‘Inoperable sorry state’ of public EV chargers irks owners in the US

Electric vehicles have been in the news for either EVs catching fires or their improper functioning around the globe. Electric vehicle owners are fed up with the sorry state of public charging infrastructure in the US, and their basic complaints are of either the EV charging station malfunctioning or being out of service most of the time, a first such report has revealed.

According to the report by consumer insights and data analytics provider J.D. Power, one out of every five respondents ended up not charging their vehicle during their visit to a public charging station. “Of those who didn’t charge, 72 percent indicated that it was due to the station malfunctioning or being out of service,” the findings showed.

Tesla Supercharger ranks highest among DC (direct current) fast chargers with a score of 739. It is the only DC fast charger brand to rank above industry average. “Public charging continues to provide challenges to overall EV adoption and current EV owners alike,” said Brent Gruber, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power.

“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,” Gruber mentioned in the report. The report comes at a time when several countries, including India, give a renewed thrust on laying EV infrastructure to reduce their dependence on traditional fuels.

Despite the fact that more public charging stations are in operation than ever before, customer satisfaction with public Level 2 charging declined from last year, dropping to 633 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 643 in 2021, while satisfaction with the speedier DC fast charger segment remains flat at 674.

“This lack of progress points to the need for improvement as EVs gain wider consumer acceptance because the shortage of public charging availability is the number one reason vehicle shoppers reject EVs,” the report noted.

Tesla Destination also ranks highest among Level 2 charge point operators with a score of 680. “Stations need to be added to areas where there are currently gaps in heavily travelled routes and in high-density areas for people who don’t have access to residential charging,” said Gruber.

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