Tesla dominates charging experience satisfaction, and that’s a problem now that it’s gone public

Tesla dominates charging experience satisfaction among EV owners, and that’s going to be a problem for charging network operators now that Supercharger is going public.

This is a problem that must be put into perspective since most electric car charging is done at home.

Therefore, public charging issues mainly affect only a small part of the experience of EV owners, but it is still an issue that needs to be addressed.

When going on a road trip or covering longer distances, public fast-charging stations are essential, and unfortunately there is a wide range of satisfaction levels depending on the charging station.

We recently reported on a study that found that more than a quarter of charging stations surveyed were not functional. This is a real problem.

Now, JD Power has released its new charging experience survey to compare the level of satisfaction across different brands of charging stations, and it has yielded some interesting results.

First, satisfaction has declined overall despite the significant increase in the availability of public charging stations over the past year, which is one of the biggest issues for charging networks to begin with: availability.

He writes in the report:

Although more public charging stations are in service than ever before, customer satisfaction with Level 2 public charging has declined from a year ago to 633 (on a scale of 1,000 points) compared to 643 in 2021, while satisfaction with the faster DC (direct current) fast charger segment remains stable at 674. This lack of progress indicates the need for improvement as electric vehicles are increasingly accepted by consumers, as the lack of availability of public charging is the main reason why vehicle buyers reject electric vehicles.

The report highlights that one of the main satisfaction issues is that charging stations actually work:

The operability and maintenance of public chargers is a key issue: the growth of public charging infrastructure makes it easier for owners of electric vehicles to find public charging stations. The ease of finding a location index is 724 among DC fast charger users and 683 among Level 2 charger users. But the industry needs to better maintain existing charging stations. The study reveals that one in five respondents ended up not charging their vehicle during their visit. Of those who did not charge, 72% said it was because the station malfunctioned or went out of service.

When breaking down the scores by brand, Tesla and its Supercharger network dominate the survey, and the final point about charging station maintenance and upkeep ties into that since Tesla is known to have a very good uptime per compared to its peers in the charging world:

Tesla Destination ranks first among Level 2 charging station operators with a score of 680 and Tesla Supercharger ranks first among DC fast chargers with a score of 739.

From the survey, it is clear that Tesla is actually increasing the average by being the only charging operator above the average score:

Okay, that’s not too much of a problem with these charging operators because they’re not really competing with Tesla Supercharger because the network is only for Tesla owners in North America.

However, that is about to change with Tesla opening the Supercharger network to non-Tesla electric vehicle owners by the end of the year.

Now it will compete directly with Electrify America, Chargepoint, EVgo and others.

Hopefully the competition will encourage their networks to increase customer satisfaction, including improving availability on their stations.

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