Comparing Public Electric Vehicle Charging Networks. Flo charger tesla

Comparing Public Electric Vehicle Charging Networks

While most electric vehicle charging is done at home, having access to public charging, whether at a retail site, public garage, or other location, can make owning a battery powered car a far more practical proposition.

The good news is that the number of charging stations is growing at a Rapid clip. According to the Department of Energy, there are now over 22,000 stations across the U.S. with more than 68,800 connectors between them. About a third of them, 22,620 in all, can be found in California, which is the nation’s largest market for electric vehicles. Florida, Texas, and New York are the states with next highest number of public stations.

Most public chargers are still 240-volt Level 2 units, however, which can take eight hours or more to fully replenish a battery pack. That makes them best for adding some extra range while shopping or dining. Many hotels have installed Level 2 chargers that EV-owning guests can use for overnight charging. Unfortunately, only 16 percent of public stations so far are Level 3 DC Fast Charging units that can bring a given EV up to a 75 percent state of charge in around a half hour.

This is where EV owners can expect the most growth in the coming years. The Electrify America charging network recently installed more than 120 fast-charging stations in Walmart parking lots in 34 states, most of which are off major highways to help facilitate interstate EV travel. General Motors is teaming up with construction company Bechtel to build thousands of fast-charging stations, with many located in densely populated areas where apartment and condominium dwellers would not otherwise have access to home charging. Porsche is planning to create a network of 500 Rapid charging stations in North America to support its new Taycan EV that can give the electric sports car around 180 miles of range in as little as nine minutes.

The fact is, if you own an electric car and anticipate using a public charger you’ll want to join a network. Some Level 2 public chargers, are free, though most providers charge a fee for the service. Note that in some states the fee is based upon the number of kilowatts used, while in others it’s according to charging time. Being a member will help facilitate payment, which can be either on a pay-as-you-go basis or a discounted subscription plan for frequent chargers. You’ll be able to use a network’s smartphone app to locate a nearby station, check which type of charging it supports, whether or not it’s operating and if it’s in use. You can also initiate a session via your phone.

But which network should you join? The answer depends on where you live, where you want to go, and what type of connector your car supports, either CHAdeMO (favored by Asian automakers) or the SAE Combo plug (used by German and domestic companies); many Level 3 chargers support both types. ChargePoint is the nation’s largest network with chargers in most states, though smaller networks only operate in select areas. You may want to register with multiple providers if you rely heavily on public charging, or intend to take an extended road trip with a route based on where fast chargers are located. To make this decision easier, ChargePoint recently forged alliances with the EVgo and Electrify America networks to allow access to either company’s chargers without having to establish multiple accounts.

You can identify where stations are situated on the Internet and what type of connectors they support via ChargeHub.com, PlugShare.com, or PlugInAmerica.org, as well as the individual networks’ websites and phone apps.

Here’s how some of the major EV charging networks in the U.S. stack up:

Blink

The Blink network is owned by Car Charging Group, Inc and operates 3,275 Level 2 and Level 3 public chargers in the U.S. You don’t need to be a member to use a Blink charger, but if you do join it could save some money depending on your membership status. The basic cost for Level 2 charging ranges from 0.39 to 0.79 per kWh or 0.04 to 0.06 per minute. It’s 0.49 to 0.69 per kWh for Level 3 fast charging or from 6.99 to 9.99 per session.

ChargePoint

Headquartered in California, ChargePoint is the nation’s largest charging network with more than 68,000 charging spots, with 1,500 of them being Level 3 DC Fast Charging units. Pricing is unique in that the company allows the property owner where the charger is located to set charging rates. Many of their stations are free to use, with the owner (a retailer, for example) absorbing the cost. Registration is free and charging can be enabled via a ChargePoint card, the company’s smartphone app, or a tap to charge-enabled phone. The first time a member uses a station that charges a fee the company charges 10 to a specified credit card as a balance and deducts the cost from it. Every time the balance goes below 5 another 10 is charged to the payment method on file.

