Study: 20% of electric vehicle owners couldn’t charge their EVs at public charging stations

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As the Biden administration pushes electric vehicles, thousands of EV owners report that they couldn’t charge their electric cars at public charging stations, according to a new poll.

JD Power – a consumer research, data, and analytics firm – released its second annual U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Public Charging Study on Wednesday. The survey interviewed 11,554 electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners from January through June 2022.

The study found that 20% of electric vehicle owners couldn’t charge their EVs at public charging stations.

“The study finds that one out of every five respondents ended up not charging their vehicle during their visit,” JD Power reported. “Of those who didn’t charge, 72% indicated that it was due to the station malfunctioning or being out of service.”

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Brent Gruber – executive director of global automotive at JD Power – said in a statement, “Not only is the availability of public charging still an obstacle, but EV owners continue to be faced with charging station equipment that is inoperable.”

This week, the New York Times published an article titled: “A Frustrating Hassle Holding Electric Cars Back: Broken Chargers.”

“Owners of battery-powered cars sometimes struggle to refuel on longer trips because public chargers don’t work or malfunction while cars are plugged in,” the Times article read.

There are an estimated 41,000 public EV charging stations in the United States.

President Joe Biden authorized spending $7.5 billion to expand the EV charging infrastructure and hit a target of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030.

Gruber points out that “just adding stations isn’t the answer.”

“The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program […] will lead to sizable growth in the availability of EV charging stations, but just adding stations isn’t the answer,” Gruber said. “Stations need to be added to areas where there are currently gaps in heavily traveled routes and in high-density areas for people who don’t have access to residential charging, but most importantly, designed with things for users to do while charging – regardless of the use case.”

Despite supply chain issues, electric vehicle sales (including plug-in hybrids) spiked 41% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same timeframe last year, according to Urban Science. EVs represented 6.2% of all new U.S. car sales in the first six months of 2022, versus 3.6% in 2021.

The JD Power study did not reveal the exact reason as to why the remaining 28% of the EV owners couldn’t charge their cars.

A possible reason why EV owners may not have charged their cars at a public charging station could be lengthy wait times.

In March, a woman posted a video of a long line of Tesla owners waiting to charge their vehicles in Louisiana.

The woman who took the video spoke to one of the EV owners, and he said that it normally takes 30 minutes to charge, but the demand was so high that it took over an hour to charge one car.


In November 2019, a video of a massive line of Tesla automobiles in line went viral.


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