucked in power at a much lower rate during the charging session—the theoretical maximum kW value is what set the price. (In practice, OEMs like Kia have signed deals with Electrify America so owners get discounted or even free charging for several years.)
Per-minute pricing for electricity is something that many US states require by law. But 23 of them (and DC) are a little more sensible and only require that customers pay for the amount of electricity used. (Electrify America says these states account for 78 percent of the charging conducted using its network.) For some time now, Tesla has billed Supercharger users in these states by the kWh, and now Electrify America will do the same. That means you’ll pay the same to put a kWh in a Chevy Bolt at 50kW as a Porsche Taycan at 270kW.
The cost of a kWh for Electrify America’s Pass+ members is $0.31/kWh; if you don’t want to pay the $4 monthly fee to be a Pass+ member, the rate is $0.43/kWh. This is more expensive than the $0.28/kWh Tesla currently charges in the same states, although it no longer offers free Supercharging to new owners.
In states where Electrify America is required to bill by the minute, it has simplified its structure into just two bands—one for EVs that can charge at up to 90kW, the second for EVs that can charge up to 350kW. For Pass+ members, that will cost $0.12/min and $0.24/min, respectively. For non-Pass+ members, the rates are $0.16/min and $0.32/min. (Again, this is more than Tesla charges; it bills $0.13/min under 60kW, and $0.26/min above 60kW.)
“Electrify America has listened to feedback from electric vehicle owners, potential customers, and longtime industry advocates. As a result we have developed a new pricing structure that is fair, consistent, and recognizes the increasing customer demand for kilowatt-hour pricing,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America.