Electrify America

Electrify America is owned by automaker Volkswagen and was established as part of its settlement with the government over the diesel emissions scandal. It plans to have 480 fast charging stations installed in 17 metropolitan areas in 42 states by year’s end, with each station no more than 70 miles apart. Membership is not required, though joining the company’s Pass plan warrants a discount. Charging costs are by the minute and are based upon location and the maximum power level the vehicle can accept. For example, in California the basic cost is 0.99 per minute for a 350-kilowatt power capacity, 0.69 for 125 kilowatts, and 0.25 for 75 kilowatts, each with a 1.00 session fee. The Pass plan has a 4.00 monthly fee with 350-kilowatt charging at 0.70 per minute, 125 kilowatts at 0.50, and 75 kilowatts at 0.18. A 0.40 per minute idle fee is applied if the vehicle remains connected to the charger 10 minutes or more after a session has ended.

EVgo

Based in Tennessee, EVgo maintains more than 1,200 DC fast chargers in 34 states. No subscription is required, though signing up affords discounted Level 3 charging. Sessions are limited to 45 minutes for pay-as-you-go sessions, with members able to go for up to 60 minutes between 8 pm and 6 am. Rates for fast charging vary by region. For example, in the Los Angeles, California area it’s 0.27 per minute for non-members and 0.23 a minute for members. Signing up requires a 7.99 monthly fee, but includes 34 minutes of fast charging. Level 2 charging is 1.50 per hour either way.

Tesla

Electric vehicle maker Tesla owns and operates its own network of what it calls Superchargers. The company maintains 1,604 charging stations globally with 14,081 Superchargers, both in public spaces and at Tesla dealerships. No membership is required, but use is restricted to Tesla vehicles, which come with a proprietary type of connector. Teslas can otherwise use SAE chargers via an adapter. The cost varies depending on the location and other factors, but it’s typically 0.28 per kWh. Where costs are computed according to time spent it’s 13 cents per minute under 60 kWh and 26 cents per minute over 60 kWh. Tesla recently reinstated its policy of offering free unlimited Supercharger access to new Model S and Model X purchasers.

Volta

This San Francisco-based operation operates more than 700 stations across 10 states, and stands out in that charging at a Volta unit is free, with no membership required. Volta pays to have Level 2 charging units installed adjacent to retailers like Whole Foods, Macy’s, and Saks. While the company pays the cost of electricity, it makes money by selling sponsored ads that are displayed on charging unit-mounted displays.

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FLO Commits to Simplifying EV Charging: Embracing the NACS

As the electric vehicle industry continues to surge forward, the need for standardized charging hardware becomes increasingly evident. In response to this demand, multiple automakers have recently announced their adoption of the North America Charging Standard (NACS). FLO, a leading EV charging network operator and Smart charging solutions provider, is embracing this development with open arms. Nathan Yang, FLO’s Chief Product Officer, expressed the company’s enthusiasm, stating, “FLO welcomes initiatives to standardize charging hardware in North America because we believe it will help eliminate confusion for EV drivers.” This commitment to streamlining the charging experience is a testament to FLO’s dedication to customer satisfaction and innovation.

Simplifying EV Charging with Standardization

FLO recognizes that standardization plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless experience for EV drivers. By adopting the NACS, FLO aims to eliminate the confusion caused by a fragmented charging landscape. Yang emphasizes the importance of the NACS’s widespread use among EV drivers and the reliability of existing stations, stating, “Ultimately, the increased adoption of the NACS standard relates both to its widespread use by EV drivers and the reliability of stations that currently offer NACS.” FLO, known for its industry-leading reliability with a remarkable 98% uptime, is determined to uphold its reputation and provide customers with the best EV charging experience possible.

Flexibility and Rapid Integration

FLO’s commitment to customer satisfaction is further reinforced by its vertically integrated business model. This approach empowers the company to prioritize customer preferences and swiftly adopt the standards that best suit their needs. Yang explains, “FLO is vertically integrated, which means we have great flexibility to adopt the standards that customers prefer.” This level of adaptability, combined with FLO’s flexible platform approach to hardware, software, and network design, allows for the Rapid integration of new technology and standards. FLO remains at the forefront of innovation, ensuring that EV drivers can benefit from the latest advancements in charging technology.

Supporting Existing and New Stations

FLO’s dedication to delivering exceptional charging experiences extends to both existing and new stations. The company has already designed its new stations, such as the NEVI-compliant FLO Ultra™ fast charger, to support NACS cables upon customer or site host requests. Additionally, FLO plans to introduce an option for customers with existing stations to add NACS compatibility to their units. This commitment to retrofitting existing stations demonstrates FLO’s commitment to providing an inclusive and comprehensive charging network.

