Do EV fast-charging reservations make sense? EVgo thinks so

EVgo is introducing a reservation program for its public fast-charging sites, allowing customers to reserve a charging station ahead of time, but only in certain West Coast locations.

The EVgo Reservations program is now available at 17 sites in Northern California, Southern California, and Washington State, the company said in a press release. EVgo began testing reservations earlier this year in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is adding sites in those cities, plus Sacramento and Santa Barbara, California, and Redmond, Washington, as part of the public rollout.

For a $3.00 fee, customers can reserve a specific date and time at one of these locations using the EVgo app or the company’s website. Reservations can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled start time “for no additional cost” the release said, implying that customers may be charged for later cancellations.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV at EVgo fast-charging station

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV at EVgo fast-charging station

EVgo said reservations were a response to customer feedback. During surveys and “informal outreach,” the company said a “large number” of customers expressed interest in paying to reserve a charging station at a specific time.

Reservations could be convenient for EV drivers that don’t have home charging, while survey data also showed drivers are interested in booking charging stations ahead of time while traveling, according to the company.

EVgo also believes fast-charging reservations could benefit the businesses that host charging stations, noting that approximately 80% of its customers have reported interest in running errands while charging. The company reasons that being able to schedule a charging session will make that more convenient for EV drivers, meaning they’ll be more likely to incorporate such shopping/charging trips into their daily routines.

EVgo fast charger

EVgo fast charger

The idea of fast-charging reservations isn’t new. ChargePoint introduced reservations to its network a decade ago. And several automakers—such as General Motors—have introduced real-time charging smarts that might potentially be used for a firm appointment in the future.

Rivian has mentioned that part or all of its charging network will operate by reservation, with access to at least some stations limited to Rivian owners.

Several startups—SparkCharge is one—have also worked around a model that might allow mobile fast-charging that would meet up with the vehicle at a specific time.

Would you pay an extra fee to reserve a fast-charging station, or is EVgo’s new reservation service unnecessary? Let us know what you think of such an idea in your comments.

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