EV owners are tired of malfunctioning chargers and bad software, One of the most prevalent gripes that people who own electric vehicles have is the poor condition of public charging stations for EVs, which includes malfunctioning chargers, janky software, and damaged screens.
However, much of this information is based on anecdotes, and it can be challenging to track down scientific studies that accurately portray the current landscape of electric vehicle charging in the United States.
During the months of January through June 2022, JD Power conducted a poll among 11,554 owners of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of its second annual Electric Vehicle Experience Public Charging Study. Owners of electric vehicles in the United States report that the overall experience is unsatisfactory, despite the significant expansion in the number of public charging stations for EVs.
On a scale of one thousand points, the consumer research company measured the level of client satisfaction with electric vehicle charging. The number of people who are satisfied after using a public Level 2 charger has decreased to 633 from 643 in 2021, as reported by those who have provided feedback on the topic. In the meantime, customer satisfaction with the more rapid direct current (DC) fast charger sector has remained unchanged at 674.
“Not only is the availability of public charging still an obstacle, but EV owners continue to be faced with charging station equipment that is inoperable,” Brent Gruber, executive director of global automotive at JD Power, said in a statement. “Not only is the availability of public charging still an obstacle, but EV owners continue to be faced with charging station equipment that is inoperable.”
It has never been simpler to locate a public charging station; but, it is still very difficult to find one that is operational.
According to the results of the poll, one respondent out of every five did not charge their vehicle despite the fact that they had located a public charging station. Seventy-two percent of those who didn’t charge their devices said it was because the charging station was broken or out of service.
In the United States, there are around 41,000 public charging stations, which together provide more than 100,000 charging outlets. Using public charging stations is only one part of the puzzle, of course. The majority of electric vehicle owners charge their vehicles while parked in their driveways at home overnight.
However, in order for electric vehicles (EVs) to become a more appealing choice for those looking to buy cars, charging stations will need to become more widespread and reliable, just like gas stations.
It should come as no surprise that Tesla scores towards the top when it comes to customer satisfaction, with its Destination wall-mounted Level 2 chargers (which are most commonly seen in parking garages or at hotels) ranking highest with a score of 680 out of 1,000. With a total score of 739, Tesla’s Supercharger network achieves the best ranking possible among DC fast chargers.
The fact that Tesla’s network was developed specifically for use with the company’s own electric vehicles is the reason why, according to industry experts, it functions so effectively in most cases.
Because Tesla employs a proprietary connector in North America, non-Tesla vehicles driven on the continent will require an adaptor in order to use the company’s Superchargers. The Department of Energy reports that there are over 6,798 plugs in the United States alone. (According to the business, there are 35,000 Supercharger plugs located all over the world.)
Other public charging networks, on the other hand, need to be compatible with a wide variety of EV manufacturers. By the end of this year, Tesla is anticipated to initiate the process of making its chargers accessible to electric vehicles (EVs) that are not manufactured by Tesla.
Other electric vehicle charging firms received lower marks of approval from vehicle owners. Customers put Volta (667) in the second position behind Tesla in the category of Level 2 charging providers, followed by ChargePoint (639) in third place, SemaConnect (557) in fourth place, and Blink (560) in fifth place. Customers ranked the three companies that offer DC fast charging in the following order: ChargePoint (644), Electrify America (614), and EVgo (573).
There is a ray of optimism that electric vehicle charging will grow better in the very near future. As part of the infrastructure package that was approved by Congress and signed into law at the end of 2017, the administration of Vice President Joe Biden was successful in securing $5 billion in financing for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The majority of the funding will be distributed to the states in order to facilitate the establishment of a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along “Alternative Fuel Corridors.” These corridors are comprised of approximately 165,722 miles of the National Highway System and span 49 states plus the District of Columbia.
In addition, the government has published new criteria with the intention of facilitating the quicker construction of additional charging stations. These standards provide states with rules for awarding contracts for electric vehicle (EV) charging projects.
The guidelines direct the companies who obtain the contracts to create chargers that are convenient, economical, and accessible to the greatest number of people possible.
Along with the financial incentive, there is a stipulation that the chargers must perform properly nearly one hundred percent of the time and adhere to certain technological criteria when it comes to connecting with vehicles.