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How Charging Stations Work With an Electric Car Subscription in California

an electric vehicle plugged into it's charger

September 15, 2022

How Charging Stations Work With an Electric Car Subscription in California

If you’re curious about driving an electric car, such as a Tesla, one of your reservations might be the logistics of charging your car, as well as how far that charge will get you. While range anxiety is a real concern for EV drivers, a variety of at-home and on-the-go charging solutions make it easy to stay on the move without sacrificing your lifestyle.

 In the face of rapidly rising gas prices, an electric vehicle is not only an environmentally responsible choice, but also a financially savvy one. Electric car subscription services offer drivers access to a car on a month-to-month basis, allowing environmentally conscious drivers to try an EV — and test out how charging one works — without tying themselves to it.

Charging Your Tesla on the Go With an EV Subscription

Tesla has been among the leading EV companies for around a decade now. In fact, the Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling plug-in EV of all time. The automaker routinely ranks among the EV manufacturers offering some of the industry’s longest ranges, and the Tesla Model 3 RWD is no exception, with 267 miles of travel on a full charge.

But it’s not just sleek designs and advanced technology that draw drivers to Tesla. The automaker has instituted a unique global network of Superchargers and destination charging stations that let drivers efficiently charge from almost anywhere. 

Offering the fastest charging speed, Tesla’s conveniently located Superchargers give your car up to 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Destination chargers work a bit slower and require more plug-in time, but they can often be found in handy locations, such as hotels or restaurants, where you’ll be parked for a while.

The state of California has 291 Tesla Superchargers and 681 destination chargers. Wondering how to locate one? Thanks to Tesla’s map resource, which is available through the app as well as directly on each car’s central touch screen, drivers can identify charging locations close to home or along upcoming travel routes to ensure they stay charged up. With thousands of stations worldwide, the map gives drivers the ability to filter options by charging speed, distance, and availability.

The payment process at Superchargers and destination chargers is swift and digital. Every Tesla driver has a Tesla account, which you link to a payment method. When you plug in your car, the station automatically connects to your account, and you can monitor the charging progress and price as the process occurs. When you’re ready to go, simply unplug and drive away; your payment will be made automatically. A full charge at a Supercharger typically costs around $22. 

The global network of Superchargers and destination chargers is unique to Tesla and attracts many EV drivers to the brand. For drivers subscribing to a Tesla, you get access to all of the benefits of this network without going into long-term debt to finance your car. Plus, if you’re just curious about EVs and not sure if you’ll love the plug-in lifestyle, a subscription lets you try it out before committing. 

Charging Your Tesla at Home With Convenient Devices

In addition to Tesla’s unique network of on-the-go Superchargers, the automaker has a variety of options for at-home charging. Many electric car drivers are installing chargers at home, and the price tag of doing so is on the decline, marking a good time to get in on the action.

 The average cost of fully charging your Tesla at home is just $6.50. Tesla’s at-home charging can take a variety of shapes. The most efficient option is to purchase Tesla’s wall connector, which delivers 44 miles of range every hour. If you leave your car plugged in to charge overnight, you’ll be fully charged the next morning (or even in an hour or two). This device costs $400, plus an installation fee ranging from $750 to $1,500, according to Tesla.

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to start charging at home, Tesla’s mobile connector costs $200 and acts as a 120-volt adapter. You can plug it into any three-pronged outlet and start charging anywhere. This method will provide your Tesla with two to three miles of range every hour. For drivers who don’t have to travel far on a daily basis, this can be the best solution, with a low startup cost offering sufficient powering. 

Whether you go for the pricier but more efficient wall connector or choose to save a few bucks and take your time with mobile charging, either at-home option beats the hassle of going to a gas station. With today’s prices, even the $400 device will likely pay for itself after two to three months’ worth of would-be trips to the pump.

Skipping the Pump With Savings to Boot

Beyond our duty to the planet, electric cars are smart choices because electricity is cheaper than gas, particularly in a state like California. In 2022, the average cost to fully charge a Tesla Model 3 across all charging methods rings in at $7.65. This breaks down to between three and four cents per mile. When you compare that to any fill-up at the gas station, your wallet will thank you. 

Once upon a time, when EVs first arrived on the scene, many people pictured flimsy cars that constantly need to be plugged in, and they feared the impact of this hassle on their daily lives. But evolving battery technology is creating EVs with longer and longer range capabilities.

If you’re still not fully convinced, try out a Tesla Model 3 rather than committing to a multiyear lease or buying one. Autonomy is a California-based subscription service offering members access to a Tesla Model 3 on a month-to-month basis. Subscribing to an Autonomy Tesla Model 3 lets you enjoy 250-plus miles of range on a full charge, all without committing years of your life to the car. And when you need to fill up? Find a Supercharger along the way, get a coffee, and before you know it, you’ll be ready to go — for around $20 or less. 

Gas recently hit a national average of $4.52 per gallon, with California’s prices seeing an even bigger increase to $6.43 per gallon. In that light, the flexible option to subscribe to an EV makes sense for both the future of our planet and your wallet.

Picture of Baylor Knobloch

Baylor Knobloch

Baylor is an experienced storyteller working as a writer and editor for Sharp Pen with a background in journalism and media production. When not crafting tech communications, she writes and edits for online publications In The Know and Humor Darling. Baylor earned her BA at Brown University.

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