Frequently Asked QuestionsThe Basics About SemaConnect Smart EV Charging Stations
What kind of charging does SemaConnect offer?
SemaConnect Electric Vehicle Charging Stations offer level II (240V 30A) charging for commercial applications. The power pulled from each station is roughly the same amount of power that a home clothes dryer uses.
Which electric vehicles can charge at a SemaConnect station?
SemaConnect uses the North American standard electric vehicle charging plug known as the J1772. This plug will charge all commercially available electric and hybrid electric vehicles available in the North American market.
What do the lights on the SemaConnect stations mean?
SemaConnect utilizes an intuitive LED light system to make it easy for drivers to check station status.
- Solid Blue – There is no vehicle plugged into the station. It is working and available for use.
- Flashing Green – There is an electric vehicle plugged into the station and the station is delivering a charge. This car does not have a full battery.
- Solid Green – There is an electric vehicle plugged into the station, but the charge is complete. The vehicle has a fully charged battery.
- Solid Red – The station has experienced a ground fault and is currently unable to deliver a charge.
How long will it take to charge my EV?
The charging times for electric vehicles differ based on the amperage of the charging system and the size of the car’s battery. For example, to recharge a Volt from empty to full battery utilizing a 240V outlet would take roughly 4 hours, while recharging a Leaf can take 8 hours. However, just as you are unlikely to drive a gas vehicle to a completely empty tank, many people are unlikely to drive their electric vehicle to a completely dead battery. If you are charging a battery that is not on empty, your charging times will be shorter.
How far can I travel per charge in my EV?
The range of an EV varies depending on the size of the battery, the type and weight of the car, road and weather conditions, driving style, and ancillary usage, such as running the air conditioning or charging your cell phone. Please refer to your vehicle manual to determine how much range you have.
What is a SemaConnect Account?
With a SemaConnect account, you can:
- Find and access charging stations
- Have a convenient location to initiate and pay for your electric vehicle charging sessions
- Receive email and text notifications to check station and charging status
- Check your charging sustainability stats
How do I get a SemaConnect Account?
You will be directed to a page confirming your account setup. From here you can continue with your account activation where you will input your credit or debit card information, or you can choose to skip this step.
Do I have to associate a payment with my SemaConnect Account?
You do not have to associate a payment with your SemaConnect account, but please be advised that if you choose to skip this step, you will only be able to charge your vehicle at free public SemaConnect stations until you associate payment. If you try to charge at any station with a fee structure, including stations with a free charging period that switches to a fee after a certain amount of time, access will be denied.
If you do associate a credit or debit card with your account, your card will be charged an initial $10. If you change your card in our system, your card will be charged $1 in order to verify your payment and add it to your account. This $1 will go into your SemaConnect Account balance.
How does the Account Replenishment Process work?
A SemaConnect account is free to have; however, if you choose to associate a payment with your account, your credit or debit card will be charged an initial $10.00. This money is not a charge by SemaConnect, but rather it is what turns your SemaConnect account into a debit system for charging your electric vehicle and will be utilized to pay for your charging sessions with money being deducted based on the pricing structure of your charging location. When your initial $10.00 is depleted, your associated card will automatically be charged $20.00 to replenish your account. $20.00 is the minimum replenishment amount, but you can choose to replenish your card in increments up to $250.00.
For more information on the account replenishment process, watch this video how the account replenishment process works.
Will my SemaConnect account work at other brands of electric vehicle charging stations?
Your SemaConnect account currently allows access to the SemaConnect electric vehicle charging stations. The pass or other ways SemaConnect provides to initiate a charging session will not initiate a charge with other products. Likewise, fobs or cards assigned by other manufacturers will not activate a SemaConnect charging station.*
*SemaConnect has signed an interoperability agreement with Electrify America to offer roaming between the SemaConnect and Electrify America networks. After the Electrify America network app is released, you will be able to use your SemaConnect account at the charging stations within the EA network – even the ones that are not from SemaConnect! Follow Electrify America for news and updates on the Electrify America app release.
What is a SemaConnect Pass?
A SemaConnect Pass is a debit card directly associated with your SemaConnect Account. You can use this pass to initiate a charging session at any SemaConnect electric vehicle charging station that you have access to.
How do I get a SemaConnect Pass?
When you sign up for a SemaConnect Account, you will have the option of requesting a SemaConnect Pass be sent to you in the mail. To request a pass:
- Visit https://network.semaconnect.com/ and login using the email and password you have associated with your SemaConnect Account.
- On the left side of your dashboard, you will see a menu. Navigate to the 4th selection, My Account. Click this header to open up a submenu and navigate to Network Pass. Alternatively, on your dashboard, look for your Account Overview. In this box, you will see a Network Pass header and a green link to Order A New Pass. Click this link.
- Enter your shipping address and click the green Submit. Your request will not be processed unless you click Submit.
- You should receive your SemaConnect Pass by USPS within 5-7 business days.
