Home Charging Satisfaction Improves In The U.S., But Not Without Hiccups: Study

By automotive-mag.com 5 Min Read

The public charging infrastructure in the U.S. is expanding at a breakneck pace. It’s better now than ever with thousands of new stalls being added every year. Sure, there are still some charging deserts out there, but they’re disappearing quickly. But it’s easy to fixate on public charging criticisms while ignoring the one solution individual owners use the most: home charging.

Plugging in at home or office, with portable or fixed Level 2 chargers is where the majority of EV owners charge, several analysts as well as the U.S. Department of Energy has said.

Depending on the EV model and charger specification, it typically takes between four to 10 hours for a full charge—that means you can return from work, let your EV charge overnight, and be ready with a full charge by morning.

This formula is becoming successful in the U.S., according to J.D. Power’s latest 2024 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study. Overall satisfaction scores increased year over year in three charging segments: Level 1 portable chargers, and Level 2 portable as well as permanently mounted home chargers.

“What also allowed it to improve was the charging speed. We saw higher satisfaction levels with the speed of charging and I attribute that to people getting chargers that are more aligned with their vehicles and their use cases,” Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power told InsideEVs in an interview.

Even though satisfaction with the far slower Level 1 chargers increased, J.D. Power said EV owners were happiest about Level 2 units. Eighty-four percent of all EV owners who charge at home use Level 2 chargers.

Tesla, Emporia, and Grizzl-e ranked at the top (in that order) for Level 2 chargers whereas Blink, Electrify America, JuiceBox, Siemens, and Ford ranked far lower.

“One of the key changes from last year to this year was the cost of charging. Last year when we did this study, [EV owners] were facing a lot of inflationary pressures and that was increasing the cost all around,” Gruber said. “This perception of everything costing more affected the cost of chargers and the cost to charge your vehicle at home,” he added.  

But as more EVs pour onto the streets and usage rates increase, all charging segments are facing more hiccups, J.D. Power found.

EV owners with portable Level 2 chargers are experiencing an additional 6.6 problems per 100 chargers compared to last year, mainly due to troubles with connectivity. In many cases, the internet or WiFi connections failed or were difficult to use. Level 2 wall boxes faced 25 problems per 100 chargers in 2023, but that’s up to 31.6 problems per 100 chargers this year.

“If you own a BEV, 83% of your charging regularly occurs at home. If you own a PHEV, 80% of charging is at home,” Gruber said.

Despite that, Gruber indicated that expanding public charging was important because it’s tied to perception and how people feel about EVs—even if they use DC fast chargers rarely, having more of them out in the open is crucial to get people to drive more EVs.

That’s also to bridge the gulf between the disproportionate EV adoption rates and charger installation rates—the former is occurring at a rate roughly 2.5 times higher than the latter, Elizabeth Krear, vice president of electric vehicle practice at J.D. Power said at a conference at the 2024 New York International Auto Show.

That said, J.D. Power worked with Plugshare to gather this data, which included users from Plugshare’s PlugInsights community—the sample size was a whopping 15,617 respondents across the U.S. 

Do you plug in your EV at home regularly? Let us know in the comments the aspects of home charging that you love or hate the most.

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