J.D. Power Public Electric Charging Study Finds Tesla Comes Out on Top

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【Summary】While electric vehicle owners turn to personal chargers at their place of residence as their primary method of charging their EV, Tesla ranks as the best Level 2 and DC fast charger operator in a new study conducted by J.D. Power.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 27, 2021 7:30 AM PT
J.D. Power Public Electric Charging Study Finds Tesla Comes Out on Top

Despite the growing number of electric vehicles on sale and the number of consumers that have traded their cars with an internal combustion engine for an EV, charging continues to be one of the largest issues for consumers. According to Automotive News, in the first half of 2021, the number of EV registrations in the country more than doubled. Electric cars may be gaining some traction, but a new J.D. Power study found that the lack of public chargers is still a large issue for EV adoption in the U.S.

Chargers Are Scarce

As the organization's study revealed, the lack of public charging stations is a large roadblock for EV owners, especially those that live in areas where they can't install a private charger at their place of residence. In J.D. Power's first U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study, Tesla Destination ranked the highest in owner satisfaction among Level 2 chargers, while Tesla Supercharger came out on top for DC fast chargers.

The study looked at EV owners' satisfaction when using Level 2 charging stations and DC fast charging stations. Satisfaction was measured across 10 factors: speed of charging, ease of charging, ease of payment, cost of charging, ease of finding a location, convenience of the location, safety, cleanliness, availability, and things to do while charging. On a 1,000-point scale, Tesla's Level 2 chargers scored 689 points and its Supercharging network earned a score of 733 points. After that, Volta and ChargePoint finished closely behind when it came to Level 2 charging stations.

"Public charging infrastructure is a key component in the overall adoption of electric vehicles by the broad population," said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power. "Unfortunately, the availability of public charging is the least satisfying aspect of owning an EV."

Free Charging Makes A Difference

One of the largest issues with public EV charging is cost. Understandably, owners that were able to charge their electric vehicles for free reported having more satisfaction. For automakers, the study reveals that offering incentives or free charging results in happier consumers. When it comes to charging stations themselves, consumers reported having two main issues: running into chargers that were out of service and not having any available chargers.

Going forward, J.D. Power believes that collaboration will be the key to improving the availability of public chargers in the country.

"Building a better infrastructure starts with more collaboration among automakers, charge point operators, site locations, utilities and government at all levels," Gruber said. "Each type of charger has its place in the EV public charging eco-system— whether its Level 2 for local drives or fast charging while on road trips. One thing is clear: the more chargers that can be deployed, the better."

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