It's becoming a staple of electric vehicle sales: Along with your new EV, you get some sort of public charging assistance.
With some vehicles, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Mercedes-Benz EQS, you get two years of complimentary fast charging through Electrify America, a nationwide network of more than 600 public stations.
Then there are programs such as General Motors' Ultium Charge 360, introduced in April, and the FordPass Charging Network, which give drivers access to thousands of charging stations across multiple third-party networks through a single app.
It wasn't always this way. The first mass-market EVs sold a decade ago certainly didn't come with any free charging plans — not until Tesla offered no-cost sessions at its Supercharger stations in 2012 and Nissan created No Charge to Charge in 2013. In the intervening years, access to public charging in the U.S. has been hit or miss, with any individual's personal access dependent on location and local EV support.
"That's what you've seen over the last eight years, and that gives the impression that the infrastructure out there is horrible," said Robert Barrosa, Electrify America's senior director of sales, business development and marketing.