June 27, 2023

How do you pay to charge an electric car?

Initiating a charge through the QR code on a JuicePedestal

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular by the year. Nonetheless, for many EV drivers (or those considering it), the technology is still unfamiliar. 


With that lack of familiarity come all sorts of questions about aspects of driving that many of us once took for granted. Where you once gave little thought to how you’d find the next gas station and fill up your tank, now you may wonder about how you’ll charge your new vehicle. For that matter, you may even wonder how you pay to charge an electric car. 


Not to worry—the process is simpler than you think. And, if you rely on Enel X Way’s charging network, paying to charge your EV is a piece of cake. Here’s how it works. 


Public vs. private EV charging

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how you pay to charge an electric car, we should make an important distinction between public and private charging stations.


You’ll find public charging stations in a wide range of public spaces, from grocery stores and restaurants to gas stations and other roadside charging areas. Conversely, private stations are those you have set up at your home, workplace or any other non-public space. They’re not open to the public, and their payment methods vary depending on how the operator has the system set up.


At home, for instance, you pay for your EV charging time on your monthly electric bill. Just like any other electricity you use, you’ll pay to charge your car in kilowatt-hours, and this will be lumped in with all your other electricity use. Some utility companies offer special rates for charging during off-peak hours, but you’ll still pay for your electricity on your monthly bill. 


Private stations at workplaces or other locations may be offered for free—as an employee perk, for example—or they may charge by the kilowatt-hour or even by the minute. Private station owners typically set the prices they charge for electricity.


Public charging stations, on the other hand, are open to anyone, as long as you’re set up to pay for the electricity through the station’s particular charging network. You can typically do this via charging station membership or on a pay-as-you-go basis using a charging network app, QR code, credit card, or even automatic vehicle recognition. As with private stations, prices vary based on the station owner.


Ways to pay for charging your EV

Depending on the charging station network and the station owner’s setup choices, you may be able to pay in any of the above ways. Since this varies by network, we’ll focus here on how it works for Enel X Way’s charging stations. Whichever option you choose, billing begins when you plug in your car and ends when you unplug it.


By browser via QR code

An easy way to pay for public charging is to use the browser on their smartphone. You don’t need an Enel X Way subscription or app to do this—simply scan the QR code on the charging station and complete the payment process in your web browser. 


Through the Enel X Way App

This option requires a bit more setup, but it’s the simplest choice for regular Enel X Way users at both private and public stations. It’s best to set up a subscription (or use a corporate activation code if your company has provided one) and add a payment method to the Enel X Way App so you’re ready to go.


Once you’re set up, starting a charging session is quick and easy. Simply scan the QR code on the charging station from your app and select “Start Charging.” Your preferred payment method will be charged automatically.


Our app doesn’t work only with Enel X Way stations, either. You can use the map feature to find Enel X Way charging stations along with partner stationsorks, start charging, and monitor your progress on the go.


By RFID card

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is becoming less common with widespread internet connectivity and near-field communication (NFC) options. Nonetheless, Enel X Way chargers are fully equipped with this capability to provide plenty of options for our customers. Some private stations rely heavily on this type of payment, too.


To use RFID for payment, simply plug the charger into your car, tap your RFID card on the station, and start charging. You can even order a new RFID card right from the app.


By credit card

The most straightforward way for anyone to pay to charge an electric car at a public Enel X Way charger is to use the station's Credit Card Reader (CCR). Customers who don’t want to use an app or smartphone browser can simply tap or swipe to pay. CCR terminals also support credit card payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay.


Pay-as-you-go vs. subscription options

One of the key choices you’ll need to make when planning how you’ll pay to charge your electric car is whether you’ll subscribe to any charging networks or simply pay as you go.


Subscribing to a network usually comes with a monthly fee, but you’ll unlock a discounted charging rate and may receive other benefits, such as the ability to book charging sessions in advance. When you choose the pay-as-you-go option, you won’t pay monthly fees but will instead simply pay the prevailing rate for each charging station you use.  If you regularly use a particular charging network, you’re better off subscribing. Check with the network to discover its subscription options and benefits. 


What’s next for EV charging

The transition to electric vehicles is long overdue, and it’s encouraging to see adoption accelerating. But the fact remains that when you switch to an EV, much of the driving experience is new and unfamiliar. The good news is that charging networks like Enel X Way are working to simplify the process of finding a charger and paying for the power you need to keep your vehicle running.


Not only that, but federal programs like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program are also pushing the whole industry toward more interoperability between chargers and all vehicle models, along with standardized payment systems and charging speeds. Paying to charge your electric vehicle is already fairly simple, and it’s only going to get easier.

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