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Posted: 11:52 a.m. Monday, July 15, 2013

Fast charging for electric cars rolls out

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By David Lardner, Contributor

ClarkHoward.com


Blink, the operator of public EV charging stations, began offering DC Fast Chargers in some locations last week with promises to roll out more locations in the near future.

Service began in San Diego and Los Angeles last week.  It is set to start in San Francisco on July 23 with locations in Arizona, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to follow.

This is great news for EV drivers who find themselves short of range.  DC Fast Charging allows EVs equipped with a fast charging option the ability to get an 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes.

Not so fast.  As convenient as an option like this is, there is a considerable expense. Blink has announced that the initial cost for DC Fast Charging is set at $5 for Blink members and $8 for non-members.  And, that’s per event so, even if you don’t stay connected for the entire time you paid for, you still pay the whole amount.  That’s a whole lot more expensive than charging at home or at public 240-volt charging stations.

The best thing for EV drivers to do is to charge at home during off-peak hours. Plan your trips so that you can charge at home or at a lower cost alternative like public 240-volt stations.

But, if you find yourself a good distance from your destination and lack the range to get there, DC Fast Charging may come to your rescue.  Just know that using this option on a daily basis -- aside from placing additional stress on your battery -- will significantly reduce the savings that one gains by plugging rather than pumping.

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