Question of the Month: What are the major EVSE networks?
Question of the Month: What are the major electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) networks, and how can plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) drivers access their stations? What are the costs associated with each network?
Most PEV charging occurs at home, but for those who have a need to charge at a public location, it’s important to understand available charging networks. While EVSE networks and charging infrastructure are frequently evolving, the major networks currently include AeroVironment, Blink, ChargePoint, GE WattStation Connect, Greenlots SKY, NRG eVgo, SemaConnect, and Tesla. Each network has a unique model, with the most common approaches being monthly subscriptions, pay-as-you-go (i.e., pay per charge), and free (free to charge and no subscription fee required).
To determine which charging networks have EVSE along your regular routes and close to your frequent destinations, use the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Station Locator (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/) and the Plan a Route function (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations/route/). Select a station, click “more details,” and refer to the “electric charging network” field. Please note that many public EVSE are not networked and do not require specific access cards.
For detailed information on each charging network, see below.
- Access: Monthly subscription, pay-as-you-go. Unlimited monthly access is provided for a monthly rate, or you may pay-as-you-go. To subscribe, call the company or fill out a form online. You will receive a key fob in the mail, which is needed to initiate a charging session. A one-time activation fee of $15 is required for new subscribers.
- Contact: 888-332-2148, email@example.com
Blink (Car Charging Group) (www.blinknetwork.com)
- Access: Pay-as-you-go. Start by registering a credit card with a Blink account. There are no required annual or monthly membership fees, and no minimum credit card balance. Once registered, you will receive an “InCard” and can initiate a charge using the card. Guests can also initiate a charge with Blink’s mobile application.
- Contact: 888-998-2546, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Access: Pay-as-you-go, free. Sign up for free by submitting your credit card information via the website. You will receive an access card in the mail. If you initiate a session at a networked station that requires a fee, ChargePoint will assess an initial deposit of $25. Stations can be activated by using the ChargePoint card or your registered credit card. Users who do not have a ChargePoint card can use the EVSE by calling the number provided below, which is also listed on the EVSE.
- Contact: 888-758-4389, email@example.com
GE WattStation Connect (www.gewattstation.com/connect/)
- Access: Pay-as-you-go. To start charging with WattSation Connect, register and log in through the website. You will then be asked to link your account to PayPal for payment, and download the WattStation Connect mobile application.
- Contact: 855-443-3873, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenlots SKY (www.greenlots.com)
- Access: Monthly subscription, pay-as-you-go. To start charging with the Greenlots SKY network, download the Greenlots mobile application, which will allow you to search for stations, view real-time status and pricing, and choose between a prepaid monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go.
- Contact: 888-751-8650, email@example.com
NRG eVgo (www.nrgevgo.com/)
- Access: Monthly subscription, pay-as-you-go. NRG eVgo provides multiple charging network plan options, including a monthly subscription and an option to pay-as-you-go. To subscribe, visit the website and sign up for a charging plan in your area.
- Contact: 855-509-5581, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Access: Pay-as-you-go. To sign up, log on to the SemaConnect website and open a new account with a $20 balance charged to a major credit card. You will receive a “SemaCharge Pass” radio-frequency identification (RFID) card that can be used to initiate charging at any SemaConnect location. SemaConnect also offers mobile payments via its smartphone application, toll-free number, or via a QR code scan.
- Contact: 800-663-5633
- Access: Free.Tesla Superchargers do not require an access card; Tesla Model S owners can drive up and plug in. The chargers are compatible with Model S vehicles equipped with the 85 or 60 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack that have been configured to use Superchargers. Note that other PEV models cannot access Tesla Superchargers.
- Contact: 877-79-TESLA
- Access:Pay-as-you-go, free. You do not need to be a member to use the OpConnect stations or third-party stations on the OpConnect Network. You can sign up for a free account via the OpConnect website. You can request and receive a free OpConnect access card in the mail. For stations that charge a fee, you can use an OpConnect card, credit or debit card, smartphone app or your account email or phone number. OpConnect cards require a prepaid balance added to them via the OpConnect website.
- Contact: 855-885-9571, email@example.com
The table below provides an overview of the access type and costs associated with each network.
|$19.99 per month
$4.00-$7.50 per charge
|Blink||Pay-as-you-go||$0.39-$0.79 per kWh OR
$6.99-$9.99 per charge
|$25 initial fee
Cost per charge varies
|GE WattStation Connect||Pay-as-you-go||Cost per charge varies|
|Greenlots SKY||Monthly subscription;
|Subscription costs and cost per charge vary|
|NRG eVgo||Monthly subscription;
|Cost per charge varies by region|
|SemaConnect||Pay-as-you-go||$20 initial fee
Cost per charge varies
Some companies have teamed up to facilitate access to multiple charging networks with one access/payment card. Nissan LEAF drivers, for example, can enroll in the EZ-Charge program (www.ez-charge.com) and use EVSE on the AeroVironment, Blink, ChargePoint, Greenlots, and NRG eVgo networks in certain markets.
Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team