Public dissatisfaction with the reliability of public EV charging isn’t news, but now market analysis powerhouse J.D. Power has put some current numbers to the trend.
J.D. Power’s U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study, now in its third year, measures EV owners’ satisfaction with both Level 2 and DC public charging stations. Satisfaction is measured across 10 factors (in order of importance):
- ease of charging
- speed of charging
- physical condition of charging stations
- availability of chargers
- convenience of charging locations
- things to do while charging
- safety of charging locations
- ease of finding locations
- cost of charging
- ease of payment
The 2023 edition of the study was conducted in collaboration with PlugShare, which provides a popular app that allows EV drivers to find and rate public charging stations. The study was conducted from January through June 2023. Respondents included 15,079 owners of BEVs and PHEVs.
The study found that, despite the increase in the number of US public charging stations, customer satisfaction with Level 2 charging has declined to 617 (on a 1,000-point scale), 16 points lower than a year ago and the lowest level since the study began in 2021. Satisfaction with DC fast chargers has fallen even further, dropping 20 points to 654. Ominously, satisfaction in both segments has dropped in nearly every attribute measured in the study.
“The declining customer satisfaction scores for public charging should be concerning to automakers and public charging stakeholders,” said Brent Gruber, Executive Director of the EV Practice at J.D. Power. “The reliability of public chargers continues to be a problem. The situation is stuck at a level where one of every five visits ends without charging, the majority of which are due to station outages.”
Tesla owners are relatively satisfied with the Tesla Supercharger network (745 out of 1,000).
“Greater adoption of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) pioneered by Tesla may provide a boost in fast-charging satisfaction among owners of EVs from other brands,” Gruber said. “We’re monitoring whether the use of Tesla Superchargers by non-Tesla owners will affect satisfaction, but the move does help address charger scarcity and offer access to industry-leading reliable chargers. It’s just too early to tell if it can reach the satisfaction levels of Tesla owners who are already part of that fully integrated Tesla ecosystem.”
When it comes to the different charge point operators (CPOs), Volta ranked highest among Level 2 charging stations, with a score of 665. Tesla Destination (661) ranked second and ChargePoint (618) ranked third.
Among DC fast chargers, the Tesla Supercharger network ranked highest for a third consecutive year, with a score of 739.
Source: J.D. Power