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ChargePoint membership?

Tucker48

Member
Jun 30, 2016
51
41
Ohio
Is this a "should-have" or "must-have" or totally optional?

I've heard a lot of people mention memberships to ChargePoint, and although I doubt I'll need it anywhere around home, would it be handy just to have in the back pocket? I will have the dual chargers on my S.

Advantages/Disadvantages/Opinions?
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,646
8,482
Austin, TX
Dual chargers has nothing to do with it as all ChargePoint J1772s are the overpriced and underpowered 30A charging stations designed for Leafs, etc.

Look at Plugshare or the ChargePoint app for where you might be traveling to and see if there is a ChargePoint station you might need to use, even as a backup. If so, get the card. If not, it's optional.
 

Polly Wog

Member
Dec 4, 2013
485
671
Kihei, Hawaii
I would say that this is a "nice-to-have". I live in an area where several of the ChargePoint chargers are free for 1 or 2 hours, and are located at convenient shopping areas. Membership is free (although you obviously need to pay for the electricity at times), so there really isn't a downside to membership.
 
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mikeash

Active Member
Oct 26, 2014
1,105
703
Fairfax, VA, USA
There are quite a few ChargePoint chargers out there which require membership but don't cost money to use. I've used a bunch of those. Some of their paid ones are reasonably priced, too. And if it saved me detouring to a Supercharger, I'd be happy to pay 49 cents/kWh or whatever. You don't pay until you use one of those chargers, so there's no real reason not to sign up.

I signed up with every network that looked vaguely useful. I have ChargePoint, Blink, SemaConnect, and EVgo. Some cost a bit to sign up, but none of them have any sort of recurring cost outside of usage, so it's cheap insurance.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,634
11,468
California
Dual chargers has nothing to do with it as all ChargePoint J1772s are the overpriced and underpowered 30A charging stations designed for Leafs, etc.

Look at Plugshare or the ChargePoint app for where you might be traveling to and see if there is a ChargePoint station you might need to use, even as a backup. If so, get the card. If not, it's optional.
All of the ChargePoint chargers I have used have been free. I've never found one that charges to charge.
Sign up and get the card. It's free and easy and comes in handy occasionally.
(I use the Sutter-Stockton garage ChargePoint chargers regularly... they're free.)
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
75
Redding, CT
I view it as a "should have." Do you travel places where you spend 1/2 a day or more parked in one spot? Do those places have a ChargePoint charger? If so, get the card. I charge at the parking lot for our Boston offices when I drive up there every month and it's far more convenient than stopping for 30 minutes at the Auburn or W. Hartford SC since it's downtime anyway. Same when I drove to Detroit and wanted to charge. Why would I drive to Ann Arbor for a charge when I could just hit a downtown garage?
 
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STbreaker

Member
May 5, 2016
231
223
Long Island, NY
They don't charge you anything until you actually use your card at a station with fees. I doubt I'll use it much if ever, but there's really no downside to having it in the glovebox.
 

AndreSF

Member
Feb 21, 2016
223
67
San Francisco, CA
It's optional/nice-to-have IMO, but I do have 4 diff providers cards as they cost either nothing or minimal initial deposit. It's better to have those cards and not need them than the other way around...
 

Dithermaster

Member
Dec 27, 2015
580
386
Madison, WI
I got a card but have not used it yet. IIRC, they charge you in blocks of $20, so the first time I used it, even for a short time, it's going to cost me $20. So I've been holding off. About the only time I think I would use one is on a trip where a Supercharger was not nearby.
 

kevinf311

Member
Jan 15, 2013
353
324
DCish
I signed up with Chargepoint during the interminable wait between ordering and delivery. I used it once the day I picked up my car (as my friends who were nice enough to drive me out to the SvC had Chargepoint stations next to their apartment) to see if it worked.

Since then, I've used the card to see if it would unlock a station I wasn't sure I could use (it did, but I did not charge). Also, I have changed Credit Card numbers but forgotten my login information... so whatever money is left on my account is what will stay there until I recover my account details :p

I agree with the other posters; *some* sort of charging membership is a "should-have." Which one you go with can be guided by the charging options available to you along your most likely routes. If you decide to do a criss-cross the country road trip, maybe sign up for more than one.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,170
4,150
Central Valley
We have a ChargePoint card. I have used them about 15 times in two years, mostly on road trips and on El Paseo Drive in the desert while shopping and dining. My sister-in-law has a home near there, and it is nice to be able to get 50 miles of range in an afternoon/evening without leeching electricity from her home.

