Gexa Smart EV Charging Service Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Gexa’s Smart EV Charging Service?

Our proprietary Smart EV Charging Service lowers the cost and increases the seamlessness of EV charging. By picking the best times to charge your EV, the Service helps your wallet, your battery life, and the electricity grid. And by providing reminders and accurate charging cost data, the Service brings you peace-of-mind.

The Smart EV Charging Service has three components: the optimization of charging times; the monitoring of the EV’s current status and current and historical charging information through the Gexa mobile app; and the dissemination of reminders and alerts, also through the Gexa app.

Control Charging Times. As part of enrolling on the Service, you will provide three pieces of information, and then we will take care of the rest. (Reminder: these preferences can be edited at any time in the Settings tab in the My EV section of the Gexa app):

  1. Your preferred minimum battery %. This is the percentage to which your EV will always charge immediately upon plug-in. If your minimum is 30% and you plug in with 15% left at 4pm, sure, we’re going to do the bulk of the charging at night, but we’re going to get your EV up to 30% right away so that you can handle unexpected trips, errands, and emergencies in the afternoon and early evening hours.
  2. Your preferred maximum battery %. This is the percentage to which your EV will charge prior to your departure time. Stopping the charge at something less than 100% on most days maximizes your battery’s lifespan.
    • To maximize your savings, all charging to get your EV to its maximum battery percentage will occur when your electricity is discounted i.e. between 9 PM and 4:59 AM. Concentrating charging during this period will also support the electricity grid.
  3. Your daily departure time. This is the time by which we guarantee your EV will be charged to its maximum %. Under normal circumstances (afternoon plug-in, morning departure), charging will complete by the end of the off-peak period (4:59 AM). However, if you leave for work prior to 5 AM or plug in in the morning and depart in the afternoon, the Service still ensures a “full” charge by this departure time.

The Service’s algorithm then uses these three pieces of information to decide when to charge your EV. Anytime you plug in, the Service will (if necessary) immediately charge your EV to the minimum battery %. Then, during your off-peak period (between 9 PM and 4:59 AM), the Service will charge your EV (if necessary) to the maximum battery %. Within the low-price period, the Service’s smart analytics will pick times to charge your EV when the electricity grid is best able to handle the large load that is EV charging.

Monitor your EV. Within the Gexa app, you can track various aspects of your EV:

  • Current status. In the Gexa app’s main dashboard and My EV dashboard, you can view your car’s battery percentage, range in miles, plug-in status, and charging status.
  • Current Charging Information. If your EV is currently charging and the Smart EV Charging Service is turned on, you can view the charging session’s 1) rate (in kilowatts), 2) estimated total cost, and 3) estimated completion time.
  • Historical Charging Information. On the “Charging History” tab within the app’s My EV section, you can view in graph and list form the timing, duration, electricity load, and cost of each historical charging session. This tab also provides aggregate cost and savings stats at the weekly and monthly levels. The “Savings” total is how much you saved by allowing us to choose when to charge your EV rather than having charging start immediately upon plug-in. Additionally, the “Insights” graphs in the main section of the app will show how your EV charging contributes to your overall household electricity usage.

Receive key alerts. Keeping your EV sufficiently charged is more challenging and complicated than keeping a gas tank full. Our Service provides various app notifications to help you charge and drive your EV worry-free. You can turn each of these alerts on and off in the Gexa app.

  • Forgot to Plug In. If the evening rolls around and your EV is below the maximum battery % but not plugged in, we will send an alert reminding you to plug in to take advantage of the Service.
  • Unexpected Unplug. If your EV is plugged in at home but becomes unplugged prior to reaching the maximum battery %, we will notify you and encourage you to check your charger.
  • Charge Complete. We will notify you when your EV reaches its maximum battery %.

Why should I enroll in the Service?

The Service offers various benefits:

Save money. After enrolling on Gexa’s Smart EV 12 electricity plan, you will be eligible to enroll on our Smart EV Charging Service. Enrolling on the Service will earn you $20 credit on your Gexa Smart EV 12 electricity plan bill each month as long as you are enrolled for a minimum of 20 days during your billing period and are otherwise eligible.

