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    Question of the Month: Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) networks & PEV driver access

    Question of the Month: What are some of 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?

    Answer: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, a sampling of the major networks currently includes 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. Other networks currently represented in the Station Locator include EV Connect, EVSE LLC WebNet, GRIDbot, OpConnect, RechargeAccess, and Shorepower. Please note that many public EVSE are not networked and do not require specific access cards.

    EVSE Networks

    For detailed information on a range of charging networks, see below. As mentioned above, this is meant to show the diversity among EVSE networks, particularly those represented in the Station Locator, and is not a comprehensive listing.

    AeroVironment (http://evsolutions.avinc.com/services/subscriber_network/)

    •          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 protected]

     

    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[email protected]

     

    ChargePoint (www.chargepoint.com)

    •          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. Stationscan 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 protected]

     

    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[email protected]

     

    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 protected]

     

    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[email protected]

     

    SemaConnect (www.semaconnect.com/

    •          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

     

    Tesla Supercharger (www.teslamotors.com/supercharger)

    •          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

    The table below provides an overview of the access type and costs associated with each network.

     

    Network Access

    Cost

    AeroVironment

    Monthly subscription;
    Pay-as-you-go

    $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

    ChargePoint

    Pay-as-you-go;
    Free

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