Where Can I Charge My Electric Car for Free?

In today’s world of rising gas and diesel prices, anyone who owns an electric car is living the good life.

Although buying an electric car can be a costly affair, its low running costs definitely compensate for the high initial buying price.

Even if the regional per unit prices of electricity are high in your country, you can always find public solar-powered stations or Tesla destination chargers to recharge your electric car for free.

Where Can I Charge My Electric Car for Free?

There’s a saying – nothing comes for free. While this statement may be 100% accurate for most things, there is one exception; electric car recharging.

Owing an electric car is an incredibly valuable luxury, especially in today’s time. With gas prices reaching an all-time high, people with electric cars are enjoying the liberty of low-cost traveling.

The cost of recharging an electric car can vary with many factors. However, there are some tricks and tips to significantly bring down your annual EV recharging costs.

As a matter of fact, if you have the option to avail such opportunities every day, your annual electric car recharging costs can be brought down to zero.

Shocked? We know, we were too.

The following are some places where you can recharge your electric car for free:

  • At your office – if it has an electric vehicle charging station
  • At electric car dealerships
  • At Tesla destination chargers
  • At many solar-powered electric car charging stations
  • Outside hotels and malls
  • Public car parks
  • Outside some tourist attractions

While such free recharging facilities may not be available in many countries of the world, if you live in a country that has a high population and electric car owners, chances are you will be able to locate such free-of-cost recharging facilities if you look hard enough.

Continue reading to learn more about each of the eight free EV charging places mentioned above.

Moreover, the article will also shed light on the factors that can affect the average and annual costs of recharging an electric car.

Finally, the article will talk about some top tips to reduce your average and annual electric car charging costs if you cannot locate a free charging station around you.

Where Can I Charge My Electric Car for Free
Where Can I Charge My Electric Car for Free

Read Is Electric Car Insurance Cheaper?

Let’s get started!

Top Places to Charge Your Electric Car for Free

Many people are often discouraged from buying an electric vehicle due to the high purchase price.

However, what most people do not know is that the average running costs of an electric car versus a gasoline-powered car make all the difference.

Moreover, while there are a couple of ways to recharge an electric car for free, there are almost no ways to get free diesel or gasoline to refuel a combustion engine vehicle.

Unless you dig up and find oil in your backyard, of course.

Hence an electric car is always worth the investment. The following are some places where you can recharge your electric car for free:

At Another Electric Car Owner’s House

One of the easiest and least complicated ways to charge your electric car for free is to charge it at someone else’s home.

If you have a friend or a family member who also drives an electric car and has an at-home electric vehicle charging wall set up, you can simply plug your electric car in and recharge it whenever you visit your friend or relative.

Since your electric car will be charged on someone else’s electricity, you will not be invoiced.

However, if you plan on charging your electric car using your friend or relative’s electricity without taking their permission first, this will be highly unethical and wrong.

People who usually tend to sneakily recharge their electric vehicles this way usually end up straining their close relationships.

Hence, always ask the friend or relative for their permission first and let them know how much electricity your car will use up when it’s charging.

If it’s negligible enough (and if you two are really close), they shouldn’t have a problem with it. Plug in your electric car at the charging unit only if they have permitted you to do so.

Moreover, refrain from exploiting your relationships by making this a habit and save this trick for days you are running a little short of money. 

At Your Office

Many big companies, such as Google, Apple, Samsung, etc., have an extraordinary number of free services and facilities that their employees can benefit from.

One such free service that employees working at such companies can use is free electric vehicle charging.

These offices have set up multiple electric vehicle charging booths in their parking lots that are completely free to use for anyone working at the office.

If you are fortunate enough to be working at such offices and drive an electric car, do not waste any money on charging your EV at home or at a public DC supercharging station.

Instead, try to get to your office a little earlier than other employees so you can plug your electric car into a charging booth and enjoy free-of-cost EV charging.

Moreover, many relatively smaller companies also either already have such services or install them if enough requests are made.

Hence, if your company does not have any free charging booths and there are a number of employees who drive electric cars, you can always make a joint request to the management to install some free EV charging booths in the parking lot.

Read Which Electric Car Charges the Fastest

At an Electric Car Dealership

In many countries such as the United States of America, China, Japan, etc., governments encourage people to shift to electric vehicles to control their annual emissions and reduce their dependence on fossil fuel sources.

For this, the governments encourage local car dealerships that deal in electric vehicles to at least install an EV charging booth in their parking lot that offers free-of-cost charging.

Moreover, even when governments do not push companies to do this, many electric car dealerships are doing this on their own to encourage the sale of electric vehicles.

Hence if you live close to an electric car dealership that has a free-to-use EV charging booth, or if your office or school is close to such a place, try to avail this golden opportunity as often as you can.

Usually, dealerships have no problem with people charging their electric cars at the booth, even when those people are not their customers.

