Twice As Long At Free DC Chargers Than Paid

Do Free DC Fast Chargers Live Up To Expectations?

A current examination unveils an immense separation amongst paid and free DC quick charging of electric automobiles in the United States, concerning energy expended and time taken to recharge.

A recent report from the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office has revealed that electric vehicle (EV) drivers tend to spend almost twice as long at “free” DC fast chargers as opposed to the paid ones. This conclusion was drawn from data collected from more than 2.3 million charging sessions at non-Tesla DC charging stations between June 2020 and June 2023.

It appears that the common driver occupies 78 minutes on an individual session when tapping into free DC rapid charging stations, gaining 40.7 kWh of electricity. However, during this same period, but through fee-based DC quick chargers, they tend to have a shorter period of time and receive an amount of 22 kilowatt-hours of energy in only 42 minutes.

“Free” DC fast charging is often offered as a bonus with many electric vehicles (EVs) from Hyundai, Volkswagen, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and other carmakers. (I say “free” in quotes as the cost is usually included in the vehicle’s price.) The idea is that this encourages people to purchase EVs since they know they will get complimentary charging during their road trips.

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution has brought with it a number of issues, not least of which is the misuse of DC fast chargers. People have been treating these as if they were gas stations, leading to long lines, and long-term damage to batteries since EVs should not be exclusively fast-charged. Tom Moloughney has even gone so far as to call for this practice to end.

This study indicates that EV owners are likely to capitalize on the opportunity to top up their battery with free DC fast charging, even if it will take over an hour. It is critical to recognize that as EVs become fuller, charging rates slow and significantly impact the amount of time taken.

In the context of paid DC rapid charging, the mean time of 42 minutes – only minimally exceeded by ordinary EVs’ up-to-80% charging times – suggests that customers are utilizing the charger with heightened efficiency. Where the user has to pay for charging, they should ideally not use more electricity than is necessary to reach the next available charging station, or make it back home to utilise their Level 2 charger for cheaper charging.

The potential of no-cost charging systems could certainly have an effect on the level of DC charging stations in city centers, likely due to the fact that electric vehicle users would be more inclined to use them when they don’t have to pay for them — particularly if at-home charging is not possible.

The data compilation does not feature the Tesla Supercharger system, although Tesla has publicly informed that the standard period for each session (worldwide) is generally 27.5 minutes. Payment relating to electricity at the Superchargers will usually have some exceptions and deals; coupled with the relatively high power supply (in most cases 250 kilowatts) this would explain why it is lesser than other non-Tesla charging points. But, it is likely that the input of energy per session on a Tesla Supercharger is higher versus its counterparts (we know from August 2019 that this was sub-36 kWh).

Under any circumstances, should you be given a complimentary DC rapid charging superior to the standard for your electric vehicle, make sure to utilize the service consciously; top up only when necessary, don’t take advantage of this too often and stay away from utilising it as an alternative gasoline station.

Statistics from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2023 for DC fast charging show that [number] of locations have been equipped with this technology. Across the [country], a total of [number] new sites were installed, contributing to an overall increase in accession of twenty-four percent. The majority of new installation sites are situated in [location] and [location], accounting for more than [percentage] of the total number. In addition to these two regions, a noteworthy amount of growth has also been seen in other parts of the country, reaching over [percentage] on average. Finally, a large proportion of charges enabled utilizing this technique have been conducted in the aforementioned areas, supporting the positive increases from these regions.

The Energetics EVWATTS Dashboard is a repository of knowledge that caters to an extensive range of energy utilization data. It covers both domestic and global power consumption rates, delivering exact details on power usage for different sectors. This dynamic resource also provides information on industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential power consumption. The Energetics EVWATTS Dashboard presents a collection of data covering multiple aspects of power expenditure. It offers a thorough look at energy consumption across the board, from both domestic and international realms. The repository gives accurate figures for energy consumed in numerous industries, including for businesses, academic institutions, and homes. Furthermore, this dynamic source also furnishes users with comprehensive insights into electricity usage tendencies.

The findings in this research are based on a group of electric vehicle (EV) owners from across the nation who chose to participate. Data from Tesla’s Supercharger network was not taken into account.

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