If you plan to plug in your electric vehicle at county-owned charging stations in Fairfax County, it’ll now cost you.
During a meeting Aug. 2, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved fees for using county-owned charging stations. The fees include 30 cents per kilowatt hour of charging and a $2 per hour “dwell-time” fee after vehicles are fully charged, to motivate EV drivers to free up the space for others.
The fees went into effect Aug. 3.
In 2021, Fairfax County began installing Level 2 charging stations manufactured by ChargePoint at county government facilities, mostly parking lots and garages. It’s part of a long-term plan to electrify the county government’s own fleet of vehicles and to increase charger availability for the public to spur widespread adoption of EVs.
Currently, Fairfax County has EV charging stations at six sites across the county, including the Sully Community Center in Herndon, the Herndon Monroe Park-and-Ride off the Dulles Toll Road and the Innovation Center Metro station parking lot.
The county plans to have 49 stations, with a total of 80 spaces, up and running by the end of the year, according to Susan Hafeli, deputy director of the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination.
A memo from county officials laying out the fee proposal ahead of the board vote said charging per kilowatt hour “is the most equitable approach” because it’s based on the actual electricity consumption of the vehicle and is comparable to the approach adopted by most commercial charging stations.
The county said 30 cents per kilowatt hour is in line with rates offered at commercial charging stations in the county.
The dwell-time fee aims to cut back on EV drivers leaving their vehicles at charging stations for longer than necessary. Once a vehicle’s battery is fully charged, drivers will be given a 10-minute grace period before the $2-per-hour fee kicks in. The fee will be capped at $25 per session.
It typically takes between four to eight hours to charge an EV using a Level 2 charger.
Charging fees in Arlington, Loudoun counties
Fairfax County joins Loudoun and Arlington counties in adopting fees on EV charging stations.
“I think every county is kind of wrestling with how do we not only provide this kind of infrastructure for kind of vehicles, but also how do we provide this for the public at large,” Fairfax County Supervisor Dan Storck said at the board’s Aug. 2 meeting.
In a board vote July 16, officials in neighboring Arlington County adopted a fee of 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour at its seven county-owned stations. Arlington’s rate was set lower than the rates for most commercial charging stations, which generally range between 22 cents per kilowatt hour and 79 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on the location and power level, according to county estimates.
Loudoun County, the first jurisdiction in Northern Virginia to establish fees for public EV charging stations, charges drivers $2.10 per session, regardless of how much electricity is used or how long the vehicle remains connected to the charging station.