Electric vehicle adoption across the United States is growing at a steady pace, but even as the number of zero-emission vehicles is increasing, the experience of charging them at public stations is getting increasingly worse, according to the J.D. Power 2023 US Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study.
Compared to last year, the overall satisfaction with DC fast chargers has decreased by 20 points, dropping to 654 on a 1,000-point scale, while EV owners’ satisfaction with Level 2 charging stations has dropped by 16 points, reaching a segment average of 617 points.
As per the study, electric vehicle users are increasingly dissatisfied with the time it takes to charge their vehicles, with both Level 2 and DC chargers taking a dip of 36 points and 30 points, respectively.
The reliability of public charging stations is also an issue, with results showing that 20 percent of all users visited a charger but left without charging. The reasons for this range from the charger being offline to long waiting lines.
"The declining customer satisfaction scores for public charging should be concerning to automakers and, more broadly, to public charging stakeholders," said Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power. "The availability of public charging stations is still a critical obstacle, but it isn't the only one. EV owners continue to have issues with many aspects of public charging, as the cost and speed of charging and the availability of things to do while waiting for their vehicle to charge are the least satisfying aspects. At the same time, 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."
In this year’s EVX study, Tesla’s Supercharger network gets the crown in the DC fast charger category for the third consecutive year, earning 739 points, which makes it the only name in the segment to rank above the 654-point segment average. ChargePoint is in second place, with 606 points, EVgo comes third with 569 points, and Electrify America is fourth with 538 points.
J.D. Power 2023 US Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study - DC Fast Chargers
J.D. Power 2023 US Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study - Level 2 Chargers
In the Level 2 chargers category, Volta is the highest-ranked provider, with 665 points, with Tesla’s destination charger in a close second, with 661 points. ChargePoint completes the top three, with 618 points, barely above the segment average of 617 points. Going further down the list, we find SemaConnect with 578 points, Electrify America with 542 points, and Blink with 535 points.
“With greater adoption of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) pioneered by Tesla, it may provide a boost in fast-charging satisfaction among owners of EVs from other brands as they begin to use Tesla’s Supercharger stations,” 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.”
The study measures EV owners’ satisfaction with DC fast chargers and Level 2 charging stations across 10 factors (in order of importance): ease of charging, speed of charging, physical condition of charging station, availability of chargers, convenience of this location, things to do while charging, how safe you feel at this location, ease of finding this location, cost of charging, and ease of payment.
The 2023 US EVX Public Charging Study is made in collaboration with PlugShare, the leading EV driver app maker and research firm, and examines consumer attitudes, behaviors, and satisfaction. Fielded from January through June 2023, the study’s respondents included 15,079 battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owners.