Just checked out Russian Gulch State Park where it appears park visitors charge for free with 2 J1772 chargers. Are many public chargers free?
Most J1772 and CHAdeMO chargers have a fee.
Check out PlugShare.com or the PlugShare app for the location and fees of public charging stations.
While I don't need it, the my city just added 16 free L2 chargers 200 feet from my house. They are all powered from a large solar/battery installation! Just plug in - no cards or validation required.
That said, I agree with others - most have a fee. In my 4+ years of EV travels,
Now you may not need one. In 4+ years, I've used one L2 charger twice at a Hyatt hotel, and it was free. There was a Supercharger 5 miles away, but the hotel was more convenient. Otherwise I've only used Superchargers on my typical 1000 mile trips. My first Tesla only had 208 miles of range, so even the base Model 3 should be easy in many locations.
This all very much depends on what kind of place it is. In my town, the parking structures downtown have J1772 stations in them, and they do charge a fee. Same with some that are in the university parking lots. There is a Whole Foods that has a couple of stations in their parking lot. They are free because they are offering them as an attraction to bring customers. Same with the Discovery Center science museum. There is also an electrician apprentice training shop that offers a free charging station, and a solar panel installing company who also offers a free one. Those are again an attraction to bring curious customers.
The car dealerships around here do have stations that are generally free, but they are pretty hit or miss about some being restrictive of who they will even allow to use them.
A couple of hotels have them. They usually would like them to be for customers, but most will consider you a customer if you would eat at their restaurant.
The Sierra Club here has one, and it's free (of course).
Oh yeah, and our mall has one which is also free.
I forgot a few others. Two libraries in our town have stations that are free.
Sometimes a local government will want to offer that. In John Day Oregon and Burns Oregon, the Chamber of Commerce for those two places have installed free wall charging units. Those are very "pass through" kinds of towns on large highways, so they want to encourage people to stop in there to spend some money on restaurants and things in town.
Wall charger at the Say When Casino in McDermitt Nevada is free as well, but there's not really anything to do in that town except go inside anyway, so you're going to spend a little money on slot machines or lunch/drinks.
I think free is fairly common.
Five free CHAdeMO chargers around town, soon six.
A few free J1772.
Don't forget that supercharging will cost for all model 3s. Also, living in sourthern California, I see about as many free chargers as those that charge. I think we're in the very beginning of a transition where all chargers will, ahem, charge you. Probably going to take a while before it spreads across the country though.