Do electric vehicle (EV) charging stations charge a lower rate if you charge at night?

If you own an electric vehicle such as a Tesla and use one of their charging stations does the price they charge depend on the time of day you plug in? Or, do they charge you a flat rate regardless of when you plug in?

A recent thread suggested people can save money charging EVs late at night. Is that what happens?

It varies. But yes, it is at least sometimes the case for Superchargers:

Starting April 12, 2022, off-peak hours will change at California Supercharger locations. Charge for less at select Superchargers before 11 AM and after 9 PM. Tap the Supercharger map pin in your in-car touchscreen to view specific rates and eligible sites. Navigate to your destination using Trip Planner and your battery will automatically precondition before you arrive.

Rates are different depending on the station, but they can often charge around $0.48 per kWh during peak hours versus $0.24 during off-peak hours.

Generally when people talk about cheaper night rates, though, they are talking about home charging. My off-peak rates are significantly less than on peak, so I schedule the Tesla to only start charging at midnight. I also usually put off clothes drying and dishwashing to after midnight.

YMMV. Literally.

My service makes no allowance for time - it’s a simple “kwH used” meter.

Some businesses are on peak metering - the peak amount you use affects total cost for the month. A fellow I knew had a small ski hill business and would time when he turned on the building furnace and the snow-making waiting until the end of the month’s billing cycle in the fall - because running that stuff a few days near the end of the month would mean paying as if he used that amount all day every day for the month.

Similarly, another fellow was trying to figure out - in the days before smart thermostats - how to time the three electric furnaces in their church to not all be on at once. This could cut their electrical bill to one-third what it might be in winter.

In that case, charging while you have other big-draw items running is a bad idea if you can avoid it. For the average household - the oven (or toaster or kettle), air conditioning, hot water heater, dryer… But typically, peak meter was only for businesses.

Some utilities do have fancy metering plans based on time of day - but since this would I assume require replacing all the meters with smart meters, likely it’s something that gets phased in.