If you think of Costco as the place to get just about anything, including a car, you might hope you can also charge your EV there. Though the EV charging infrastructure is growing, electric car drivers must search for a Costco location that offers this service. Let’s look at how much it costs to charge an electric car at Costco — if your nearest store even has charging stations.
Can you charge an electric car at Costco?
Costco used to have charging stations in more locations. The big-box retailer began installing chargers in the 1990s; by 2006, it had 90 charging stations at 64 stores across California, Arizona, New York, and Georgia, according to The New York Times. However, in 2011, Costco announced it would remove some charging stations because they hadn’t seen much use. Today, you can find Costco locations with EV charging stations through PlugShare.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car at Costco?
SemaConnect provides charging infrastructure for EVs in the United States and Canada, including at some Costco locations. Businesses lease the chargers from SemaConnect and can set their prices.
According to a Reddit user, the Costco store in Torrance, California, has SemaConnect Level 2 charging stations. Charging costs a 30-cent convenience fee, a $10 deposit, plus 15 cents per kWh, according to PlugShare. A Costco membership isn’t required, but non-members at that location must pay a $20 deposit that will be refunded once the transaction is complete.
Another Costco with EV charging stations is in Salt Lake City, Utah. The site charges a 30-cent surcharge plus 10 cents per kWh. At the Honolulu, Hawaii, Costco, the price is 28 cents per kWh, says PlugShare.
How long will it take to charge your EV at these stations?
The total time and cost to charge an electric vehicle at Costco depend on each store’s set prices, the type of EV, and how fully the car is charged.
Level 2 chargers can fully juice an empty EV battery in four to 10 hours and a plug-in hybrid in one to two hours, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. But most drivers don’t entirely deplete their EVs’ batteries before recharging, so they don’t need a 100% charge. It’s easy to add a bit of charge while shopping in Costco. An hour of charging will add 10 to 20 miles of range.
Kelley Blue Book says an electric car gets three to four miles per kWh. To add about 50 miles of range would take 12.5 to 16.66 kWh. So the total would be $1.86 to $2.50 at the Torrance Costco price of 15 cents per kWh. As another example, if a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt’s battery were empty and its driver wanted to recharge the 65-kWh battery, it would cost $9.75 (at 15 cents kWh) before any fees and deposits. That would give the Bolt a range of 259 miles.
How do Costco’s EV charging prices compare to Walmart’s?
Competitor Walmart also offers electric car charging stations in partnership with Electrify America. The DC fast-charging station network sets those prices, and Electrify America’s Pass members and guests pay 43 cents per kWh when using Level 2 chargers. Pass+ members with a $4-per-month subscription pay 31 cents per kWh. These per-kWh prices are higher than those at the Costco locations in Torrance, Salt Lake City, and Honolulu.
Will Costco add more charging stations as its customers drive more EVs? We’ll have to see if the company replaces some of the chargers it removed a decade ago.