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Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:04 am
by Zugzwang
Hi!

Great forum - very useful discussions going on around here.

I am very new to this - I do not yet have a LEAF.

A question for your reactions if I may:

At my local train commuter station there are a few parking lot spaces available for electric cars and they include charging stations. The machine says they cost $2.50 (Canadian) to use.

With no background in this, I currently have no sense of cost for electricity. Is that a "good" deal? Is that about what it would cost to get a full charge by plugging in to my home?

I appreciate electricity rates vary widely and I gather different batteries cost more to charge up than others. And there's probably more variables than that too. But does that price jump out at anybody? As in, "I would never do that", or "I would do that every day!". I almost never see these charging stations being used.

(Also, I certainly do appreciate that this is superior to filling up at a gas pump!)

Many thanks for your thoughts!

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:50 am
by Zythryn
Zugzwang wrote:Hi!

Great forum - very useful discussions going on around here.

I am very new to this - I do not yet have a LEAF.

A question for your reactions if I may:

At my local train commuter station there are a few parking lot spaces available for electric cars and they include charging stations. The machine says they cost $2.50 (Canadian) to use.

With no background in this, I currently have no sense of cost for electricity. Is that a "good" deal? Is that about what it would cost to get a full charge by plugging in to my home?

I appreciate electricity rates vary widely and I gather different batteries cost more to charge up than others. And there's probably more variables than that too. But does that price jump out at anybody? As in, "I would never do that", or "I would do that every day!". I almost never see these charging stations being used.

(Also, I certainly do appreciate that this is superior to filling up at a gas pump!)

Many thanks for your thoughts!
Hello and welcome!

As a general rule, charging at home is the cheapest. This isn’t universal, but is true for most.

If you can dig out your last electric bill that should show you a cost/kWh. If you have anything else expressed in cost/kWh add that as well. These could be things such as delivery fees.
Each utility can handle that differently and I have no idea how Canadian utilities handle that.

As for the cost at the train station, typically charge costs are given in a cost/time or cost/kWh. It is possible that is a flat charge to park there for any length of time?
If it is 2.50/kWh that is outrageously high. I’d be shocked if that were the pricing scheme. It is still high for a cost/hour, but not as bad depending upon the car you have.
If it is a flat rate, it depends how much charging you can do while you are parked there. If you only drove 5km to get there and only need 1kWh to charge the car, that is very expensive. If you need 40kWh of charge, that is pretty cheap ;)

If you can give us some more details about your home cost of electricity and/or the cost structure at the train station, I am sure someone can help with more specifics.

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:53 am
by WetEV
Zugzwang wrote:At my local train commuter station there are a few parking lot spaces available for electric cars and they include charging stations. The machine says they cost $2.50 (Canadian) to use.
For the day? If so, might be an OK deal if you need the charge. Even at L1 charging (120V 15A, standard household outlet), you could get more than 10 kWh in roughly 10 hours, which would be a common parking time. So that is less than CAD$0.25 per kWh. Multiply by about 2.5 to the the cost per litre equivalent, about CAD$0.63 per litre equivalent. BC gas prices are around CAD$1.20 per litre. L2 charging and a large battery would be even cheaper, if you needed 60 kWh that the cost could get down to well less than home CAD$0.10 per litre.

Most people will charge at home and will likely not need the charge. Electric rates in BC are around CAD$ 0.10 or CAD$0.25 per litre.

Think about what is the most comfortable and convenient. In your lighted, warm, dry garage? Or a wet, cold, windy parking lot? So even if the price was the same, which would you use?

The likely use for such parking spots is for someone who doesn't have home charging for some temporary reason. L2 getting installed next week and too much driving to just use L1, power outage, in a hotel, etc. This would be cheaper and easier than a stop at a DCQC. Perhaps someone without a garage. Perhaps be someone with a very long drive, well over 100km one way, to the train station, needing a charge at both ends.

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:38 am
by alozzy
I would look on PlugShare.com for more details on the charging station (EVSE) that you want to use RE cost. It's likely a flat rate fee of $2.50 for as long as you are parked there. If the parking is free for EVs in the EVSE spot, and pay parking otherwise, then you can't really complain about a $2.50 flat rate - equates to cheap parking and free charging if there > 1hr

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:31 am
by Zugzwang
Thanks to you all for your thoughts! (and welcome)

Plugshare was an interesting lead especially.

If I have my lingo right, it's a level 2 charge (a J-1772) and it is $2.50 per 'session'. The parking at the train lot (a car park/parking garage) is free (whether you charge) or just park elsewhere in another spot. I am not sure what a "session" is, but I am guessing it's a daily park.

I will follow the advice and get to know my electricity bills a little better.

It sounds like it's pretty OK if you are going to fill up an empty tank so to speak, but otherwise it probably makes more sense to just plug in at home overnight.

As I learn more about EV's, I suspect the issue of the value of $2.50 will turn out to be the least of the issues I should be concerned with but it is fun to think about.

Thanks again for your time. I am sure I will have other questions.

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:06 pm
by SageBrush
Right on all counts, OP
Session is: plug, .... unplug

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:25 pm
by alozzy
If you are in Vancouver, feel free to private message me on this site, as I'm happy to meet up at a coffee shop if you have questions or are considering a local car. You can even borrow my LeafSpy dongle for testing battery health, if you like.

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:15 pm
by jjeff
My electric rate including all taxes is roughly 12c/Kwh. I have a 24kw Leaf, probably the max I could charge would be 20kw. Multiply 20x.12c and that would be $2.40. If you can charge at $2.5 and only charge at low levels of charge, IMO that would be a good deal. It would be even a better deal if it saved you purchasing a L2 EVSE($300+) and having it wired or a plug installed(several hundred dollars and up).
Personally I prefer plugging in my garage but for $2.50 your deal could make sense, depends on your situation.

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:31 am
by Zugzwang
alozzy wrote:If you are in Vancouver, feel free to private message me on this site, as I'm happy to meet up at a coffee shop if you have questions or are considering a local car. You can even borrow my LeafSpy dongle for testing battery health, if you like.
Hey, thanks for that alozzy! As it turns out, I am not in Vancouver though. (Many days, I wish I was!)

Re: Cost Per Charge

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 pm
by Honva
$2.5 per session sounds like GO train stations. I live in Ontario and the cost of electricity is cad$0.1 per Kwh during the hours of 7pm to 7am. It costs ~$1.6 per 100km of driving.

In a $2.5 per session, it all depends on how full your battery is when you plug in. If on a 2018 leaf your battery is below 40%, you will get your $2.5 worth of electricity. Unless you have a long drive (>50km one way) to the station, you probably don’t want to plug it in at the station every day. Charging at home is usually cheaper and more convenient.