Fairfax County, Virginia is opening its county-owned charging stations to members of the public. Electric vehicle (EV) owners can use the stations for a fee, after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the retail-fee schedule on August 2.
Drivers will pay 30 cents per kilowatt hour to charge their EVs, according to the resolution. The county will additionally charge a $2 per hour fee, up to $25 per day, for people who keep their vehicles at the charging stations after the EVs' batteries are fully charged. The county will use the ChargePoint app to notify drivers that their vehicle is fully charged. Drivers will then have a 10-minute grace period to move their vehicles before the additional fee kicks in. Drivers will use the app to pay the fees.
The county uses ChargePoint Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) at its government facilities. Level 2 chargers can fully charge most EVs in four to eight hours. More than 20 charging stations are installed at county facilities, with more scheduled for installation. The county will have a total of nearly 50 chargers installed by the end of this year, able to accomodate charging to more than 80 vehicles, according to the Sun Gazette. Stations located in restricted-access county-owned garages and lots that will be used primarily by county fleet vehicles will also be made available for use for a fee by county employees with access to the restricted garages and lots, so long as it does not affect the charging of fleet vehicles.
The 2021 update to the county's Operational Energy Strategy explained that the EVSE is intended to increase both charging availability for the community, as well as promote the widespread adoption of EVs.
When coming up with the fees for charger use, staff concluded that the most important considerations were the costs recovered by the fees, the user's ability to access and move the vehicle when charging is completed, and the competitiveness of the fees to other nearby EVSE. The rates were set to cover the program's variable costs, including the transaction fees from ChargePoint and the cost of electricity, the Sun Gazette reported. Any extra revenue brought in by the fees could be used to replace the stations as needed.
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