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Charging At Work? Electric-Car Drivers Will Pay More Per kWh, Study Says

Most electric car owners charge their vehicles at home–it’s one of the real perks of owning a plug-in.

Some drivers may also charge at work, for most owners the second-longest stop their vehicles are likely to make. It’s particularly important if your car is running low on range, or if you want to make as much of the electric mode as possible, in a plug-in hybrid.

Some people get their juice for free at work. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly popular, causing charger congestion at some workplaces and leading employers like Nest Labs to expand their quota of stations, just to serve their employees. But how much would potential owners be willing to pay for charging at work, should they be required to?

The latest survey from the Electric Power Research Institute, or EPRI, has the answer: 10 cents per kilowatt-hour more than their home rate.

That’s in Texas at least, specifically the Houston and San Antonio metropolitan areas, where EPRI’s latest survey is centered. Among data showing Texans’ perception of electric vehicles and their likelihood of ever buying a plug-in car, respondents were asked how much they’d be willing to pay for charging at work.

For 39 percent of those surveyed, the answer is 10 cents per kWh more than they’d pay at home.

On the survey, each price point on a sliding scale showed a gasoline-equivalent price, helping responders make their pick. $0.10 more than the home rate per kWh, or about $0.20 in total, is equivalent to around $1.50 per gallon for gasoline. So while 100 percent of those surveyed would happily pay nothing over their home rate for work electricity, a significant proportion would be prepared to take a slight financial hit, given that charging would still be hugely cheaper than filling with gas.
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