One of the many questions that prospective owners of electric vehicles (EV) ask is “where can I charge it?” This is usually followed by “how much will it cost?” And, then there are questions about how you pay for it, as well.
New App Shows Charging Sessions
Electrify America, a subsidiary of Volkswagen launched as part of its commitment to zero emissions vehicles following the Dieselgate scandal, has an answer, a new mobile app that allows users to manage the charging sessions on their smartphones.
Also, the company introduced two charging plans called Electrify America Pass and Electrify America Pass+. And Electrify America has also cut its introductory charging cost pricing, currently at 30- to 35-cents-per-minute, by roughly 20 percent, depending on the region and local utility rates. This means that the introductory price will be between 23- to 24-cents-per-minute.
Giovanni Pallazzo, president, and CEO of the EV utility said that the service is “committed to increasing EV adoption and are constantly innovating to make the charging experience as a convenience and accessible as possible.” He said the new app will “put all the information and capabilities you need to charge your EV right now in your pocket, making charging with us easier than ever.” He concluded that the new app, “combined with our membership plans, we are streamlining the charging experience at our ultra-fast chargers.”
Mobile App Capabilities Discussed
According to Electrify America, the new mobile app allows you to:
- Locate a Charging Station:The app allows you to find a charging station. Using the Locate a Charger feature, you see the charging station in your area; the type of chargers at a charging station, and which ones are available. Becoming a member of Electrify America Pass and you can see the status of the vehicles using the chargers. Notifications include whether a charger becomes available.
- Pay for a Charge:The app allows you to upload your payment information, and pay for the charging session through your phone. The app lets you see prices before you charge your EV, by selecting the station you would like to use.
- Track Your Charging Session:While your EV is charging you can watch the charge’s progress in real time. If the EV gives you charging information, the app will show the battery’s state of charge (SOC) and the time until your battery reaches “bulk” charge, usually about 80 percent SOC. The app also allows you to track your charging session, started, stopped, or slowed. Once the session is complete, the app provides a receipt.
Two Membership Plans Introduced
Along with the charging app, Electrify America has introduced two membership plans which go into effect later this month. They are:
- Electrify America Pass: This membership track includes the standard per-minute cost plus a $1 session fee.
- Electrify America Pass+:This membership track includes the lowest per-minute price and a $4 monthly subscription fee. Members will also receive an additional discount off standard pricing.
Electrify America charges by the minute. To accommodate various vehicles, the company has a new pricing plan as it plans for vehicles that can charge at 50 to 150kW rates and then up to 350kW. Each charge session is dependent on the power level at which the EV is charging, plus the location of the charger. The power tiers are: 0 – 75 kW; 76 to 125 kW, and 126 to 350 kW.
Website Updates Are Planned Soon
For complete information, please see the Electrify America website.. An update is planned later this month when the new pricing structure is in place. Also, the new app and membership plans will also be released later this month.
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 the year. Currently, you will find Electrify America charging stations in 17 metropolitan areas, and along high-traffic corridors in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
Marc Stern is a reporter for Torque News who covers the Volkswagen companies and other issues. You can follow him at Facebook or on Twitter. He has known to dabble a bit with Amateur Radio.
Source: Electrify America