Save more money. The Service ensures that all charging, notwithstanding charging the vehicle as quickly as possible to the minimum percentage that you selected, will occur during times that your electricity is discounted. The Service only charges during your electricity plan’s discounted period, if applicable.

Save your battery. Repeatedly charging your EV battery to 100%, and especially leaving the battery idle at 100% for extended periods, degrades the battery. Our Service lets you set a lower maximum battery percentage, such as 80% or 90%, to minimize battery degradation while conducting your daily commute and errands. Then, when you require a 100% charge, you can raise your maximum percentage to 100% and alter your departure time.

Help the grid. Charging an electric vehicle likely requires more power than all of your home’s other loads combined (air conditioner, clothes dryer, oven, TV, computer, lights, pool pump, etc…). Therefore, when you are charging your electric vehicle, you are asking the electrical grid for A LOT of electrons. And the time when people tend to plug in their electric vehicles – when they arrive home in the mid-to-late afternoon – is the same time that they turn on their air conditioners, and the same time that there is generally tight electricity demand because of high temperatures even as solar generation wanes. In other words, this is the exact time when the electricity grid is least able to send all those electrons to your electric vehicle. The Service addresses this problem by picking time(s) to charge your electric vehicle when, between your plug-in time and your departure the next morning, the electricity grid is best able to support that charging.

Track the cost of EV charging. Whereas gas stations and public EV chargers show you the cost of filling up your car in real-time, information on at-home electric vehicle charging costs is largely unavailable, during and after the session. With Gexa’s Service, however, you can use the Gexa mobile app to track the cost of each charging session in real-time and historical charging costs at the session, weekly, and monthly levels.

Charge with more confidence and less worry. The Service guarantees that your electric vehicle will be ready at the maximum battery percentage by the time you depart each day. If you forget to plug in, we’ll remind you. If your charger mistakenly disconnects, we’ll let you know about that too.

How do I enroll on the Service?

You must be a Gexa Smart EV 12 electricity customer to enroll on our Smart EV Charging Service. After you enroll on the Smart EV 12 electricity plan, you will receive an email with instructions for how to pair your EV to the Service. The process, which occurs in the Gexa mobile app, includes logging into your EV account, providing consent for Gexa to obtain information about your EV, and selecting your charging preferences.

How do Gexa’s Smart EV 12 electricity plan and Smart EV Charging Service work together?

All of our customers are eligible for the Gexa Smart EV 12 electricity plan, even those without a compatible EV. However, to enroll on the Service, you must be a Smart EV 12 customer.

The Smart EV 12 plan provides a 30% discount for all electricity used between 9 PM and 5 AM. This structure incentivizes EV drivers to charge their EVs at night, when the Texas electricity grid is best able to support charging. The Smart Charging Service builds upon this structure in two ways:

  1. The Service schedules EV charging to occur between 9 PM and 5 AM, to ensure that as much charging as possible is occurring during this low-price period.
  2. Enrolling on the Service adds an additional $20 monthly credit to your bill. This is our way of saying thank you for helping keep Texas strong.

Am I eligible for the Service?

An electric vehicle driver must meet two criteria to be eligible for the Service:

  1. Drive a Tesla, Volkswagen, or Kia electric vehicle.
  2. Charge the electric vehicle at home with a Level 2 charger.

Do I need to have a certain EV charger to be eligible for the Service?

The Service is compatible with all Level 2 EV chargers.

What if I want to charge my vehicle immediately and/or to a level higher than my maximum battery percentage?

Smart EV Charging Service enrollees can turn off the Service immediately and at any time. All you need to do is press the “Turn Off Smart Charging” button in the Gexa app’s main dashboard or “My EV” dashboard. Upon pressing this button, your EV and EV charger’s settings will dictate when your EV charges. The Service will remain off until the next time you UNPLUG, at which time the Service will automatically resume. This functionality allows you to turn off the Service anytime leading up to a high-priority charging session, even when the EV is not yet plugged in. WARNING: We are not monitoring for, and therefore not responsible for, any charging issues while the Smart Charging Service is turned off. If you have turned off the Service, please double-check to ensure your EV is charging as intended.