FLO’s embrace of the North America Charging Standard (NACS) is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and advancement in the EV charging industry. By standardizing charging hardware, FLO aims to eliminate confusion and provide EV drivers with a seamless charging experience. With their remarkable uptime of over 98% and a vertically integrated business model, FLO remains dedicated to delivering EV charging done right™. As the demand for EVs continues to grow, FLO’s innovative solutions and commitment to excellence ensure that customers can charge their vehicles with ease, from curbside to countryside.

To learn more about FLO’s industry-leading reliability and their commitment to delivering the best charging experience, visit their website at flo.com.

SOURCE | IMAGE: FLO

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FLO EV Chargers to Get Tesla Connectors in Canada

Quebec-headquartered FLO, a third-party electric vehicle charging network, has announced its plans to offer Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) across its network of chargers in Canada.

This move comes in response to the increasing acceptance of NACS among automakers and is poised to mitigate the confusion among EV drivers resulting from varying charging equipment, reports Tesla North.

This development follows the recent decision by GM to adopt NACS in the U.S. and Canada, mimicking Ford’s move. These moves suggest that Tesla’s charging connector standard might edge out competitors such as CCS, which is bigger and bulkier.

Last week, FLO’s Chief Product Officer, Nathan Yang, highlighted the company’s commitment to this standardization. He linked the broader acceptance of NACS to its growing popularity among EV drivers and the reliability of the charging stations currently employing NACS. Notably, FLO is renowned for its high station reliability, boasting an impressive uptime of over 98%.

“In our pursuit to offer the optimal EV charging experience for our customers, we stand with the technologies and standards that our drivers prefer,” Yang stated.

FLO’s business model allows significant flexibility in adopting the standards and technologies that meet its customer needs. This agility extends to hardware, software, and network design, enabling Rapid adoption of new technology and standards.

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Among FLO’s most recent stations, the NEVI-compliant FLO UltraTM fast charger has been designed to support NACS cables upon customers’ or site hosts’ request.

FLO ensures the uptime of its charging stations using its proprietary system, SmartVIEW. This advanced system remotely supervises each station’s performance in real-time, permitting swift identification of any downtime, its frequency, and duration.

The uptime, essentially representing the proportion of time that the charging stations were operational compared to the total possible operational time, is calculated using a meticulous method that involves the total potential operating time, the start and end time of any outage, and total downtime for all stations.

In a bid to consistently deliver the best charging experience for all drivers, FLO is formulating a plan to allow existing station customers to add NACS on compatible stations. Further details regarding this feature will be revealed in an upcoming announcement.

Chargepoint, another third-party EV charging network with stations in Canada, announced today it would also adopt the Tesla charging connector.

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GM Electric Cars to Get Tesla Supercharger Access

General Motors (GM) is taking a significant step towards streamlining electric vehicle (EV) charging by announcing its plans to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) into its EV designs from 2025, reports Tesla North. This strategic move, part of a collaborative effort with Tesla, will enable GM EV drivers to tap into Tesla’s extensive.

Tesla to Reveal Updated Model 3 in Shanghai with Elon Musk: Report

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly slated to present an early glimpse of the company’s newly updated Model 3 sedan during his first visit to the Shanghai factory in several years, reports Bloomberg citing anonymous sources (via Tesla North). The public showcase, reported scheduled for this Thursday local time in Shanghai, will reveal prototypes of.

We break down the impact of Ford and GM’s decision to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard, as it sparks a transformative shift in the EV charging landscape

The North American Charging Standard (NACS) is gaining significant momentum and unprecedented support in North America, thanks to recent announcements by automotive giants Ford and General Motors.

The absence of a universally adopted standard for fast vehicle charging on this continent is blamed for creating a fragmented charging environment that hampers charging reliability and EV adoption. However, that situation seems to be changing. NACS is emerging as a frontrunner — due to the strategic choice made by both GM and Ford to incorporate it into all their future vehicles.

There is little doubt this will have major implications for the future of EV charging in North America. Here is Electric Autonomy‘s up-to-the-moment explainer of what EV drivers, businesses, network operators and fleet owners need to know about NACS.

What is the North American Charging Standard?

