Electrify America operates an electric vehicle DC fast charging network in the US, with 612 charging locations currently and 125 new stations in the works. It was founded by Volkswagen, and was established in 2016 as part of its efforts to offset emissions during their emissions scandal. They have a decent footprint with some locations in shopping malls, Walmart, Target and Bank of America parking lots.
My family has an Audi e-Tron, and with that came some Electrify America charging credits. So on a recent trip to Santa Barbara, California we utilized the Electrify America station at the Camarillo Premium Outlets for our outbound and return trip. This is one of Electrify America’s larger charging outposts, with a total of 10 chargers and it’s conveniently located off the 101 Freeway.
Of the 10 total chargers, 8 have the CCS 150 kW, 2 have the CCS 350 kW and there is 1 with a CHAdeMO 50 kW attached to one of the 150kW chargers.
On the Electrify America app, you can view all of the locations and track the available chargers real time for each location.
One other great thing is that the Electrify America station at the Camarillo Premium Outlets is in the back of the parking lot, across a Panera Bread and Johnny Rockets. So, if you want to grab a quick bite, food is near and it’s located in the back of the lot so you don’t have to worry about shoppers stealing your parking spot and preventing you from charging.
A thing that would be nice for improvement is if there was full pull through parking. Currently, there are poles blocking pull through access. Depending on the location of your charging port on your car, allowing pull through access will make it easier to access all chargers rather than having to back into the parking space if the charger is on the wrong side for your car.
We had a bit of an issue connecting the charging port to our car on both outbound and return trips. Some of the charging cables seemed not to register well with our car and on both trips we had to change stations once. (We tried using the same station that worked on our outbound trip, but another vehicle was using it). Not sure if it was our own car issue, but it did cost a good 5 minutes to try a different station each time. Glad it ended up working out though, and in about 20 minutes we were able to get about 100 miles in range for our car. Not bad at all!
So for this station the price is $0.43/kwH and there is an Idle Fee once the charging stops after a 10 minute grace period. Not the cheapest, as for our 20 minute charge, getting an extra 100 miles of range ran us $17. But, the speed of charging and being able to get back on the road in just 20 minutes was nice.
A reader kindly pointed out that if you’re going to be charging a decent amount during a month, you can get the Pass+ which drops the price for charging over 25% to $0.31/kWH, but costs $4 a month. So your breakeven point would be using about 33 kWH. Not a bad deal if you’re going to be using Electrify America during a month and you can cancel the pass on months that you aren’t charging there.
Overall, it was a pleasant pit stop to quickly charge up our electric vehicle on our road trip. Nice to have DC fast charging available to make the road trip faster, and the outlet location also allows you to shop or grab a quick bite while you wait for the charge.
Have you charged at an Electrify America station before? Comment your experience below!