With summer approaching, a holiday weekend upon us, and stir-crazy families looking toward post-pandemic road trips, it’s as good a time as ever to survey which electric vehicles include free fast-charging.
Quite a few of them do, although some automakers only offer a limited amount of free charging—often based on kilowatt-hours—rather than unlimited access.
The Electrify America network is funded through Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions settlement, so naturally the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 comes with three years of unlimited DC fast charging on that network. For VW, which is pitching the ID.4 on value versus gasoline models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, it’s an important part of that proposition.
While VW is footing the bill, Electrify America is open to all EVs, so other automakers are taking advantage of the network. The Lucid Air also includes three years of unlimited Electrify America fast charging, extended to U.S. customers who reserve their vehicle by the end of 2021. Lucid also claims the Air, which is scheduled to start deliveries later this year, will be the fastest-charging EV, able to recover 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 and Electrify America DC fast-charging station
Other automakers have signed on to use the Electrify America network, but with more restrictive free-charging terms.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5, from the automaker’s new Ioniq sub-brand, gets two years of unlimited 30-minute complimentary charging sessions from the date of purchase. That implies customers will have to pay if a session exceeds 30 minutes, but that should be enough to recover the most mileage at the quickest charging speeds.
Beware that Hyundai doesn’t include the offer on its other EVs. The Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric include just 250 kwh of complimentary charging on the Electrify America network—enough to cover maybe one ambitious long weekend of road-tripping.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E also gets just 250 kwh of free fast charging on the Electrify America network—a value of $107.50, in this case.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E at Electrify America fast charger
Nissan has been including a $250 credit for EVgo fast-charging with Leaf purchases. That’s included access to partner networks; EVgo has made “roaming” arrangements with, including Electrify America, ChargePoint, and EV Connect.
General Motors hasn’t discussed free fast charging for its EV customers. The automaker has said that it will be partnering with Qmerit for 240-volt Level 2 AC home wallbox installation, and that it will be subsidizing basic installations for Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV owners.
However, that program only covers installation of a NEMA 14-50 outlet, which won’t allow the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV to charge at their full 11 kw. It also won’t help once you’re out on the road.