New pricing plans, mobile app now available for download

Last month, Electrify America held a technology workshop at their Reston, Virginia headquarters and InsideEVs was there to report on the EV charging network's progress. During the workshop we learned that a mobile app would be released "very soon", and that Electrify America would be offering two different membership plans, along with a new pricing structure. 

They kept to their word, and exactly a month later, the app is now available for download (Android and iOS) and so are the new prices. The prices vary from state to state, we assume at least partly depending on the electricity cost there, but not strictly. 

Playing around with the app, I only found two different price schedules and I looked at most of the states. Pricing varies from $.15 to $.99 per minute:

                      EA Pass ($0/month)             EA Pass+ ($4/month)

1-75 kW    $.21 or $.25 per minute        $.18 or $.15 per minute

1-125 kW  $.58 or $.69 per minute        $.42 or $.50 per minute

1-350 kW  $.89 or $.99 per minute        $.60 or $.70 per minute

It's unclear if Electrify America will further adjust the cost per minute in the future to more accurately represent what the electricity costs for the specific regions. It's definitely simpler as it is today, but it's understandable if they need to have more price variance, because electricity rates do vary greatly across the country. 

As for the two plans, Electrify America Pass plan has no monthly fee, but there is a $1.00 session fee added to each charging session. This plan may make sense for those that will only use the Electrify America network on occasion, maybe once or at most twice per month. 

For those that will use the network more frequently, Electrify America Pass+ would most likely be a better option. There is a $4.00 per month membership fee but the $1.00 session fee is waived. Additionally, the cost per minute of charging is also reduced by about 20%. 

“We prioritize customer satisfaction and are constantly innovating to enhance the EV charging experience,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO at Electrify America. “With new membership plans, reduced pricing and a mobile app that makes charging with us easier than ever, we are confident that a growing number of consumers will consider making their next vehicle purchase an EV.”

Kia Niro Electrify America charging
Kia Niro EV charging at an Electrify America station

You'll also notice the price per minute has three different levels; 1-75kW, 1-175kW, & 1-350kW. Initially, I wondered why it wasn't listed as such: 1-75kW, 76-175kW & 176-350kW and the answer explains why. 

When the user plugs in, the car communicates to the charging station what its maximum charge rate is, and that sets the pricing plan for the entire charging session. So if your EV can accept 80 kW, you're paying the 1-175kW rate the entire time your charging, not only for the few minutes you are charging above 75 kW. If Electrify America had explained it as I had expected, then it would imply that once the vehicle's charge rate dropped below 75kW, then a new, lower rate would begin, and that doesn't happen. 

Basically, this per-minute pricing scheme incentivizes drivers to unplug once they are close to fully charged and their charge rate has tapered off dramatically. You don't want to be paying $99/minute if your EV is 90% charged and only accepting 8kW, right?

Personally, I don't have a problem with this charging system. It drives me nuts when I pull up to a DC Fast charger and there's an EV on it that's 96% full, pulling less power than a level 2 station, and the owner is nowhere to be found. Incentivizing owners to charge up to 80% - 90% and then move off is a good thing in my book. 

On that note, Electrify America is also instituting an "Idle Fee" of $.40 per minute. It begins ten minutes after the vehicle has finished charging. During which time the owner will get a text message warning them that they have to move their car or be charged the idle fee.

Electrify America mobile app

As for the mobile app, Electrify America states:

The company’s mobile app, available for both Android and iPhone, allows users to manage the entire charging session on their mobile phone.  EV drivers can now locate a charger, pay for and start a charge, as well as track their charging session right from their smartphones, making charging with Electrify America even more convenient.

The app allows you to locate Electrify America sites that are currently open, as well as locations that are under construction, and will soon be online. It also allows members to pay and and track their charging sessions. 

Also, if you become an Electrify America Pass member, you'll be able to see the state of charge of the EVs charging in your area, so you'll know if they are almost finished charging. You can also have the app notify you when a station that was in use becomes available. 

What do you think of Electrify America's new pricing structure? Is per minute pricing better than per kWh? Before you answer that remember, the time an EV occupies a station is very important now that more EVs are hitting the streets. If slower charging EVs are penalized at the pump, perhaps more manufacturers will put a higher priority on making their EVs charge faster, and everybody wins. 

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Electrify America Launches Its First-Ever Mobile App, New Membership Options and a New Pricing Structure to Help Increase Electric Vehicle Adoption

New Suite of Charging Features Designed with Customer Convenience and Accessibility in Mind for Current and Future EV Drivers

 

Reston, VA (June 3, 2019) – Electrify America, a leader in DC fast charging for electric vehicles (EV),  today launched its first-ever mobile app, a new pricing structure and two new membership plans to help increase electric vehicle adoption.

The company’s mobile app, available for both Android and iPhone, allows users to manage the entire charging session on their mobile phone.  EV drivers can now locate a charger, pay for and start a charge, as well as track their charging session right from their smartphones, making charging with Electrify America even more convenient.

Electrify America also is introducing power level pricing, an all-new pricing structure developed to support EVs capable of charging at faster speeds. Charging will be priced by the minute and is based on the maximum charging capability the vehicle communicates to the charger,  the state where the charging station is located, along with the driver’s membership status.

