Home » It’s Amazing How Many EV Chargers Still Can’t Get Payments Right: COTD

It’s Amazing How Many EV Chargers Still Can’t Get Payments Right: COTD

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As EVs continue their quest for world domination, there’s something still very broken about charging an electric car or bike. I’m not talking about chargers that are broken or just don’t punch out their advertised numbers, though that’s a problem, too. I’m also not talking about how rural areas still get the short stick on decent charging for now. Instead, it’s something even more simple than that. EV chargers still don’t give you easy ways to pay.

In today’s The Morning Dump, Thomas wrote about how dynamic pricing can become a larger thing in EV charging. Some folks are concerned that such could turn into price gouging and end up making public charging even worse for the people who have to do it. Thomas ended the TMD by asking how you would change public charging.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I saw a lot of comments agreeing with one thing: There should be a way to pay by card right there at the charger. You can already do this with gas pumps, vending machines, and self-checkouts. It’s a proven technology! There’s no need for charge providers to force you to have dozens of charging apps on your phone just to juice up a car. Tesla owners essentially use their cars as a form of payment. They just plug in, charge, and get charged. That’s great, but there should still be the option to pay with a card, as COTD winner Aaron points out:

Without a mandated standard, “car as payment device” is another major failure point. One of the reason the Tesla system works so well (for now) is because it’s Tesla’s vehicles talking to Tesla’s chargers. It’s consistent and the same. Once you start introducing more OEMs and charge providers into the mix, there’s more opportunity for miscommunications – and I doubt SAE will step in and set a standard for payment processing anytime soon.

Honestly, I think a card reader on the charger is the option with fewer failure points. It’s proven tech. Gas pumps, vending machines, etc. have been using the tech for decades. Integrations between credit cards (and the phone-based wallets like Apple Pay, GPay, etc) are well established and understood by consumers. It totally negates the need for a charge network-specific app.

For our next nomination, we have Canopysaurus, who seems to get a lot of COTD noms, for this one-liner about David’s Easter Jeep Safari project:

No better time for a resurrection than Easter.

I think Canopysaurus knows the kind of humor I like. Keep it up! We’ll finish with A. Barth, who wants you to know the sounds of a glorious two-stroke engine:

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Glad you’re okay! Aside from the soreness. ????

That was an excellent read. I really appreciate the history piece.

There’s basically nothing at the very bottom end of the throttle, then the power comes on like a sledgehammer.

Two-strokes (aka two-smokes) are part of the soundtrack of my youth. I love the sounds they make at the various stages.

startup: brr-ING-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding

idle: ding-a-ding-a-ding-a-ding-a-ding-a

taking off: brrrrrRRRRaaaaaaAAAAAP!

come get some: BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP! BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!

Here, just listen to this:

Oh, and this too, for good measure.

Before we depart for the weekend, you should know that I will be taking a sort of vacation next week. Even though I’ve been married for over a year, Sheryl and I have yet to have a real honeymoon. We tried to have one in early December last year, but she worked through the whole thing. So, we’re hitting the road and driving to the Grand Canyon via Route 66. You might see a couple of posts to help the gang out, but otherwise, you’ll see me a little over a week from now! Have a great weekend.

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Myk El
Myk El
11 days ago

Too bad I’m so far south of where you’re going (Tucson). Hope you have fun.

Ed Candel
Ed Candel
12 days ago

You must stop at the wigwam motel in Holbrook az.

John Metcalf
John Metcalf
12 days ago

Would be nice to have one app to rule them all. If anyone has used a parking app, you’ll get the idea of where I’m going—have your payment information in the app already, pull up to the charger, scan a barcode or type in a number, and the app automatically registers your purchase to the correct supplier.

Sure, it’s basically the same as a credit card where all the vendors accept it as payment through previous agreement. But in app form. The app would have to have some added value to make it preferred over a credit card—maybe points and perks.

