Remember how rising gas prices weren’t a problem for electric car owners? Electrify America is reminding users of its DC fast-charging network of one of the biggest frustrations of owning internal combustion engine cars again — by raising electricity rates at its stations (through Ars Technica).
As of March 6, Electrify America will charge US customers a standard rate of $0.48 per kilowatt-hour. The company, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Auto Group, charged $0.43 per kWh, but now it is emailing customers to share the details of the price increase.
Tara Geiger of Electrify America’s corporate communications emailed the company’s statement about the price changes to The edge:
Electrify America has been able to maintain consistent and unified pricing since September 2020; however, rising operational costs and energy costs now make it necessary to adjust our prices. Our focus remains on meeting the needs of electric vehicle drivers today and tomorrow by investing in expanding our network and improving the customer experience.
Customers paying for Electrify America’s $4 per month Pass Plus plan are also affected. The company had advertised that Pass Plus “saves about 25 percent on charging” with the monthly fee plus a reduced rate of $0.31 per kilowatt-hour. Now that rate rises to $0.36 per kilowatt-hour. Geiger adds that Pass Plus subscribers “can still enjoy savings of about 25% on charges,” confirming that the announced price increases only apply to Electrify America and that they are not temporary.
Electrify America is also increasing per-minute charging rates in applicable states such as Massachusetts and Texas, where companies are prohibited from billing customers directly by kWh. Users in those states are now paying $0.19 per minute for sessions with peak charging rates of up to 90kW, up from $0.16. For faster charging cars, up to 350 kW, the rate will increase 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 faster-charging cars.
By comparison, Tesla owners using the Supercharger network pay variable rates that can range from about $0.25 per kWh to as much as $0.50, depending on condition and time of use. Tesla has been raising Supercharger prices for years, but it does recently reduced prices in some areas.
Personally, I experienced an average rate of $0.38 per kWh last December at Superchargers while driving in the Mid-Atlantic region. In one session, I added 46 kWh of electricity to my battery, which cost me about $17. If the rates matched Electrify America’s, it would have cost me about $20 at the old standard rate and $22 at the new.
Electrify America is the second largest coast-to-coast fast charging network in the US after Tesla. In addition to its more than 800 stations in North America, the company is partnering with Ikea and TravelCenters of America to expand EV driver reach. There are even cool Electrify America Sky Club Lounge-style locations in the works that could make the whole price increase worth it – when it gets built.