California Bill To Make Public Charging More Accessible

4 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 9

Use Of Public Charging Stations In California Soon To Only Require Cash In Your Pocket

Use Of Public Charging Stations In California Soon To Only Require Cash In Your Pocket

Currently, public charging stations found in California are required to be part of a larger network, that requires membership to allow plug-owners to recharge their cars.

Rolling Into A Charging Station Or A Gas Station In A Chevrolet Volt In California Soon To Be Identical Payment Transaction

Rolling Into A Charging Station Or A Gas Station In A Chevrolet Volt In California Soon To Be Identical Payment Transaction

However, a new bill (SB454) looks to make recharging your car no different that going to a gas station.  If you have a credit card, or cash in your pocket, you can have power in your vehicle; no other associations would be necessary.

On the new proposed changes, Senator Corbett said:

“Electric vehicle drivers need easy access to charging stations  throughout the state and a convenient way to pay for those services, as  they already are at corner gas stations for traditional fuels.”

“SB 454 offers EV drivers the needed confidence that they  will be able to charge their vehicles at publicly accessible charging  stations with consistent and reliable payment methods.  This important  bill continues the process of integrating electric vehicles on our roads and highways while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting  California’s air and water quality and supporting low-carbon alternative fuel technologies—while strengthening our state’s economy by assisting  this emerging industry.”

Will this change hurt current station operates like Blink or ChargePoint?  Hard to say, but we feel this is a necessary step to the mass adoption of electric vehicles in California, and elsewhere in the US that has similar roadblocks in place.

Source: SB 454/Sen. Ellen Corbett via The Long Tail Pipe

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9 responses to "California Bill To Make Public Charging More Accessible"

  1. David Murray says:

    I don’t see all that much trouble with the current systems. As long as you carry around a few RFID cards for blink, chargepoint, etc… Shouldn’t be an issue. besides, who pays cash for gasoline these days?

    1. kdawg says:

      When I first got my Volt, and went to use a public charger, it took me a minute realize I had to belong to some network. I thought I could just use my credit card. I don’t see a problem w/making the stations work both ways. Either use your network card, or swipe a credit card and pay on the spot. Maybe Chargepoint & Blink could offer lower rates to those in the network.

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        Are the network cards for free?

        1. kdawg says:

          Yes, well, my Chargepoint card was free (cant speak for Blink). I did throw $25 on it, just in case I ever needed it, but every charger I’ve ever used has been free.

  2. Brian says:

    Around me, the charging stations already accept any credit card – no need to carry a Blink or ChargePoint-specific card. They do not, however, accept cash. I think that will be the greater challenge, and probably unnecessary. After all, how many EV drivers don’t have a single credit card?

    1. kdawg says:

      And someone has to go around and collect the $, which probably wouldn’t even pay for that person’s job.

  3. Stacey R says:

    This is a well intentioned but terrible idea. Here’s why:

    1) The bill mandates non-subscription billing models.
    2) It mandates per transaction costs by requiring both 800# and credit card readers at stations.
    3) It treads on private property rights severely

    The problems with these mandates? Here goes:

    1) (a) non-subscription business models mean you have to have a per transaction business model. Only the current EV network providers have the patents to be able to run this sort of model. Effectively this protects only those with real-time EV charging business model patents…. can you name one?
    (b) this effectively imposes a a per charge event credit card transaction and communications costs in the COST range of $0.50 to $0.75 per charging session. Or appx. $0.05 to $0.08 per KWH increase in cost.
    (c) the back end cost of tracking and accounting goes way up as every transaction now has to be processed in detail. In the telecomm world this can double the cost of accounting back ends and raises credit risks. Similar issues translates over for EV charging.

    2) By mandating credit card and 800# this necessitates a slide in reader (since most CCs have a mag stripe not a RFID) adding costs and now retro-fit costs to thousands of stations the cost per station gets raised. It also makes the stations sweet targets for identity thieves as these stations are rarely supervised and poorly alarmed.

    3) By mandating stations ALL provide this it is effectively implying that a station on private property must be networked and must be open to the the public.

    It’s easy to appreciate the minor annoyance of having to have several charging accounts during this early stage of the build out but this bill is NOT the way to solve the problem.

    1. Dave R says:

      Very nice rebuttal, Stacey!

    2. kdawg says:

      I can’t comment on your #1, but I agree with #’s 2 & 3. I wonder if Chargepoint and Blink merged if the Fed Gov would prevent it due to a monopoly?