U.S. Home EV Charging Satisfaction Rises Amid Challenges, Study Finds

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U.S. Home EV Charging Satisfaction Rises Amid Challenges, Study Finds

The expansion of the public charging network across the U.S. is happening rapidly, with the landscape improving significantly as thousands of new charging stations are added each year. While there are areas with limited charging options, these “charging deserts” are becoming increasingly rare. However, discussions often focus on the limitations of public charging, overshadowing the primary charging method for most EV owners: home charging.

For the majority of electric vehicle (EV) owners, charging their cars is most commonly done at home or at the office, using either portable or fixed Level 2 chargers. Depending on the specific EV and charger, fully charging a vehicle typically requires between four to ten hours. This allows owners to plug in their EVs in the evening and wake up to a fully charged vehicle ready for the day.

This method of charging is proving to be effective in the U.S., as evidenced by J.D. Power’s 2024 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study. The study shows year-over-year increases in overall satisfaction across three types of home chargers: Level 1 portable, Level 2 portable, and Level 2 permanently mounted chargers.

Brent Gruber, Executive Director of the EV Practice at J.D. Power, mentioned to InsideEVs that improvements in charging speeds have contributed to higher satisfaction levels among EV owners. He attributes this to consumers choosing chargers that better match their vehicle’s requirements and their personal charging needs, highlighting a growing alignment between chargers, vehicles, and user expectations.

Despite the inherently slower charging rates of Level 1 chargers, satisfaction among their users has seen an increase, according to J.D. Power. However, it’s the Level 2 chargers that have garnered the highest satisfaction ratings from EV owners. A significant 84% of EV owners who charge their vehicles at home opt for Level 2 chargers, underscoring their preference for the faster charging option.

In terms of brand rankings for Level 2 chargers, Tesla, Emporia, and Grizzl-e emerged as the frontrunners, outperforming other brands such as Blink, Electrify America, JuiceBox, Siemens, and Ford, which were rated lower in satisfaction.

Gruber highlighted a notable shift concerning the cost of charging from last year to this year. The previous year’s study revealed that EV owners were grappling with inflationary pressures, which escalated the overall costs, including those of chargers and home charging. This increase in costs was influenced by a general perception that prices were rising across the board.

However, as the presence of EVs on the roads expands and their usage intensifies, a range of new challenges has emerged across all charging segments, according to J.D. Power’s findings. Owners of portable Level 2 chargers, in particular, reported an increase of 6.6 problems per 100 chargers from the previous year, with many issues stemming from connectivity problems, including unreliable internet or WiFi connections. Meanwhile, Level 2 wall box chargers experienced a rise in issues, from 25 problems per 100 chargers in 2023 to 31.6 problems per 100 chargers this year, indicating an area that requires attention as the adoption of electric vehicles continues to grow.

Gruber revealed a significant insight into EV charging habits: 83% of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) owners and 80% of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) owners charge their vehicles at home on a regular basis. Despite the predominance of home charging, he stressed the importance of expanding the public charging network. The visibility and availability of DC fast chargers, though infrequently used by many EV owners, play a vital role in shaping public perception and encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.

Addressing the gap between EV adoption and charger installation rates is crucial. Elizabeth Krear, Vice President of Electric Vehicle Practice at J.D. Power, highlighted at the 2024 New York International Auto Show that EV adoption is outpacing charger installation by about 2.5 times. This discrepancy underscores the need for more robust development in charging infrastructure to support the growing number of EVs.

To gather comprehensive data on EV charging experiences, J.D. Power collaborated with Plugshare, tapping into the PlugInsights community. The study drew on responses from an extensive sample of 15,617 U.S. participants, providing valuable insights into the current state of EV charging.

We’re interested in hearing about your EV charging routines. Do you frequently charge your EV at home? Share your thoughts in the comments about what you enjoy or find challenging about home charging.

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