Alternatively, if you want to charge to 100% (rather than your maximum battery percentage) , you can leave the Service ON, and merely change your maximum battery %. As usual, your EV will reach its maximum (in this case, 100%) prior to your selected departure time. Just remember to switch your maximum battery percentage back afterwards!

What happens if I am on a road trip and stop at a public charger? Will I need to turn off the Smart EV Charging Service?

Likely not. The Service should recognize that you are plugged into a charger other than your home charger and allow the charging to continue without interruption. However, if the public charging does halt unexpectedly, check your Gexa app to see if it has correctly identified the EV as “Plugged In Not At Service Address”. If this is not displaying in the app, simply click the “Turn Off Smart Charging” button and reinitiate charging.

Additionally, Volkswagen EVs are unable to recognize that they are “Plugged In Not At Service Address”. Therefore, Volkswagen drivers will need to click “Turn Off Smart Charging” prior to each public charging session. We recommend turning off the Service prior to plugging in, rather than immediately after plugging in, to avoid any interruptions.

How does the Smart EV Charging Service handle existing schedules or charge limit settings on my native EV or EV Charger apps?

We strongly encourage you to turn off all charging schedules and charging limits on your EV and EV Charger. These other schedules can conflict with the Smart EV Charging Service, slow down our Service, and prevent it from functioning properly.

How does the Smart EV Charging Service work? What vehicle information is required?

Gexa has designed a smart algorithm that decides the best times to charge your EV. The algorithm makes these decisions using electricity grid forecasts, current information about your EV, and its own learning from your previous charging sessions. Gexa develops the electricity grid forecasts internally. Gexa obtains the current information about your EV using certain services provided by SmartCar, to which you consent when you enroll on our Smart EV Charging Service, including battery capacity, battery level (“State-of-Charge”), estimated range, EV location, and charging status. See Gexa’s terms of service and privacy policy for additional information.

If you have any questions about our Smart EV Charging Service, please email us here, or call us at 1 877-958-1498, Monday through Friday 7am to 8pm or Saturday 8am to 5pm, and ask to speak to someone about the Smart EV Charging Service.

What happens if I have an EV that isn’t a Tesla, Kia or a Volkswagen? Can I still get on the Gexa Smart EV 12 electricity plan?

All of our customers are eligible for the Gexa Smart EV 12 electricity plan, even those without a compatible EV. However, you will be ineligible for the Smart EV Charging Service and the $20 credit that comes with enrolling. As a Smart EV 12 customer, though, you will be the first to know when we add more EVs to our list of compatible vehicles, and you will be eligible to join the Smart Charging Service and start receiving your credit immediately.

What happens to my $20 credit if my EV becomes unpaired with the Smart Charging Service?

If the Smart Charging Service is unable to function properly due to you changing your EV account credentials or turning off Remote Access to your EV’s data, we will let you know via a Gexa mobile app notification as well as a banner within the app. An EV must be connected to our Service for at least 20 days of a billing cycle to earn the $20 credit for that cycle. Thus, failure to follow the instructions and reactivate the Service will result in the removal of the $20 credit. That being said, we are not trying to look for ways to remove the credit. We want you on the Service and receiving the credit! So if you have any questions, please email us here, or call us at 1 877-958-1498, Monday through Friday 7am to 8pm or Saturday 8am to 5pm, and ask to speak to someone about the Smart EV Charging Service.

If you do happen to lose the credit for a month, do not fret! Reactivate the Service and you will resume earning the credit the following month. Also, something outside your control causing your EV to become disconnected – an error in Gexa’s or your EV manufacturer’s system – will not jeopardize your $20 credit even if it leads to your EV being connected for fewer than 20 days in a billing cycle.

My EV’s battery percentage decreases when it sits idle for extended periods, and I see tiny charging sessions in the middle of the night. Why are these things happening?

In order for our Smart Charging Service to function properly, we must ping your EV regularly to obtain information about its status. These pings are not energy-intensive; they are equivalent to you opening your EV app and obtaining updated EV information. But some EVs use the large battery to power this information-sharing, which can cause the battery percentage to drop by 1% periodically. This is a common phenomenon in the EV world and is often referred to as “vampire drain”. If we see this tiny drain happen, we charge the EV back up to its maximum battery percentage.