Volta Offers Free EV Charging, With Caveats
Comment of the Day

September 19 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Volta Offers Free EV Charging, With Caveats

This article from extremetech.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Tesla set the bar high with free charging for many years. Now comes Volta Charging, a company that aims to build a network of high-speed chargers for all EVs that are free for the first 30 minutes. They’d be in upscale locations that meet Volta’s standards and supported by advertising, including on signage near the DC fast chargers.

The typical motorist would pick up 175 miles of driving from the half-hour charge. The user then decides to complete the charge on their own nickel, or disconnect and drive for a couple more days. Volta already has a series of Level 2 (240-volt) charging stations in and around a dozen major metro areas. The first DC fast-charge station will be in Norwalk, Connecticut, along I-95 linking New York City and Boston.

Eoin Treacy's view

One of the biggest arguments against the rollout of electric vehicles is they require charging facilities and not everyone who owns a car has control over the environment in which they park. There is also the question of where all the electricity is going to come from to supply electric vehicles. Much more generating capacity is going to be required to support the sector and companies are already under pressure to keep up with demand as coal is sidelined and the grid ages.
Volta’s 2nd quarter report suggested they are making more money from advertising than charging services. That’s an interesting redevelopment that harkens back to the era of paying for AOL before free internet browsers were released. If Volta can make money from selling advertising, the route to accelerating the rollout of chargers will be a lot smoother. The share has been forming a base formation since May.
American Electric Power is spending billions upgrading its grid and expects to be able to raise prices by 7% a year to pay for it. The share is steady in the region of the 2020 and 2022 peaks.

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