Ilikecarsandbikes
Ilikecarsandbikes
11 days ago
Reply to  John Metcalf

The issue is that the current system is every app trying to be the “one” and the disjointed nature of it making them all bad

James Carson
James Carson
14 days ago

Enjoy your vacation Mercedes. On the subject of ev charger payment options, why would anyone want to get into another closed garden system ala apple. The vendor is harvesting your data, and attempting to lock you into their network. CC are a proven, portable technology. Why introduce another set of handcuffs into your life.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
14 days ago

Enjoy – please try to have an actual honeymoon and resist the urge to try and work, we’ll all be here when you get back, vacations should be vacations

Unless Dave and Torch say different, then ignore me

121gwats
121gwats
14 days ago

All of them, the answer is all of them.. except Tesla are an absolute headache. Errors, complicated login, charger ID location not showing up, its a mess. Its only magnified when compared to how well and streamlined Tesla chargers are.

3WiperB
3WiperB
14 days ago

Enjoy your honeymoon! I was just out in that area last summer for vacation. If you can make it work, go on an Antelope Slot Canyon Tour near Page, AZ (I did the Antelope Canyon X Tour) and then drive part of 89A from Page AZ through Marble Canyon over the Colorado. It’s a beautiful drive though the Grand Canyon area. It’s like driving through the Canyon, but it’s very lightly traveled. It’s one of the most lovely drives I’ve ever been on! I enjoyed that more than the Grand Canyon South Rim itself. The drive on 89A in Sedona is spectacular too but much father than you are probably going and much more traveled.

Last edited 14 days ago by 3WiperB
Lincoln Clown Car
Lincoln Clown Car
14 days ago
Reply to  3WiperB

Sounds like you and I took the same vacation last summer, including Antelope Canyon X.

3WiperB
3WiperB
14 days ago

Nice! We stayed in Flagstaff and it was lovely. Did the Sedona drive, Bearizona, a bit of Route 66, and some of the other parks in that area. It was a great time.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  3WiperB

If you like a scenic desert drive anywhere outside cities in Arizona, Nevada, and California. I lived in BHC and used to take a drive up 163 to somewhere AZ, then maybe 90 to Needles CA, then up 95 to Laughlin NV then back TO BHC. GREAT WINTER DRIVE.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
14 days ago

I’ve pointed this out before, when the hue and cry of “just let me use a credit card to charge!” arises, but that is something that is currently possible. At least at EVGo, EV America and Chargepoint charging stations. I have a Chargepoint card, but I’ve used stations from the other two networks with just a credit card. So I think it’s just a matter of people not realizing that what they’re calling for is already there, at least for a sizable number of charging stations.

PS- I found this article that gives details for all the charging networks in the US and you can indeed use credit cards at all of them (including the Francis network shown in the topshot of this story): https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/advice/ev-charging-stations

The only one that’s really clunky is the Blink network, for which you have to call their customer service number to “charge as guest”. The others are all swipe and go.

Last edited 14 days ago by Dar Khorse
Addlightness
Addlightness
14 days ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

I’ve definitely used Chargepoint fast chargers that required an account, even on some free units. Or maybe their card readers were broken. Tap to pay with my phone just elicits a “no account found” response. Even if the various networks say they take credit cards, many of the readers seem to be perpetually broken.

Last edited 14 days ago by Addlightness
Harvey Park
Harvey Park
14 days ago

Have fun on your trip!

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
15 days ago

When we lived in Phoenix and had a 300 ZX, one would occasionally say to the other, “Hey, want to go to the Grand Canyon for lunch?”. And we did a few times. Time to get the Z out for a run, T-tops off.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
15 days ago

Enjoy that beautiful drive, Mercedes and Sheryl! My wife and I did the same thing many years ago and it was really delightful. And of course the Canyon itself is a breathtaking sight – a true wonder.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
15 days ago

Enjoy your vacation!

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
15 days ago

If y’all come through Oklahoma, be sure to say hi!

R53forfun
R53forfun
15 days ago

Enjoy your honeymoon, Mercedes and Sheryl!!!

Last edited 15 days ago by R53forfun
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