Will I automatically get a SemaConnect Pass when I sign up for a SemaConnect Account?
No. In order to get a SemaConnect Pass, you must request to have one mailed to you by following the steps above. As a SemaConnect Pass is associated with the money on your account, we will only send a pass to those who have specifically requested to have one mailed to them. But don’t worry, your pass is not associated with the money in your account until you activate it by logging into your account on the SemaCharge Network and confirming activation.
How do I activate my SemaConnect Pass?
You must activate your pass prior to use. To activate your pass, please follow the steps below:
- Visit http://network.semaconnect.com and sign-in using the e-mail and password associated with your account.
- On your Dashboard, navigate to the left-side menu and click My Account. You will see the sub-header, Network Pass. Click that. Alternatively, on your Dashboard, look for the Account Overview box. In this box you will see: Network Pass > Activate Now. Click that link.
- At the top of your Account page, you will see the pass number assigned to you, and underneath Status, a green link that says “Pending Activation, Activate Now!” Please click this link.
- Two boxes will generate. One will contain your pass ID number, the other is blank and asks you to input your Validation Code. You can find this code on the letter your card was attached to when you received it. The Validation Code is a 4 letter and digit combination in the top 1/3 of the page above the blue words Pass Activation Required.
- Input your Validation Code and click the green Save.
- You will receive a message that your activation was successful. Your pass is now active and available for use.
How to Charge
Do I need a SemaConnect account to initiate a charging session?
No. SemaConnect is a truly open network of electric vehicle charging stations. We don’t believe you need to be “in the club” to charge at any of our publicly accessible stations, so we offer the most ways to start a charging session in the industry!
To start a charging session with SemaConnect you can:
- Use your SemaConnect Pass
- Start a charging session through the SemaConnect App, available for iPhone and Android
- Start a charging session through the PlugShare App
- Call 1-800-663-5633 and press “9” to start a charging session by phone
Here’s a video on how to charge your Tesla, or any other electric vehicle, at a SemaConnect station.
How do I start a charging session by using my SemaConnect Pass?
To start a charging session by using your SemaConnect Pass:
- Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
- Hold your pass up to the card reader at the front of the charging head. Your card contains an RFID chip that can be read by the internal card reader to access your account information.
- The LED screen will instruct you to Plug In your vehicle.
- The intuitive LED lights at the top of the station will turn from Blue to flashing green to indicate that your car has begun a charging session.
- Any fees associated with the charging session will be automatically deducted from your SemaConnect account.
How do I start a charging session by using the SemaConnect App?
To start a charging session using the SemaConnect app:
- Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
- Visit the iTunes or Android Play store to find and download the free SemaConnect App.
- Open up the App on your phone and Sign In to associate the app with your account
- Find the Map button in the bottom center of your phone screen
- A pulsing blue circle surrounded by a white ring indicates your current location. Colored map pins indicate SemaConnect charging stations in your general area. You can also search a different location by using the address bar at the top of the app.
- Please refer to the key in the bottom right corner of the app to see station status:
- Blue = station is currently available for use
- Green = station is currently in-use by another driver
- Gray = Station is offline and has not communicated its status with the SemaConnect Network
- Red = Station is currently out of service and not available for use
When you have arrived at the station where you want to charge, click on that station’s map pin. This will take you to a Location Detail page.
- Click the Charge Now button, found in the middle of the screen.
- Select the charging station where you want to charge. The name of each station is listed on its LCD screen.
- Click Yes to authorize the charging session at the station you have selected. The app will connect to the station to ensure you have permission to charge there.
- If your authorization has been approved, you will receive a message to plug in your vehicle to begin charging.
- Please plug in your vehicle now to initiate the charging session.
How do I start a charging session by using the PlugShare App?
To start a charging session using the PlugShare app:
- Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
- Visit the iTunes or Android Play store to find and download the free PlugShare App.
- When you open the app, you will be on a map screen that shows all of the charging stations, SemaConnect or otherwise, in your area.
- Use the search bar at the top of the screen to type in the area where you want to charge.
- Choose the map pin for the station where you want to charge. A pop-up will appear to tell you what kind of plug is offered. Click the information symbol in the popup to get more information about that station.
- If you are at a SemaConnect station, there will be a Pay With PlugShare You may be asked to signup for a PlugShare account.
- Choose the station where you would like to charge. If this is the first time you are using the app, you will be asked to input your credit card information for PlugShare.
How do I start a charging session by phone?
If you DO have a SemaConnect Account:
- Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
- Call 1-800-663-5633
- Choose Option 2 to reach Customer Service
- A SemaConnect Customer Service Representative will be able to pull up your account and issue a remote start to your SemaConnect Account.
- Please do not plug in your vehicle until directed by the Customer Service Representative
If you DO NOT have a SemaConnect Account:
- Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
- Call 1-800-663-5633
- Follow the automated prompts to start your charging session. You will need to have a credit or debit card available to pay for your charging session.
