When J.D. Power quantified EV owner satisfaction with the public charging experience at Level 2 and DC fast chargers, it found owners unhappy about “finding the charging infrastructure inadequate and plagued with non-functioning stations.” So while there are more stations than ever, charging hurdles have made EV buyers less happy. It’s a similar story with the latest study, the 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study. More homes have been fitted with Level 2 permanently mounted charging stations and more BEV and PHEV buyers own Level 2 portable stations. Despite the increased convenience, the study found owners less satisfied overall with the charging experience, the overall happiness with permanent home stations dropping from a score of 752 to 740 out of 1,000.
The study queries owners on eight facets of the home charging experience for BEVs and PHEVs using Level 1 (household plug) and fixed and portable Level 2 chargers: Fairness of the charger’s retail price; cord length; size of charger; ease of winding/storing cable; cost of charging; charging speed; ease of use; and reliability.
Scores for overall satisfaction with Level 2 charging dropped in all nine national regions. Respondents cited cost as part of the problem, public utility kWh rates climbing with the prices of everything else. Another problem comes from charging speeds that apparently haven’t fulfilled expectations.
It appears many buyers still haven’t studied options that could address both gripes. One of the report’s key findings is that only “51% of EV owners say they are knowledgeable about utility company programs for charging vehicle their at home, which is up slightly from 49% a year ago.” As to speed, those who buy Level 2 chargers expressed more content in seven of the eight facets of the study than those who buy Level 1 chargers. As to cost, only 35% of owners always schedule a time to charge their vehicle, whereas 49% don’t schedule and may be missing out on lower rates at non-peak times or local utility programs for alleviating cost.
Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power, said, “There are programs available today that will help EV owners with the startup costs, such as installing or upgrading to a faster Level 2 charger. There are also programs designed to save EV owners money with the ongoing costs of charging their vehicle, like scheduling to charge during the most affordable time of the day. However, J.D. Power sees that there is little awareness and utilization of these benefits. As the EV marketplace continues to grow, brands that help owners take advantage of these offerings will be in a much better position down the road.”
Just as it did with public chargers, Tesla won the most acclaim among permanently mounted Level 2 chargers securing a score of 790. It was followed by the Grizzl-E charger with 757 points and Emporia Energy at 754 points, all three of them above the segment average of 740 points.
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