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Published date: February 15, 2023

How bad is public EV charging in the USA?

How bad is public EV charging in the USA?

As the EV market continues to grow across the U.S., public charging infrastructure has struggled to keep up. J.D. Power’s recent study showed that failed charging attempts grew from 15% to 21% from early 2021 to late 2022. What is going on with public EV charging? Here are our thoughts.

Chargepoint EV charger charging a white electric vehicle
Table of contents

What is going on with public EV charging?

EV charging dissatisfaction has been publicized in the news a lot lately. Satisfaction levels vary depending on the charger type, brand and location, and it is important to know the main issues. J.D. Power’s Electric Vehicle Experience Public Charging Study surveyed over 11,000 EV/PHEV owners and discovered the following:

  • Most owners are relatively satisfied with the charging process: owners find that public chargers are generally easy to use, and are satisfied with the actual system itself.
  • However, public charger maintenance is a key issue: 1 out of every 5 respondents has had an unsuccessful charging visit due to the station malfunctioning or being out of service.
  • Public charger availability and satisfaction differs by region: while California has the highest concentration of EV owners and public chargers, their satisfaction with them is lower than other regions.
  • DC fast charger users need to be good planners: with few alternatives on the road, EV owners who are using DC chargers have to have reliable resources available to help them, such as charger finder apps, to plan accordingly for road trips.
  • EV owners need something to do during charging sessions: DC fast charging times tend to take around 30 minutes. How can charging companies help fill this down time?

How does public EV charging work?

Public EV charging can come in two forms:

  • DC fast chargers (Level 3): these are industrial-sized chargers, which can charge an electric vehicle fully in as little as 30 minutes. These are normally located in public places such as grocery store parking lots or around the city, or off the highway.
  • Level 2 chargers: can be found both in public places as well as in residential homes. In public spaces, these chargers are normally located in apartment buildings or hotel parking lots, for residents and guests to charge overnight.

Which are the best public EV chargers?

According to J.D. Power’s study, EV owners are most satisfied with Tesla Superchargers, with Electrify America and EVgo having the lowest satisfaction levels. EVs are perfect for day to day use, but as you can see below, there are still some potential dissatisfaction when driving a non-Tesla on long road trips.

Graphic from JD Power Study highlighting overall satisfaction with public EV chargers.

Where can I find reliable EV charging?

The most reliable option is to charge your car at home. With a level 2 charger installed in your garage or driveway, you will be able to wake up every morning with your car’s battery full.

You can also use your 110 Volt household electrical outlet and a cable that comes with a car, but it is just slow. It is the slowest type of EV charging and typically adds 2-5 miles of range per hour of charging.

Therefore, Lectrium recommends level 2 charging. It is a hardware device that needs to be installed at your home. It plugs into a 240-volt outlet (like your washing machine or air conditioning unit) or can be hardwired, and can add more than 30 miles of range per hour. This is a perfect overnight charging option so that you can stop worrying about the range every morning.

Ready to find your Level 2 charger? Check out our selection of chargers for your home and take our survey to schedule your installation.

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© 2022 Lectrium. All Rights Reservered.