- Enter the numerical portion of the serial number for the station where you are located, followed by the # sign. The serial number is located on the left side of the station and are the numbers found after the letters BAE
- Press 1 to confirm that you are at the correct station
- The telephone system will let you know what type of fee is being assessed – parking or energy-based, and tell you the cost of parking
- Press 1 to confirm that you would like to continue with your parking session at that station
- The system will let you know that you must use a credit card to pay for this service and that you will be assessed a $0.30 cent processing fee on top of your parking/charging fees. Press 1 if you would like to proceed.
- Enter your credit card information. Be sure to enter two digits for the expiration month and four digits for the expiration year.
- Press 1 to confirm your credit card information and to authorize the session.
- The automated system will then prompt you to plug in your vehicle. You have two minutes to do this. If you do not plug in within the two-minute window, the session will time out and you will have to go through the steps again.
- Once your car is plugged in, the LED lights on the station will turn flashing green to let you know that the session has started.
- *Please Note: initiating a charging session in this manner will place a $20.00 hold on your credit or debit card. Once your credit card company approves the final transaction, that hold will disappear and be replaced by the final total of the charging session.
How do I activate a charging session at a members-only or private station?
In order to initiate a charging session at a members-only or private station, you must have a SemaConnect Account and be a member of the private organization.
- The account administrator for the private organization must then invite you to join the organization and provide you with an access code.
- When you obtain the access code to use the private station, log into your account.
- Use the left menu to navigate to My Account > Network Pass
- Copy your pass number found at the top of this section and then scroll down to the bottom of the page where you have the opportunity to Add A Pass.
- Paste your pass number into the Pass number field, and input the Validation Code that your account administrator provided to you in the Validation Code field.
- Click Save
- Your Network Administrator must then approve your activation into the system before you can begin utilizing the private stations.
Why do SemaConnect stations have different prices at different locations?
SemaConnect is the designer and manufacturer of the charging stations,but does not own or manage the stations once they are installed at their location. Station owners determine the pricing structure of each individual station location. While some stations are free to use, others have fees associated with them. These fees can include, but are not limited to:
- Parking Fees – The driver is charged for the total amount of time spent plugged into the station. This pricing could be set or variable to increase the longer the driver spends at the station.
- Energy Fees – The driver is charged for the energy that is transferred from the station to the vehicle.
- Time of Use Pricing – The fee for the charging session may vary based on the time of the day and the amount of strain on the grid. Think of this as a “rush hour” fee.
- Grace Period Pricing – In order to encourage station turnover and allow more electric vehicles the chance to recharge, a station owner may allow free to nominal pricing for a set time limit. Once past that time limit, station fees may jump to a much higher price.
- Member Pricing – A specific group of people, such as tenants of a building or employees of a company, may have the ability to charge their vehicles for a free or nominal fee, while guests and visitors may be charged a different fee determined by the individual station owner.
How can I tell how much a charging station will cost me?
You can determine the station fee in a number of ways:
- The associated cost for the charging station should be listed on the LCD screen at the front of the charging station.
- The SemaConnect app lists the station fee when you click on that station’s map pin and then again on the Location Detail.
- The PlugShare app lists the station cost when you click on that station’s map pin.
- If you are paying through the 1-800 number, the station fees will be recited before you are prompted to input your credit card information.
- You can call 1-800-663-5633 and choose 2 for Customer Service. Provide the SemaConnect Customer Service Representative with the station’s serial number, found on the left side of the station head, preceded by the capital letters BAE, and the representative will be able to look up that station’s pricing policy.
I paid for my charging session with my credit card and only charged for an hour. Why is there a $20.00 charge on my card?
Much like when you swipe your credit card at a gas station to fill up your internal combustion engine with gas, when you enter your credit/debit card information to charge your electric vehicle, a hold is placed on your account. This $20.00 hold will revert* to the actual cost of your charging session as soon as your credit/debit card company approves the charge. This hold can last anywhere from 0-3 days and this length of time is determined by individual credit card companies. Please note: the $20 hold will apply to all credit and debit card transactions at a SemaConnect station.
*If, after your charging session, your account is left with $0, the $20 hold will stay on your card and will not revert back. This is to maintain a positive amount in your account via our Account Replenishment Process.
How do I find a SemaConnect Station to charge my EV?
It’s easy to find SemaConnect electric vehicle charging stations through the SemaConnect App!
- Open up your SemaConnect App on your iPhone or Android
- Click the Map button found at the bottom middle portion of your screen.
- A map will open up with color-associated map pins to indicate charging stations and their status.
- If you need to find a charging station in a different location, you can use the search bar at the top of the screen.
I know there is a SemaConnect Station at the office building next door, but when I search for it on the app, nothing comes up. Why can’t I see this station?
Some station owners have chosen to make their charging stations private or members-only stations. If you are not a member of the charging station organization, you will not be able to see this station on your map or initiate a charging session, even if you are able to plug in. Please use the SemaConnect app or PlugShare to find a publicly accessible charging location.