The North American Charging Standard (NACS) is formerly known as the Tesla Charging Connector. It is one of the three types of charging connectors used for fast-charging electric vehicles in North America.

The other two connector types are the SAE Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHArge de MOve (CHAdeMO).

CCS is the popular mode of charging for many European and North American automakers. CHAdeMO is the preferred charging standard among Japanese car manufacturers, though some, such as Nissan, have are switching to CCS.

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The three different Rapid charging standards are incompatible with one another. A vehicle equipped with only a CHAdeMO port cannot be charged using CCS or NACS plugs and vice versa.

These incompatibilities present a host of challenges. It complicates the charging experience for EV owners, increases the hardware burden on charging network operators who may elect to provide more than one type of charging to reach more customers, and also adds risk and confusion for automakers when deciding which standard to adopt.

Who started NACS?

The NACS plug was developed by Tesla in 2012. It is exclusively used on all Tesla vehicles in the North American market.

However, in November 2022, Tesla announced it would share its EV charging connector design and specification files. They are available for download for other car makers.

Tesla highlighted the advantages of the NACS plug compared to other connector types in a post. Tesla says the NACS plug is “the most proven in North America, offering AC charging and up to 1 MW DC charging in one slim package. It has no moving parts, is half the size, and is twice as powerful as CCS connectors.”

Tesla also claims NACS is the most common charging standard in North America. By the OEM’s calculation, NACS-equipped vehicles outnumber CCS vehicles by a ratio of two to one. Additionally, Tesla’s Supercharging network boasts 60 per cent more NACS charging posts than all the combined CCS-equipped networks.

By opening up the NACS to other automakers, Tesla says it aims to encourage both charging network operators and automakers to adopt the technology and ultimately work towards making it the new standard for EV charging in North America.

Are automakers now switching to NACS?

Other automakers are transitioning to NACS plugs. In November 2022, Aptera Motors was the first automaker to confirm their incorporation of the NACS standard into their future vehicles.

Aptera is a California-based EV manufacturer startup focused on building niche two-seat, three-wheeled passenger electric vehicles powered by solar power.

It’s only been as of late that bigger names in auto manufacturing have turned their interest toward the NACS plug. General Motors announced the switch in early June, less than two weeks after Ford announced its pivot.

GM and Ford have both said that they will start integrating the NACS inlets into their vehicles by 2025. Starting “early” next year, GM EV drivers may use an adapter to access Tesla’s network of 12,000-plus Superchargers. Ford EV driver will have adapters by next spring.

To ensure charging compatibility in the near-future, GM plans to supply adapters to GM vehicle owners with the NACS inlets. These adapters will allow owners to charge their vehicles at CCS fast charging stations as well.

“Our vision of the all-electric future means producing millions of world-class EVs across categories and price points, while creating an ecosystem that will accelerate mass EV adoption,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra in a press release.

“This collaboration is…an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers. Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

Where does this leave other standards in Canada?

The adoption of the NACS by GM and Ford raises questions about the viability of competing connectors in North America. It remains uncertain whether these connectors will continue to coexist or if Tesla, GM and Ford’s influence is strong enough to convince other EV manufacturers to commit to one connector type.

In Canada, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has a 500 million Charging and Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure (CHRI) initiative.

The fund focuses on “addressing the barriers to significant private sector investment in charging and refuelling infrastructure,” writes Ehren Cory, CEO of the CIB, in an email statement to Electric Autonomy.

“The CHRI initiative does not require a specific type of charging connector. We welcome collaboration between automakers and EV charging equipment manufacturers to help make charging easier.”

And in the U.S.?

Meanwhile, the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN) association, an American organization that promotes CCS as the global standard for charging all EVs, expressed in a recent statement that while it “stands behind” CCS, it also “supports the standardization” of Tesla NACS.

CharIN says it will create a task force with the goal of submitting NACS to the standardization process.

CharIN emphasized that for any technology to become a standard it must go through due process in a standards development organization such as ISO, IEC, IEEE, SAE and ANSI. This process is collaborative and allows all interested parties to contribute their ideas for the standard.

The Комментарии и мнения владельцев are a change in tune from CharIN’s statement last week, where it expressed concern that the “global EV industry cannot thrive with several competing charging systems” in relation to Ford announcing its adoption of NACS.

