EV survey: owners want free and fast public chargers

EV survey: owners want free and fast public chargers

A latest study conducted by data and analytics firm, JD Power, has found that electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) owners are happier when they get access to free public fast chargers. This is perhaps why Tesla’s Destination and Supercharger charging infrastructures have ranked the highest for customer satisfaction in their respective segments.

The automaker’s Destination network, which is a Level 2 public AC charging station, scored 689 points out of 1,000. This puts it ahead of second place Volta (674 points) and ChargePoint (third place with 660 points). Similarly, Tesla Supercharger (Level 3) ranked the highest among DC fast chargers with a score of 733 points.

The study, which was conducted in collaboration with EV app developer PlugShare, examined consumer attitudes, behaviours and satisfaction. About 6,647 BEV and PHEV owners participated in the study that spanned from January through June 2021. Drivers who visited the charging location but did not charge their vehicles were also asked why they decided not to charge.

Overall satisfaction was measured across 10 factors – ease of charging, speed of charging, cost of charging, ease of payment, ease of finding a charger, convenience of the charging spot, things to do while charging, how safe they feel at the location, availability of chargers, and cleanliness of the location.

EV survey: owners want free and fast public chargers

Now, in the US, charging speeds are classified into three levels. Level 1 uses the basic 120V home charger with outputs ranging from 1.3 kW to 2.4 kW, while Level 2 is commonly referred to 240V dedicated AC wallbox chargers that put out between 4 kW to 18 kW. Level 3 is DC fast charging, offering anywhere from 50 kW to 250 kW. The study found that most BEV and PHEV owners understood how AC and DC chargers work, and were generally satisfied with the ease of using public chargers.

The study also found charging costs to be a big issue for many EV owners, so those with access to free DC fast chargers naturally showed a higher level of satisfaction compared to paying users (706 vs 673 points). The dip for slower Level 2 chargers was more pronounced, as satisfaction with free charging was 668 but declined to 586 when payment was required.

Some automakers offer free charging as an incentive for consumers to make the switch to EVs, and this seemed to be significantly advantageous in the public charging experience. However, when it comes to the availability of public charging stations, the results varied according to geographic regions.

The West North Central and East North Central regions have higher-than-average charger availability, while the West South Central and Mid Atlantic regions dip below average. The Mountain and Pacific regions were the lowest performing regions for charger availability. As for complaints, the two biggest ones were broken chargers (58%) and having to wait for others to finish charging (14%).

EV survey: owners want free and fast public chargers

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

“Owners are reasonably happy in situations where public charging is free, doesn’t require a wait and the location offers other things to do – but that represents a best-case scenario. The industry needs to make significant investment in public charging to assure a level of convenience and satisfaction that will lure potentially skeptical consumers to EVs.”

“Building a better infrastructure starts with more collaboration among automakers, charge point operators, site locations, utilities and government at all levels. Each type of charger has its place in the EV public charging ecosystem – whether it is 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,” he continued.

GALLERY: Tesla Destination

GALLERY: Tesla Supercharger

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.



  • what so special about these EV users?

    why free when previously all need to queue and pay for fossil fuel?

    as if the electricity is free to generate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4
  • Aura89 on Aug 24, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Yeah who doesn’t like free but if made to pay for charging electricity? Imagine the cost it will be in California…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Among all EV and PHEV cars, shouldn’t there be a thorough study comparing the different electricity bill of charging these vehicles transparently publish for all potential buyers? Instead of comparing to petrol/diesel consumption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • seancorr (Member) on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    There is no free lunch in this world. Customers need to bear the maintenance costs for these charging stations. On the charging side, I concur that the charging speed is an important factor for mass adoption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • next election promise on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Which transport minister likely to implement free EV public charging infras in msia:
    like : Anthony Loke
    dislike : Wee Ka Siong

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  • Veyron Owner on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Bought a brand new Taycan just last month. Free and fast public chargers every 5kms would be owsem

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4
  • Thinking this thing on Aug 24, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    If there is a survey if who want free petrol.

    The result will be the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  • johnny on Aug 25, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    ev for the entitled generation

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • SmartConsumer on Sep 03, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Fast charging ok la tapi Free no way. Can scan and pay normal electricity rate using payment apps like all other countries

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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