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Charging your new electric vehicle is part of the deal. Where you charge it, however, is up to you. When you purchase a new electric car, you get a federal tax credit. In addition, some companies are offering free subscriptions to charging stations.

Some of the brands partnering with charging stations are Volkswagen, Hyundai, Tesla, and Nissan.

Are public charging stations free?

A Volkswagen electric vehicle charges at a charging station
A VW Golf from is charging at a station | Hendrik Schmidt/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images

Most of the time, public charging stations are not free. However, some brands have included it in the purchase of a new all-electric vehicle.

Volkswagen has included three years of free charging at Electrify America with the purchase of all new ID.4 vehicles. The company offers fast charging at public locations at no additional cost.

According to a Volkswagen press release,

“The Electrify America network has more than 500 DC fast-charging stations with more than 2,200 individual DC fast chargers nationwide, including 150 stations in California alone. Electrify America already has two DC fast charging cross-country routes that the Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S and 1st edition models could drive coast-to-coast using its manufacturer’s estimated range of 250-miles.”


With more electric vehicles on the road every day, these stations are likely to keep popping up.

Hyundai also partnered with Electrify America to provide 250 kWh of complimentary charging for new Kona and Ioniq Electric owners. Enter your VIN into the app and enter the code “HSCharging” to sign up.

Back in 2019, Nissan was offering two years of complimentary fast charging for the new Nissan LEAF EV. Now, the company uses a program called Nissan Energy Perks by EVgo. This includes a $250 credit for EVgo charging stations.

At the end of 2020, Tesla was offering free fast charging with the purchase of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

These offers change quickly, and automakers will likely add more incentives as we move toward an all-electric future.

How much do charging stations for electric cars cost?

The cost of charging can vary depending on where you live. California tends to be the most expensive state when it comes to kWh. If your new car subscription runs out, you can get a monthly subscription or pay as you go.

My EV has all of the pricing information. Electrify America offers a discount for Pass+ members. A $4 monthly fee gets you the discounted rate of $0.31/kWh.

Guest and other members will pay $.43/kWh. Electrify America charges an “idle fee” of $0.40 if your car remains plugged in for more than 10 minutes after it is fully charged.

EVgo charges $0.35 a minute for fast charging with no fee or commitment. For those who want to pay $7.99 a month, you pay $0.31 per minute.

ChargePoint is a brand found at retail locations for the most part. While some companies or locations absorb the cost, ChargePoint will charge $10 to your card at signup if it isn’t free. After that, the company will replenish the app as your balance gets low.

There are other charging options

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Many businesses are trying to get electric car drivers in by offering free charging. Places like Costco still charge for a quick charge, but the parking is prime. Maybe malls and entertainment centers offer free charging. Just plug in and hit the shops!

You can find free and pay-as-you-go stations through a variety of apps. PlugShare, Open Charge Map, and the Alternative Fueling Station Locator are some.

The U.S. Department of Energy runs the Alternative Fueling Station Locator. It offers a variety of ways to locate different charging stations and different types of stations.

If you are looking for an app to help plan your trip, try out some of the suggestions listed above.