Having a place to charge is going to be one of the biggest challenges to the EV transition. Tesla realized this from the beginning of the modern EV era, and worked to build a huge fast charging network for its EV drivers, but most of the other manufacturers dropped the ball. Only after one of them got caught cheating on emissions did serious work on interstate routes happen, and by then, Tesla had a head start of several years. Worse, many of the stations that went in as a result of the Dieselgate scandal are now having serious hardware problems, leading to reliability hell. Few are getting stranded, but headaches like slow charging speeds, waits for an open stall, and the charge not happening on the first try are very common.
These problems have led to a serious change in the charging landscape in 2023. Not only have most manufacturers in North America switched to Tesla’s NACS standard and negotiated access to the company’s charging network, but some automakers are also teaming up to create another dependable network alongside efforts to join Tesla’s. Existing CCS charging networks have all announced efforts to improve reliability, and after an embarrassing situation, the federal government is putting out $100 million of additional funds to get charging stations up to snuff.
We need to keep in mind that all of these problems are popping up when EV adoption is still in the single digits in the United States. As we climb to 20%, 30%, and 50%, things are going to get even harder. The sad fact is that even if every existing charging station was working 100%, all Dieselgate and NEVI stations get put in, and all of Tesla’s current Supercharger stations are added to the count, we’re still woefully, almost hilariously behind what’s going to be needed.
In other words, anything short of an “all of the above” approach to EV charging is doomed to fail, and that’s assuming everyone works really, really hard to build more infrastructure in the coming years.
Honda’s Multi-Pronged Approach to EV Charging
Fortunately for Honda, a recent press release indicates that it’s on the right track, even if there’s still lots of track ahead of it. Honda announced on Thursday that it has reached agreements with EVgo and Electrify America, as well as roaming network partners. These partnerships will provide Honda and Acura EV customers with access to a wider range of charging networks across North America. These new agreements complement the recent announcement that Honda will adopt the NACS charging standard, allowing Honda and Acura EVs to utilize the Tesla Supercharger network.
In conjunction with the recent collaboration between Honda and six other prominent automakers, an innovative endeavor has been launched to establish a state-of-the-art high-powered charging network. Honda says this initiative will enable Honda and Acura EV customers in the United States to access the majority of public American DC fast chargers, commencing in 2024. Furthermore, by the year 2030, the company estimates these customers can expect to benefit from the availability of approximately 100,000 DC charge points.
“Honda aims to provide our customers with easy access to the most fast-charging options of any automaker,” said Jay Joseph, vice president, Sustainability & Business Development at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With access to a broad range of fast-charging networks: Tesla’s Supercharger network; EVgo; Electrify America; and roaming partner networks, Honda and Acura EV drivers will enjoy stress-free, convenient charging away from home.”
The company also provided details on the agreements it recently struck.
Honda & Acura EV Charging Packages
Honda and Acura EV owners in the United States will now have single-app access to thousands of fast chargers through agreements with EVgo and Electrify America, along with Tesla’s Supercharger network and EVgo’s roaming partner, ChargePoint. The integration allows users to find stations, pay for charging, redeem credits, and access other features directly from their HondaLink and Acura EV smartphone apps, so Honda drivers won’t have to sign up with a bunch of different companies.
New Honda or Acura EV customers get three charging packages included in the MSRP. These packages offer benefits like public charging credits, charging equipment, and installation credit. They cater to various buyers, whether homeowners, renters, new EV drivers, or those upgrading to a newer EV.
Each optional charging package from EVgo and its partner roaming networks includes charging credits, offering EV owners more convenient options. However, these credits vary depending on the owner’s charging preferences. For those who rely on public charging, there is a $750 credit. Owners who choose a Level 2 Home Charging Station receive a $100 credit along with a $500 installation credit. A middle option provides a $300 public charging credit, a Level 1/Level 2 Portable Charging Kit, and a $250 installation credit.
To redeem the installation credit, customers can access the Honda Home Electrification (HHE) or Acura Home Electrification (AHE) marketplaces, which connect them with experienced local installers. Additionally, expert Energy Advisors are available to answer questions about installation, rebates & incentives, and other home electrification products, ensuring a seamless process.
Under the agreement, Electrify America will provide 60kWh of free public charging to first-time Honda and Acura EV owners, included in all available charging packages. Honda says this makes them the first automaker to offer customers charging credits across multiple US networks, as opposed to deals that usually only apply at a single network.
More information will be provided as we approach the early 2024 releases of the highly anticipated Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX. We’ll be sure to cover those here when it happens.
This move is pretty similar to what Ford did with the Blue Oval charging network. Ford didn’t make the biggest network, but by cobbling access to different networks together into one meta-network, it created a sort of charging internet, but within Ford’s app. Honda is doing the same thing, but it’s also trying to give new customers the opportunity to try different networks out for free.
This not only gives Honda’s customers easier access, but it gives them a chance to learn the ropes without spending their own cash. Plus, it’s kind of like getting a free tank of gas (something many but not all US dealers do).
Featured image provided by Honda.
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