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Electric Charging Station Rates

                For those that don’t drive an electric vehicle and even for many that do regularly, it may come as a surprise that there are several factors that determine how much you end paying at a direct current fast charging station (DCFC). Those factors include the type of utility powering the charging station (is it an Investor Owned Utility, a Municipality or a Co-Op), what type of rates and tariffs are in place for that utility, which region of the country are you in, and even who the owner operator is and which charging station manufacturer is in use at the location.

                First, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, and their comprehensive “Gas to Grid” report, the per mile cost to charge an EV in a representative sample of 5 US states ranges from a high of $0.22/mile to a low $0.03/mile. Considering the relatively early stage of vehicle electrification in this country, it is still encouraging that the charging costs per mile for EVs aren’t too far off from the fueling costs for a gasoline vehicle which are closer to $0.13/mile to $0.09/mile.  

            As mentioned, the type of utility supporting the charging stations can play a huge role as many investor owned utility tend to have higher overall rates than smaller municipal utilities (munis) and co-ops. Then, there is the additional question of various time of use or peak charges that can further impact rates, where the price you pay depends on the time of day you’re charging. This is especially true when charging with a non-fast charger using a level 1 or 2 charger in the home long term where utilities will be working with their customers to encourage charging at non-peak times, which in most cases will be during nighttime hours. All in all, as electric vehicle infrastructure continues to develop, so will the need for drivers to be aware and understand what they’ll be paying at the fast charging station. Utilities will also need to work to come up with rates and tariffs that encourage the buildout of more stations in the future.  

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