I just received an email that they are stopping the free car charging program we have been using.
Shouldn't be a surprise, but wasn't particularly on my radar. Their Plan A was to actually turn it off like the week we bought our electric car. !! But with COVID, they extended discount and free rates. In the end, sounds like they extended for 5 months.
This means that all the chargers on our Tahoe route are no longer free like we have gotten used to. Bay Area chargers will no longer be discounted like we have gotten used to.
How this changes things:
When we do these road trips, we will stop just long enough to get enough charge to get home. We won't stop at all if we don't need to.
I expect this is a change we were heading towards regardless. We did a Bay Area run a couple of months ago where we just stopped long enough to get home. & I suppose is technically what we did last weekend too.
When we cross that bridge we will work through the math. I don't remember what the cost was off the top of my head. Maybe slightly cheaper than gas? But if we pay roughly 1/3-1/4 the cost of gas when we charge at home, and we only need to charge up 30-ish miles to get home, then clearly we still come out ahead.
I was also thinking this might change the playing field for a longer road trip, which we have yet to test out. In the end, it doesn't matter because these charges were just between Monterey and Tahoe. Any longer road trip would take us well beyond this range. Though... There was a fair amount of free charging opportunities for the one So Cal school that MM is considering along the coast. I just don't know yet if that will matter at all.
I do think we hit a good sweet spot. I know these perks are phasing out because more and more people are driving electric. The plus side is I think we hit a better sweet spot as to number of chargers. In fact, they just installed a fast charger right by my parents' home. That is super convenient for us. I expect that today we can drive wherever we want to, without worrying about infrastructure. This is more true today than it was just 6 months ago. & it keeps getting better.
Edited to add: MH pointed out we no longer have to limit ourselves to a small handful of (free) chargers, which I guess will make our life easier. The chargers we used were never in use and were in convenient spots, so it will be interesting to see if things change. If a few key chargers on our route are the ones we have already tried and will stick to. We were already planning to use the not-free new charger right by my parents', so convenience was going to win out anyway. It will be interesting to see if our preferences otherwise change.