EV owners have a common complaint about the public EV charging infrastructure. It is – broken chargers, janky software and busted screens. Most of this is anecdotal and are not captures by current EV studies in the US. Accoridng to JD Power the surveyed 11,554 EV and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners shows some realistic results. It was conducted from January 2022 to June. Despite the increasing number of EV charging stations, the overall experience has not improved for customers.
Furthermore, the consumer research firm measured customer satisfaction with EV charging on a 1,000-point scale. According to respondents, charging at a public Level 2 charger is worse than it was last year, with satisfaction dropping to 633 from 643 in 2021. Meanwhile, satisfaction with the speedier DC (direct current) fast charger segment remains flat at 674.
Executive director of global automotive at JD Power, Brent Bruber said, “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.” Finding a public charger has never been easier, but finding one that works remains a serious problem. According to the survey, one out of every five respondents ended up not charging their vehicle after locating a public charger. And of those who didn’t charge, 72 percent indicated that it was due to the station malfunctioning or being out of service.
It is known that there are approximately 41,000 public charging stations in the United States, with more than 100,000 outlets. Of course, public chargers are only half of the equation. Most EV owners do their charging overnight while parked in their driveway at home. But if EVs are to become a more attractive option to car buyers, charging stations are going to need to become more pervasive and reliable like gas stations.
Evidently, Tesla ranks near the top for customer satisfaction, with its Destination wall-mounted Level 2 chargers (most often found in parking garages or at hotels) ranking highest with a score of 680 out of 1,000. Tesla’s Supercharger network also ranks highest among DC fast chargers, with a score of 739. Experts say that Tesla’s network typically works so well because it’s designed to work only for the company’s own EVs. Tesla uses a proprietary connector in North America, so non-Tesla vehicles here will need an adapter in order to access the company’s Superchargers, of which there are over 6,798 plugs in the US, according to the Department of Energy. (The company says it has 35,000 Supercharger plugs globally.) Other public charging networks, by comparison, have to work for many different EV brands. Tesla is expected to begin opening up its chargers to non-Tesla EVs starting at the end of this year.
Credits- The Verge