If you think of Costco as the place to get almost anything, including a car, you might be hoping you can charge your electric vehicle there, too. Although EV charging infrastructure is growing, EV drivers must look for a Costco location that offers this service. Let’s look at how much it costs to charge an electric car at Costco — if your nearest store even has charging stations.
Can you charge an electric car at Costco?
Currently, most Costco EV charging stations are available primarily in California. You can also find Costco charging stations in Virginia, New Jersey, and Utah, according to Eat This, Not That!
Costco used to have charging stations in more locations. The major retailer started installing chargers in the 1990s; By 2006, it had 90 charging stations in 64 stores in California, Arizona, New York and Georgia, according to the New York Times. However, in 2011, Costco announced it would be removing some charging stations because they hadn’t seen much use. Today, you can find Costco locations with electric vehicle charging stations through PlugShare.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car at Costco?
SemaConnect provides EV charging infrastructure in the United States and Canada, including at some Costco locations. Companies lease the chargers from SemaConnect and can set their prices.
According to a Reddit user, the Costco store in Torrance, California has SemaConnect Level 2 charging stations. Charging costs a 30-cent fee, a $10 deposit plus 15 cents per kWh, according to PlugShare. Costco membership is not required, but non-members at this location must pay a $20 deposit, which is refunded upon transaction completion.
Another Costco with electric vehicle charging stations is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The site charges a surcharge of 30 cents plus 10 cents per kWh. At Costco in Honolulu, Hawaii, the price is 28 cents per kWh, says PlugShare.
How long does it take to charge your electric vehicle at these stations?
The total time and cost to charge an EV at Costco depends on each store’s set prices, the type of EV, and how fully charged the car is.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Level 2 chargers can fully discharge a dead EV battery in four to 10 hours and a plug-in hybrid in one to two hours. But most drivers don’t completely drain their EV’s batteries before charging, so they don’t need to be charged to 100%. It’s easy to add a little cash when shopping at Costco. An hour of charging increases the range by 10 to 20 miles.
According to the Kelley Blue Book, an electric car gets three to four miles per kWh. To add about 50 miles of range would require 12.5 to 16.66 kWh. So, at a Torrance-Costco price of 15 cents per kWh, the total would be $1.86 to $2.50. As another example, if a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt had a dead battery and its driver wanted to charge the 65kWh battery, it would cost $9.75 (at 15 cents kWh) before fees and deposits. That would give the Bolt a range of 259 miles.
How do Costco’s EV charging prices compare to Walmart’s?
Competitor Walmart also offers charging stations for electric cars in partnership with Electrify America. The DC fast charging network sets these prices, and Electrify America’s Pass members and guests pay 43 cents per kWh when using Level 2 chargers. Pass+ members with a $4 per month subscription pay 31 cents per kWh. These prices per kWh are higher than at Costco’s Torrance, Salt Lake City, and Honolulu locations.
Will Costco add more charging stations as its customers drive more EVs? We’ll have to see if the company replaces some of the chargers it removed a decade ago.
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