Nissan Leaf electric car at EVgo DC fast-charging station
Over the next three years, numerous long-range electric cars will come to market at prices below $40,000.
That will expand the pool of potential buyers to those interested in plug-in vehicles but unwilling to consider one rated at less than 200 miles.
Those new owners will learn the DC fast charging along highways to enable longer road trips remains badly signposted, operated by multiple entities … and often expensive.
On Thursday, the nation's largest fast-charging network announced a new, simplified, and lower pricing system to address the last of those three problems.
EVgo's new prices apply to its more than 1,000 sites nationwide, and cut rates both for one-time users and network members.
The company has also lengthened fast-charging sessions from 30 minutes to 45 minutes for Pay As You Go users and to as much as 60 minutes for its Membership customers.
BMW i3 electric car at EVgo DC fast-charging station
The prices vary by region, however, with EVgo charging Membership users $0.15 to $0.21 per minute—which, it said, is "about as cheap or cheaper" on a per-mile basis than the average gasoline vehicle—plus a $9.99 monthly fee (applied as a credit to offset the first $9.99 of fast-charging fees incurred).
For the math, if you care to check it, the sales-weighted average new-vehicle fuel economy has remained around 25 mpg for four years now.
Pay As You Go rates run from $0.25 to $0.35 per minute, depending on the state.
A pair of special California promotions will let that state's electric-car drivers fast-charge for $0.20 per minute on a single-use basis, or $0.15 cents per minute as part of the Membership plan. Both promotions run through June 30.
EVgo suggested a hypothetical driver in Maryland who fast-charges three times a month under the Pay As You Go plan will save 30 percent over the company's previous "Flex" plan.
If that driver charged the same number of times under the Membership plan, the network said, the savings would amount to 50 percent.
Two 2018 Nissan Leafs with EVgo fast charger at NJ Turnpike Molly Pitcher travel plaza, Feb 2018
California drivers who charge five times each month will save 45 percent and almost 60 percent under the promotion that ends June 30, it said.
EVgo has also simplified its registration and enrollment process, it said, to let new electric-car users sign up and start fast-charging within minutes using its mobile app or via its website.
The new rates take effect today, March 1.
EVgo is now the exclusive provider of fast-charging services under the Nissan "No Charge To Charge" program, in which charging is free to buyers of new Nissan Leafs for two years.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article said the Nissan "No Charge To Charge" program lasted three years; our thanks to Leaf owner John Briggs for pointing out that it's actually two years. It also neglected to indicate that the $9.99 monthly fee for EVgo members is applied as a credit to fast-charging fees incurred during that month. We have corrected both issues.