Charging station at Hertz Global EV rental launch, New York City, December 2010Enlarge Photo
A few weeks ago we told you that pharmaceuticals giant Walgreens had begun to install Level 2 electric car stations at stores in New York City, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago.
While the presence of electric car charging stations -- an estimated 800 at Walgreens stores alone -- are a great way of combating perceived range anxiety in motorists considering the switch to electric, they won’t be good for your pocket.
Because Walgreens’ electric car charging partners are planning on charging between $3 and $4 for a 90 minute recharge.
Scenes from dedication of electric-car charging station at Creekside Inn, Palo Alto, CAEnlarge Photo
And that’s not for an ultra-rapid DC charge, capable of charging cars like the 2011 Nissan Leaf and 2012 Mitsubishi i to 80% full in under 20 minutes. No, we’re talking $3-4 for 90 minutes at a Level 2 charging station.
If you drive a car like the 2011 Nissan Leaf, that equates to around 20 miles of range.
Unless you’ve driven your car to almost empty, we can’t think of many electric car owners who would want to set aside as much as $4 for a lousy 20 miles.
Why the cost? Ultimately, charging infrastructure firms argue that the cost of installing and maintaining interconnected ‘smart’ charging stations has to be recuperated through the customers. However, as any businessperson will tell you, a service is only worth as much as people are willing to pay for it.
Portland CHAdeMO quick-charging station (publicly accessible)Enlarge Photo
We think electric car customers are more likely to pay higher prices for rapid DC charging, capable of substantially increasing the range of a partially charged electric car.
Something tells us that Level 2 charging has to cost a lot less.
Yes, electric car charging stations should -- and need to -- make some charge for the electricity and facility they provide, but how much is too much?
Let us know in the Comments below.