One thing that I have noticed about ChargePoint and their "free" stations: The public chargers in downtown Durango, Colorado were free in June 2014. When I returned in May 2015, there was a $1.50/session fee charged. There was no time limit to my recollection. Similarly, the BMW dealer in Visalia is near one of my physicians. I received permission to use their EVSE that required a ChargePoint card. The first time I used it the session was free. The second time that I used it about 6 months later, there was a per-kWh fee.

I have also used the EVSE at a golf course at Incline. This is a 70A ChargePoint apparatus that was installed by Northern Nevada Power. The press release announcing the utility's installation of BEV charging equipment was that the first three years (if I recall correctly) were going to be free. After three years, fees will be charged.

So, all these free stations may not be free forever.
 

dgpcolorado

high altitude member
Apr 25, 2015
2,592
3,697
The Western Slope, Colorado
Although I rarely need Chargepoint stations, since Superchargers cover most of my road trips, I got the card so that I could charge in the Seattle area where they don't have any Supercharger Stations.

I really like the Chargepoint website and phone app because they tell me which stations are available before I go to them. And you can set it to show only free stations. Only downside is that if I ever use a pay station I believe they will charge my credit card $25 and it is hard to imagine being able to use up that credit. But free Chargepoint stations are available in many places, albeit nowhere near where I live (although I have free public L2 stations to use here).
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
75
Redding, CT
Regarding the one-time $20-25 top up, when I got my card they were running a "get a card for free" type of promotion so there were no initial costs. I don't know if they still do those promotions or not.
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
641
543
San Diego, California
I used it Friday at the Casino in South Lake Tahoe - didn't cost, but you needed the Chargepoint account to activate charging - so I agree its a 'should have' even though I have only used it 2 or 3 times in 3 years
 

BEEZR

Member
Feb 19, 2016
271
115
Seattle, WA
I got a card but have not used it yet. IIRC, they charge you in blocks of $20, so the first time I used it, even for a short time, it's going to cost me $20. So I've been holding off. About the only time I think I would use one is on a trip where a Supercharger was not nearby.

Note, to those unfamiliar, the $20 charge is put into a debit account with Chargepoint, so you may pay $20 but whatever you do not use remains in your account for future use.

There are many Chargepoint stations that are free and I think you can even filter in the Chargepoint app to show free stations. One of our local Best Buys just installed two new Chargepoint stations and they are currently free to use. You just need the Chargepoint card to start the session.
 
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BEEZR

Member
Feb 19, 2016
271
115
Seattle, WA
Is this a "should-have" or "must-have" or totally optional?

I've heard a lot of people mention memberships to ChargePoint, and although I doubt I'll need it anywhere around home, would it be handy just to have in the back pocket? I will have the dual chargers on my S.

Advantages/Disadvantages/Opinions?
Agree with others who say should have, because you never know...
 
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Reactions: SW2Fiddler

f-stop

Active Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,463
1,408
Vancouver BC, Canada
depends where you live or where you visit. Here in Vancouver area, there are a LOT of public L2 chargers and the majority of them are ChargePoint with free charging - worst case you might have to pay the regular parking lot fee to park but nothing additional to charge. Best case, there's a handful of choice free parking spots around town with chargers (e.g. free 3hr parking while charging). I've used my CP card/account many times locally but have yet to incur any $fee on my account.

The ChargePoint RFID cards, app & account are free. So why not at least get the cards and sign up for an account just in case? The first time you use your ChargePoint account at a paid-charger, $25 will be billed to your credit card and added to your account balance, from which charging fees are deducted. But if you never encounter a paid charger, it'll never cost you anything.
 

Hugh Mannity

Mediocre Member
Jul 31, 2014
1,349
806
Calgary, AB
Yeah, will re- iterate what f-stop said, have been driving a leaf so have used charge point a LOT and have never been charged.... Well have been charged but never "charged"', umm errr you know what I mean
 
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DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,582
918
Indianapolis, IN
I have used Chargepoint a number of times. But they have all been free locations. It requires the card to start, but so far, I have never been charged. Also all the Chargepoint locations I have used also accept NFC, so ApplePay (and presumably other NFC) works fine too.
IMO, Nice-to-have + Free = Mandatory. In the world of Superchargers though, use will be infrequent. But you never know...
 

MSullivan

Member
Apr 6, 2016
214
150
New England
I got a Chargepoint membership three years ago when I bought my Volt. In all that time my initial $20 deposit remains untouched. Not one charged visit.
I can park in downtown Boston for $9 after 4 PM and charge for free with a Chargepoint membership. It might be slow but I don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
 

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