Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics About SemaConnect Smart EV Charging Stations

SemaConnect Basics

What kind of charging stations 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, including Tesla. 

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 charge a Volt from empty to full battery, utilizing a 240V outlet would take roughly 4 hours, while charging 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 EV to a completely dead battery. If you are charging a battery that is not empty, your charging times will be shorter. Generally, you will get 25 miles per hour of charging time when you use a Level 2 charging station.

How far can I travel per charge in my EV?
Electric vehicle range 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.

SemaConnect Account

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?
To sign up for a SemaConnect Account, visit https://network.semaconnect.com/ and click the green Register button. Fill out the required information, make sure you check the button to agree to SemaConnect’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, then click the green Create My Account button.

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 $200.00.

For more information on the account replenishment process, watch this video on 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 Pass

What is a SemaConnect Pass?
A SemaConnect Pass is an RFID 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 SemaConnect 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.
  • There are two ways to request a Network Pass.
    • From the Dashboard, navigate to the left-side menu and click My Account, then click Network Pass.
    • From the Dashboard, look for the Account Overview box on the right of your screen. In the box, click Network Pass, then Activate Now.
  • At the top of your Account page, you will see the pass number assigned to you. Click the green link below Status that says “Pending Activation, Activate Now!”
  • 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 your four-digit Validation Code on the letter you received in the mail with your SemaConnect Pass.
  • 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.

Personal/Designated Charging

What’s the difference between personal and shared charging stations?
If you live in an apartment or condo and have an assigned parking space, your property manager may install a personal charging station at that spot for your exclusive use. Station access is tied to your own SemaConnect account. Other EV drivers must request access to their own personal charging station, or use a community shared charging station.

How do I activate a charging session at a personal charging station?
In order to initiate a charging session at a personal charging station, you must have a SemaConnect account and have been given access by an account administrator.

  • 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 personal station, log into your account.
  • Use the left menu to navigate to My Account > Station Access
  • Copy your invitation code into the designated field.
  • Click Save
  • Your Network Administrator must then approve your activation into the system before you can begin utilizing the personal station.

Once your personal charging station has been added to your SemaConnect account, you can initiate a charging session using a free SemaConnect Pass or the SemaConnect app.

How will I be billed for charging at my personal station?
Drivers at personal charging stations will be charged a monthly base fee, plus a usage fee decided by the property manager. The usage fee may be based on energy flow or time spent plugged in. You can ask your property manager or log into your SemaConnect account to view your station’s pricing policy.

Your monthly subscription bill will charge your credit card the base fee for the upcoming month + your previous month’s usage fee.

Will use of my personal charging station affect Account Replenishment in my SemaConnect account? / What charges can I expect on my credit/debit card?
Your monthly subscription to your personal charging station is separate from your payments at shared charging stations. You will be billed every month for access to your personal charging station.

Your SemaConnect account maintains a separate balance for usage of shared stations. You will only receive a bill for the automatic Account Replenishment fee when that balance dips below $0. This is a separate credit card charge from your personal charging station bill.

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 App Store or Google Play 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
  • Select a location at your current location, or click “Locations” on the left menu
  • A red pin marks your current location on the map.
  • Colored map pins indicate SemaConnect charging stations in your general area. A blue dot with a number in the middle indicates multiple addresses with charging stations. 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, select that station’s map pin. This will take you to a Location Detail bubble.

  • Click to expand the Location Detail bubble.
  • Select the blue Show Stations Here button.
  • Select the charging station where you want to charge. The name of each station is listed on its LCD screen.
  • Click the Charge Now button, found in the middle of the 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.

Here’s a video on how to use the SemaConnect App.

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 App Store or Google Play 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 an option to 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.
  • Follow the prompts, then plug in your vehicle.

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
  • Choose Option 9 to start a charging session. *Please note, you must choose option 9 to input your credit card information. For your safety, it is against SemaConnect’s privacy policy for a Customer Service Representative to take your credit card information over the phone.
  • Follow the automated prompts to start your charging session. You must 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 with the automated system 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 start a charging session via network.semaconnect.com?
If you DO have a SemaConnect Account:

  • Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
  • Log in to network.semaconnect.com via your mobile browser
  • Click Station Locator, then select your location.
  • Click Charge Now and select the station you want to use.
  • The next page will show you the cost to charge. Click to Confirm.
  • Plug in your vehicle.
  • 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.

If you DO NOT have a SemaConnect Account:

  • Do NOT begin by plugging in your vehicle
  • From your mobile browser, visit network.semaconnect.com.
  • Choose Start Charging Now
  • Fill in the station serial number and your credit card information. You must have a credit or debit card available to pay for your charging session. Note: The serial number is located on the left side of the station and begins with the letters BAE.
  • 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 on network.semaconnect.com will place a $20.00 hold on your credit or debit card. Once your credit card company approves the final transaction, that hold will revert to 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 > Station Access
  • Copy your invitation code into the field that says “Enter Code Here.”
  • Click Save
  • Your Network Administrator must then approve your activation into the system before you can begin utilizing the private stations.

 

Locations

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 in the main menu 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.

Charging Fees

Why do SemaConnect stations have different prices at different locations? / How much does it cost to charge at a SemaConnect charging station?
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 do I know how much it will cost to charge my car at a SemaConnect station?
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. Please note that using the automated system will incur a $20 hold on your credit/debit card. This hold will revert to the actual cost of your session after your bank approves the transaction.
  • 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 credit and debit card transactions initiated through the 1-800 automated system.

I paid for my charging session with my SemaConnect account and only charged for an hour. Why is there a $___ charge on my card?
As long as you have a balance of $0 or greater in your SemaConnect account, you can begin a charging session at any SemaConnect station. If your account has a negative balance, your account will attempt to replenish at a multiple of your pre-selected replenishment amount ($20-200). This will be a one time charge to bring your account back to $0 or higher.

Example: If you have a negative balance of $45 and an account replenishment amount of $20, your credit/debit card will be charged $60 (rather than three separate charges of $20).