Some electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are free to use. Finding a free EV charging station can be challenging, but there are a few out there. Most charging spots require you to pay by the hour, while others charge by the kilowatt-hour. On the other hand, you can always charge at home and pay a relatively cheaper price with your household electricity.
Public EV Charging Spots May Not Be Free
Not all electric vehicle charging stations are free, and the prices range depending on the owner. Really, the cheapest way to recharge your vehicle is to plug into a level 1 or level 2 outlet in your garage. However, if you’re not at home and you have to charge your car, you can find charging spots in most parking lots and garages outside hospitals, restaurants, shopping centers, colleges, and government buildings.
This level 1 and level 2 charging allows you to restore charge to your car, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re free. At times, charging is a complimentary service from a business to its customers.
In fact, there are office buildings that have complimentary charging locations for their occupants. Nowadays there are far more electric cars compared to a few years ago, so you’ll have a lot more access to them.
Finding Free EV Charging Stations
This depends on where you charge your EV. It can either be at a free spot or a paid station. There are numerous free public charging stations, but you’ll usually have to wait a couple of hours, especially if several people are using the same charging spot.
Alternatively, you can opt for fast charging stations. But you’ll have to take on that added expense. Sometimes fast-charging stations are worth it if you’re in a hurry. Generally, if you want a free charging point, you can find some in the places mentioned above, like hotels and office buildings. But they’re not as common. If you can set up a charging spot in your garage, it could be a much cheaper option compared to using a charging station.
Why Some Charging Stations Cost Money
Electric vehicles are gaining more demand, which increases the need for more charging spots. Currently, a charging station owner is expected to pay a fixed monthly fee for large amounts of energy utilized, and the cost goes up for drivers. If you’re an electric vehicle owner, you might want to talk to your local utility providers to regulate higher charges so that they can be comparable to gasoline prices.
Ways to Reduce Charging Costs for Your Electric Vehicle
1. Use fast-charging stations
Since some charging points charge per hour, using fast charging points could help lower the cost. Such stations are excellent for everyday use, but most importantly, for a road trip. If your car’s lithium-ion battery isn’t overheated, it can get to 80% full in just 15 minutes.
2. Use EVs with a large battery capacity
Some of the major EV manufacturers have done a good job of manufacturing bigger batteries that can take you up to 200 miles. Your top priority should be purchasing an electric vehicle with a large battery capacity. If the battery can last up to 200 miles, it is ideal for day to day use.
3. Set up a charging spot at home
It makes lots of sense to charge your electric vehicle in your garage. 95% of EV charging is done at home, which is quite easy, and the most effective way of charging. Finding a way of generating and storing power in your home is the best possible way of reducing charging costs.
4. Use renewable energy
Using solar panels to charge your electric vehicle is the most efficient option. But solar panel charging stations tend to take up a lot of space, making them a bit undesirable. If you own a business, you can incorporate solar panels and then set up an EV charging point.
Are Charging Stations Worth the Cost?
Electric vehicles are a great way to conserve the environment because they make use of renewable energy. Yes, you’ll have to pay some charging fees, but driving an electric vehicle is a great way to save money as well.
Plus, it’s convenient to top off the battery while relaxing at a restaurant, which isn’t possible with a gas-powered car. Considering charging stations are expensive to install, and electricity isn’t free, it’s understandable for companies to charge you.