At a Tesla Destination Charger

Probably one of the most impressive and commendable efforts to encourage the sale and use of electric cars has been made by none other than the EV giant itself; Tesla.

Elon Musk is not only the CEO of the most popular electric vehicle company but is also one of the most influential environmentalists of our times.

According to Musk, his goal is not just to create futuristic and superior electric automobiles but is actually to encourage the general public to switch to EVs from the traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

For this, Tesla has designed and installed thousands of Tesla destination chargers in many countries of the world that are completely free to use for all Tesla owners.

Moreover, if you have a non-Tesla electric car, you can also recharge your EV at the Tesla destination charger by using an additional adaptor that usually comes for 250 to 300 USD.

These Tesla destination chargers are level 2 chargers that supply 80amps and 480 Volts of output electric current. Hence, almost all kinds of electric vehicles can easily charge their EVs at these stations.

It usually takes three to five hours to fully charge most Tesla and non-Tesla electric cars; however, the exact duration will depend on the size of an electric car’s battery.

Tesla has launched incredible services in many countries of the world. At the moment, there are nearly 4600 destination chargers in the USA, 520 in all of Europe, 700 in China, 165 in Japan, etc.

The table below further lists the number of Tesla destination chargers that can be found in different American states.

American StateTotal Number of Tesla Destination Charging Stations in Each StateRelative Percentage Compared to the Total Number
New York45111 %
California68017 %
District of Columbia360.93 %
Georgia330.86 %
Nevada260.67 %

These destination charging stations are strategically installed in locations where there is heavy traffic.

For instance, they are installed outside amusement parks, outside popular hotels, in the parking lots of popular tourist attractions, outside airports, etc.  

Moreover, Tesla plans on increasing the number of its destination chargers in the coming decade so that there is an abundance of free EV charging units in multiple different countries of the world.

At a Solar-Powered Electric Car Charging Station

Charging an electric vehicle using a solar-powered grid station is a fantastic way to further reduce your carbon footprint.

Many people in the USA who have one or more electric cars in their homes have invested in setting up a solar power grid that allows them to charge their electric cars for very low costs.

However, if you wish to reduce the charging costs down to zero, all you need to do is locate a free-of-cost public solar-powered EV charging station.

There are multiple different charging station companies that have installed free-to-use solar charging stations. However, due to the low electric voltage, the charging duration can usually take much longer.

Charge an electric car for free
Charge an electric car for free

In the Parking Lots of Certain Hotels, Retail Stores, Malls, and Tourist Attractions

Apart from Tesla destination chargers, one can also find other EV superchargers in the parking lots of hotels, retail stores, malls, tourist attractions, etc.

These charging stations are usually completely free to use for all kinds of electric vehicles. The only cost that you might have to incur by charging at these spots is the parking fee.

However, one problem you might face if you depend on the free charging station is that waiting for your turn might take too long.

This happens because these locations are packed with people, and every electric car owner is looking for a free charging booth to plug in their car.

Read How to Invest in EV Car Charging Stations

Factors that Will Affect Your Average Electric Car Recharging Costs

If you do not live in a country like the USA, China, or Japan where electric car sales are going up every year, the chances of you being able to find free charging booths are low.

However, even if you cannot charge your electric car for free, you can always find ways to reduce the total charging cost.

The first step in this process is to understand which factors will affect your average charging costs. These factors are as follows:

  • The total weight of your electric car.
  • The size of your electric car’s battery.
  • The quality and condition of your electric car’s battery.
  • The condition of your electric car’s tires.
  • The way you drive your electric car.
  • Your electric car charging routine.

Continue reading to learn how you can use the information mentioned above to reduce the average and annual electric car recharging costs.

Read Electric Vehicle Charging Station Requirements in California

Top Tips to Reduce the Average Recharging Costs for an Electric Car

  • Refrain from carrying excessively heavy weight in your electric car, such as mountain bikes.
  • Doing so will add unhealthy stress to the battery, causing it to discharge faster.
  • As a result, you will incur recharging costs more frequently.
  • Do not delay battery repairs as doing so might permanently decrease the battery’s charge storing capacity.
  • When your battery stores less charge, the electric car will have to be recharged more often.
  • Always keep the tires of your electric car properly inflated and refrain from driving the car on worn-out and sticky tires.
  • Choose flatter and smoother terrains and refrain from driving on sloped surfaces.
  • Try to keep your electric car’s charging between 20% to 90% at all times.
  • Doing so will protect the battery’s capacity, keep the range high, and will allow your electric car to cover more distance on one charge.

Final Thoughts

The global electric vehicle industry and many responsible governments are doing everything in their power to encourage people to switch to electric automobiles.

To do this, many government schemes and private for-profit companies such as Tesla have installed several free-of-cost EV charging booths in thousands of different locations. One can find these booths in their office parking lots, at a car dealership, outside a hotel, or in the parking space of a mall.

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