The membership plans, Electrify America Pass and Electrify America Pass+, are now available for EV charging customers who wish to enjoy the ease of starting and tracking a charging session from a smartphone. With Electrify America Pass, which is designed for occasional users, members can locate a charger, conduct a charging session and track charging history – with no upfront or monthly fees.  For customers needing more frequent public charging, Electrify America Pass+ is a new monthly subscription plan with a low monthly fee that can save members about 20 percent on every minute of charging as compared to non-subscription prices. 

“We prioritize customer satisfaction and are constantly innovating to enhance the EV charging experience,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO at Electrify America. “With new membership plans, reduced pricing and a mobile app that makes charging with us easier than ever, we are confident that a growing number of consumers will consider making their next vehicle purchase an EV.”

The company’s mobile app, pricing structure and new membership plans reinforce Electrify America’s continued commitment to increasing EV adoption by offering options that allow customers to customize their charging experience to fit their public charging needs.

Electrify America’s Mobile App Features: Thanks to easy-to-navigate features, the Electrify America mobile app offers a premium charging experience that includes the following attributes:

Locate a Charger: This feature allows users to find a charging station nearby and get directions to their destinations as needed. It shows the number of chargers available at each station, connector type or types (CCS, CHAdeMO-CCS, Level 2) and which chargers are currently available. By becoming an Electrify America Pass or Pass+ member, customers can view the charging status of vehicles currently using the chargers and receive notifications, if all chargers are in use, and notifications when a charger becomes available.


Pay for a charge: Users can upload their payment information into the app and easily pay for charging sessions through their smartphones. Drivers can also see prices before they charge by selecting a station to view current charging costs available with their membership plan.
Start a charge: The app offers Electrify America members two new ways of to start a charging session -  Tap to Charge and Swipe to Start:  
Tap to Charge: After downloading the app on their smartphones and adding a valid payment method to their account, Electrify America members can add a membership pass to their mobile wallet.  By tapping or holding their smartphone near the charger’s RFID device, users will be able to start a charge.  This utilizes NFC, or near field communication technology.  

Swipe to Start: Members also have the option to initiate a charging session by navigating in the app to the charging station they are currently at, selecting the charger they are plugged into, and swiping on the app screen.  Location services will need to be enabled for Swipe to Start.

Credit card or debit card swipe at the station will still be an option.

Track a charging session: An Electrify America Pass member can easily track the progress of the charging in real time from the app, allowing them to enjoy nearby points of interest. If vehicles are capable of communicating charging information, the app will show the vehicle’s current state of charge (SOC) and the time until the battery reaches “bulk” charge, typically around 80 percent SOC. Users can also choose to be notified when a charging session has started, slowed or stopped. Once the session is complete, the app will show the user a receipt for easy tracking.


Electrify America’s New Power-Level Pricing: The company has developed an all-new pricing structure with reduced pricing for vehicles capable of charging up to 75 kW. Electrify America has created two higher power levels for vehicles coming to market at and above 125kW and up to 350kW. Under the new Electrify America pricing structure, per-minute costs are dependent on the maximum charging capability the vehicle signals to the charger and the state where the charger is located.

Electrify America now offers three power levels for pricing: 
1 – 75 kW
1 – 125 kW
1 – 350 kW

Depending on local utility rates and the power level of the EV, the per minute DC fast charging prices can start as low as 15 cents a minute on up to 99 cents.
The new power-level pricing replaces Electrify America’s initial pricing of 30 to 35 cents per minute established in May 2018.


Complete pricing information is available at www.ElectrifyAmerica.com/pricing.

How Electrify America determines an EV’s power level and its associated pricing:

Car communicates its charging capability:  If your EV tells the charger that it can accept a maximum charging power of 95kW, for example, it is placed in the 1-125kW power level.
Per-minute price is locked in for the session: The power level set according to your EV at the start of your charging session determines the per-minute price, which stays the same throughout the session.
You’ll be shown the power level in which your car is placed at the start of the session.  Your power level pricing will be shown on the charger screen or on the Electrify America app.
Session begins, but charging speed may vary: The charging speed may fluctuate throughout your session based on the vehicle’s requested power level depending on: the vehicle model; external temperature; battery age; and the battery's state of charge when the charging session begins.
 

Electrify America’s New Membership Plans: With the Electrify America app, customers can now pick a membership plan that’s right for them:

Electrify America Pass: This option provides a comprehensive locate-a-charger experience, ease of starting and tracking a session from the smartphone and the ability to view your charge history in the app. It does require the standard per-minute cost plus a $1 session fee.
Electrify America Pass+: With all the benefits of Pass membership, the Pass+ subscription plan offers the lowest per-minute price and a $4 monthly subscription fee which can will save about 20 percent on every minute compared to non-subscription charging.
 

Since installing its first ultra-fast DC fast charging station in Chicopee, MA, on May 2, 2018, Electrify America has accelerated the pace of installations nationwide. The company plans to install, or have under development, 484 charging stations with more than 2,000 DC fast chargers by the end of June 2019. The stations are located in 17 metropolitan areas, and along high-traffic corridors in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

 

About Electrify America

Electrify America LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America headquartered in Reston, VA, and with an office in Pasadena, CA, is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. For more information, visit www.electrifyamerica.com.