Install the Charging Station — Charge for the Power


Install the Charging Station — Charge for the Power

I know I’m the resident cynic in the parking business, but can anyone tell me why we are getting in line to install  charging stations for electric vehicles (which now represent around 2% of our potential customers,) and then giving away the power?

Over at the IPMI blog someone asked an innocent question about charging for electricity and in less than 24 hours received eight responses, seven of which said they did not charge.

I realize I will be castigated by the EV charger suppliers for simply asking the question so let me go on record, for the umpteenth time, with the following statement:

I think EVs are terrific. Tesla may be one of the finest cars ever made (As long as you turn off the autopilot – Dale Denda call your office). I think that if you want to purchase an EV, more power to you (pun intended). I believe that hybrid cars are the way to go, but that’s just my preference. Like it or not, range anxiety and the difficulty of finding a charging station can be a problem. But if you are happy to live with those issues, so be it.

I might also say that I fully support charger manufacturers who are supplying the technology to keep EVs running. Installing them in your garage is a good idea. Do the numbers and make it happen.

It seems to me, however, that giving away the electricity is a non starter. If we are going to electrify the auto fleet in the US in 15 years, the money has to come from somewhere. It is not unreasonable that those owning the cars should pay for the juice that makes them go.

Our cover picture this month on PT is of an EV owner using a credit card to purchase electricity for her vehicle. That’s the way it should be.

I would love your thoughts on this issue.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. John, here in the UK and also across many European countries, we also have the lunacy of some free EV charging mainly by Councils intended to promote the take up of EV purchasing and some retailers using this as a perk to customers. The approach by Councils cannot be any more wrong, subsiding the better off that can afford EV from our hard earned taxes is not something I welcome or signed off for and if retailers want to do these sort of promotions, fool them as I know other shoppers are ultimately paying for the silly promotion.

    If any organisation wants to promote EV, by providing free charging, let the EV manufacturers be the leaders as they are the one with the most to gain.

    Once thing I must also mention is that the cost of EV charging per Kw is all over the place and it vary enormously from charging at home at about 5-7 cents per Kw to charging on ultra fast charges at 75 cents per Kw or even more, which even in tax crazy Europe is much more expensive than the equivalent petrol or as our cousins across the pond call it gas vehicles.

  2. “Free” is a misnomer, somebody is paying for it one way or another. This is no different than anything else perceived as “free”, whether we’re talking about parking, lunch or medical services. Those “not” receiving the “free” service are providing paying for it thru some other fee.

    If you don’t have a means of charging your electric vehicle, then you have no business buying an electric vehicle.

    Just my 2 cents on the issue.

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