In the U.S., CCS connectors have the backing of the Biden administration. Earlier this year, President Biden unveiled details of a five-year plan to invest US5 billion in national EV charging network infrastructure through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. After the GM announcement, White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson told Reuters that electric-vehicle charging stations using NACS plugs will be eligible for federal subsidies if they also include CCS plugs.

The Canadian government’s stance on the matter remains to be seen. The federal government continues to fund public chargers in order to build out Canada’s charging network. But it is unclear if NACS plugs will factor into funding eligibility.

Will charging station operators support NACS?

It is likely that charging network operators, in order to avoid the risk of losing a high portion of customers, will begin to offer NACS charging alongside CCS. This is especially so now that Ford and GM are on board with the NACS.

In Canada, Quebec-based charging operator, FLO, announced its intention to offer NACS connectors across its network of over 90,000 fast and Level 2 EV charging stations.

“FLO welcomes initiatives to standardize charging hardware in North America because we believe it will help eliminate confusion for EV drivers,” said Nathan Yang, FLO’s chief product officer in a press statement.

Yang added that FLO’s flexible business model enables it to embrace standards and technologies that align with its customers’ needs. FLO’s latest fast charger, the NEVI-compliant FLO UltraTM, already supports NACS cables upon request. FLO also plans to allow customers with existing stations to be able to add NACS on compatible stations.

ChargePoint, another major charging network operator with over 4,500 DC fast and Level 2 chargers in Canada, released a statement saying the company is actively doing RD on NACS connectors solutions. It also said this work began prior to the Ford and GM announcements.

“ChargePoint will soon be offering a NACS connector option for all of these products, with cost-effective field upgrades available for chargers that are already in service,” says ChargePoint.

Furthermore, ABB E-mobility recently shared on that it plans to integrate the NACS into its EV chargers. But they must complete the necessary testing, design and validation processes first.

The company is, however, not ready to let go of other charging standards like CCS, MCS, and CHAdeMO. ABB E-mobility intends to continue utilizing these standards alongside NACS in its product offerings.

Several charging network operators in the U.S., including Blink Charging, Tritium, Wallbox, EVgo, Autel Energy, EVPassport and Freewire, are expressing support for NACS connectors and have announced plans to incorporate them into their future chargers.

Public Charging

Ask any EV driver and they will tell you that most of their charging takes place at home, but there are times when you need to use public stations. Canada is home to thousands of public charging stations. You can use one of these apps to find public charging near you.

Level 2: Destination/Opportunity Charging

[1 Hour of Charge ~ 30 km of Driving Range]

Level 2 public charging is often referred to as destination or opportunity charging. Level 2 public charging is a great solution if you plan on staying at your ‘destination’ for several hours or are looking for a quick ‘opportunity’ top-up.

All Level 2 public charging stations, (with the exception of Tesla), use the same plug standard, which means any car from any brand can use any Level 2 station across Canada and the United States.

Many Level 2 public charging stations are free-to-use. For those that are pay-per-use, the average cost is 1.00/Hour or 2.50/Charge.

Level 3: Fast/DC-Quick Charging

[1 Hour of Charge ~ 250 km of Driving Range]

If you are going on a road-trip, but don’t have the time to stop and use a Level 2 charging station, then Level 3 is for you.

Level 3 charging stations are gas station replacements for electric cars that will charge your battery from empty to 80% in 30-45 minutes.

There are three plug standards for Level 3. Tesla has a unique standard that only Tesla vehicles can use. All other North American and European manufacturers use SAE-Combo and most Asian manufacturers use CHAdeMO. Fortunately, most Level 3 stations have both SAE-Combo and CHAdeMO attached, which means any car from any brand can use any Level 3 charging station across Canada and the United States.

Most Level 3 charging stations are pay-per-use and most of them bill by the minute for an average cost of 15/Hour.

Finding Public Charging Stations

Canada has well over 5,000 public charging stations and growing, but they can be difficult to find. Charging stations take up very little space and are often not accompanied by the large brightly-lit signs that we are accustomed to seeing when looking for a gas station. Fortunately, there’s an app for that.

PlugShare and ChargeHub are two independent user-verified public charging maps that track the location and operating status of every public charging station across North America in real-time. Both platforms have user feedback loops, in-built navigation features and search filters that can help you find public charging stations along your route. Both maps can be accessed online and are free to download from Google Play and the App Store.

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