Electrify America's New Program Limits Charging to 85 Percent

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

If you own an EV and live in an area with tons of other EV drivers, charging can be a real pain. Finding an open charger has become a frustrating part of life for many people in those places, but Electrify America thinks it has a solution. The company is piloting a congestion reduction plan that would limit drivers’ ability to charge.

The program caps charging at 85 percent, which should prevent drivers from camping at chargers while they wait for the sometimes extended periods it takes to reach a full charge. Many new EVs can quickly reach the 80 percent mark, but charging speeds fall off significantly after that benchmark.

Electrify America’s plan stops the charge and gives drivers a ten-minute grace period before they see idle fees. The company is only running the pilot at locations it feels are not ones people would use on road trips when reaching a 100 percent charge is often necessary to travel between charging stations.

This change will likely be a bummer for some people, as range anxiety is still a real thing. At the same time, the only way EVs will become a viable option is if drivers can readily find and use charging stations. Charger reliability is another issue altogether, and it’s a challenge Electrify America hasn’t yet overcome. The company’s chargers are often inoperable or inexplicably offline, leaving drivers with fewer options at its locations.

[Images: Kia, Around the World Media via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 219 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy 3 days ago
    I still remember the one time I left the house with my smartphone charged to only 85% and I barely made it back alive.
    • See 3 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC 2 days ago
      @Jalop1991- well, you know, in a big city they have more than one Starbucks. How do you expect people to find them? ;)
  • Joe65688619 Joe65688619 2 days ago
    It honestly seems like a good potential solution. Kudos if they can make it "smart" and allow 100% charging when there is availability at the nearby charging station(s). Another idea (I haven't seen much of): install more high-voltage chargers at highway rest areas. Perfect place to top off while getting food, using the bathroom, picnicing to take a break, stretch your legs or let a four-legged companion do the same.
    • See 1 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex 16 hours ago
      They should just allow 100% charging now.
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.
  • Varezhka Saving sedans in US or globally? Right now around half of the global sedan sales is in China, just under a quarter in North America, and the remaining quarter distributed around the rest of the world. So for a sedan to stay around they must sell well in both China and North America (BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda) or just extremely well in China (VW/Audi and Nissan). For everyone else, the writing is on the wall. There’s also a niche of subcompact sedans in SE Asia and India but I believe those are being replaced by SUVs too.
  • Kcflyer it's not a ford, it's not a mustang. just like the ford gt is not a ford but multimatic gt or mustang wouldn't roll off the tongue