How Do You Charge an Electric Vehicle in Public?
Drivers in Maine and around the world are making the switch to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles, or EVs, are fun to drive, cheaper to operate, and cleaner for the environment. In the next 10 years, it is predicted that one in every six cars on the road in Maine will be an EV. Efficiency Maine offers rebates to make the switch to an electric vehicle even easier. If you’re interested in buying an EV, we’d like to share some useful information about owning and driving an electric vehicle. Over the next few weeks, we’ll cover a variety of EV topics that we hope will help Mainers across the state feel confident and excited about switching to an EV. Today’s topic: charging an electric vehicle in public.
There are currently over 400 public charging stations in Maine – and counting! Maine has many DC fast chargers located along important travel corridors, and more are planned for the coming year. Drivers can find them at the Kennebunk Service Plaza, Hannaford in Skowhegan, and the Gulf Trailside One Stop in Jackman among other well-trafficked locations. In addition to helping Mainers make longer in-state day trips, this fast charger network accommodates the growing number of EV drivers traveling on business or for vacation from Quebec, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and elsewhere.
Many public EV chargers are linked to an app, such as ChargePoint or EVGo, that makes it simple and convenient for EV drivers to find nearby stations or those along their route, to see the availability of chargers, and even to pay for charging from their smartphone or other mobile device. Some apps, such as ChargePoint or Tesla, only show chargers in a specific network. Other apps, such as PlugShare, show a larger selection of chargers, regardless of the network or brand. The PlugShare app also shows the availability and price of charging at each location. These are just a few examples of the apps you can use to pay for charging an EV. Click here to see a more complete list of available EV charging apps.
Public EV chargers can be free, pay-as-you-go or subscription-based, or have prices set by networks or property owners. For the ones that charge a fee, there are a few different ways to pay. If you have a smartphone or other mobile device, you can pay for your charge using the same mobile app that helped you locate the charger. Some charging station providers have their own apps, so you may want to download more than one so you‘ll be prepared regardless of the brand of charging plug you find at various charging locations. These apps also let you track your charging session in real time, showing the miles added to your range and the price of the service. Another way to pay is with an RFID card. With some providers, you can request to have an RFID card mailed to you when you sign up for an account online or through their app. Many chargers will accept payment with the simple tap of this card.
The price of public EV charging varies, depending on the station and the owner. Both the charger’s screen and the app will display the charging price. Fees can be assessed by the minute, per kilowatt hour (kWh), or per session. For example, for a DC fast charger with a fee of $0.43/kWh, you can expect to pay $12.90 for 30kWh, which is about half a charge for a vehicle with a 60kWh battery. For a full charge, you would pay $25.80.
Another benefit of public EV chargers is the ability to use nearby amenities while your EV charges. You can grab a cup of coffee, do your grocery shopping, eat a meal, or stretch your legs during a road trip. Clearly, as more and more locations host EV chargers at strategically located sites, it shows that Maine’s business owners know how to cater to drivers and the transition to electric is getting serious.
To see a complete list of public chargers in Maine, visit our Charging Station Locator tool.
Efficiency Maine offers instant rebates for eligible BEVs and PHEVs at participating Maine car dealers. Eligible vehicles direct from a manufacturer are eligible for mail-in rebates. For a detailed list of vehicles that qualify for Efficiency Maine rebates, visit https://www.efficiencymaine.com/docs/EV_Rebate_Eligible_Vehicles.pdf. To find a participating dealer near you, visit https://www.efficiencymaine.com/docs/EV_Accelerator_Participating_Dealers-3.pdf. Also check https://www.efficiencymaine.com/ev/ for our EV video library and other resources.
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