Home EV Charging Is Getting More Satisfying

Laurance Yap
April 15, 2024
If you’re driving an electric car, you really should be thinking about charging at home. Recent data from industry watcher J.D. Power suggests that home charging satisfaction is higher than ever – even as public charging satisfaction declines.
Someone plugging in their EV to charge

Charging at Home Is Easy and Stress-Free

As adoption of electric vehicles increases, there have been some well-documented declines in overall satisfaction with the public EV charging infrastructure in the United States. EV owners on long drives, or who don’t have EV charging at home or work, have more recent complaints about charging sessions failing; poorly maintained chargers; and during holidays, long lines at EV chargers. On the other hand, says industry watcher J.D. Power, charging at home continues to get better and better.

J.D. Power EVX Home Charging Study

Overall Home Charging Satisfaction Improves

According to J.D. Power, home charging offers a much more satisfying experience for owners than public charging. Indeed, both Level 1 – which is the slowest  form of charging – and Level 2 charging received higher marks than in 2023. On a 1,000-point scale, every category of home charger increased.

Digging deeper into the data, satisfaction with Level 2 home chargers is significantly higher than Level 1 chargers – 735 points out of 1,000 versus 581 points – which is no surprise, given that Level 2 chargers can “fill up” an electric car significantly faster than a Level 1 charger. While Level 1 chargers provide adequate charging capacity for plug-in hybrids, they can take a full day or more to fully charge a battery electric vehicle. A Level 2 charger can complete the same task in a matter of a few hours.

Charging speed was in fact a key differentiator for owner satisfaction. Level 1 chargers understandably had the lowest satisfaction numbers for charging speed (just 325), while owners of Level 2 portable chargers had a satisfaction score of 649, while those who had permanently-mounted chargers had a score of 682.

How Many EV Drivers Charge at Home?

J.D. Power’s Electric Vehicle Experience Study (EVX) also broke down the difference between portable and permanently-mounted Level 2 chargers, which are typically installed on the wall of a garage, or on a pedestal in an owner’s driveway. Satisfaction with permanently-mounted chargers was even higher, at 744 points out of 1,000.

Indeed, according to the survey, 84 percent of EV owners charge their vehicles at home. Owners of home chargers across all segments did see small increases in overall problems compared to 2023, though the 6.6 problems per 100 chargers (PP100) remains low. The most common reported problem among EV charger owners was that the charger’s internet or wi-fi connection didn’t work or was difficult to use. Owners of Level 1 chargers also noted that slower than normal charging speed was a frequent issue – made more frequent by the larger size of EV batteries these days.

Education Still Required

Interestingly, one area where J.D. Power noted a major opportunity was in education around incentives offered by local utilities. Nearly half of electric vehicle owners said they were unaware of programs offered by their electric utilities to reduce charging costs during off-peak hours, and 18 percent said that their electric utility did not offer any programs. Off-peak rates can substantially lower charging costs – set up your EV to take advantage of the cheapest rates and a full charge could cost you a fraction of charging during peak hours.

Level 2 charger owners aware of financial incentives to support the installation of home chargers – which are available in many states and municipalities – were more satisfied overall with the cost of charging and the fairness of the retail price of the charger they bought, compared to those who were not aware of incentives.

What Is the Top Rated Home EV Charger?

J.D. Power also ranked different charger brands for customer satisfaction, focusing on permanently-mounted Level 2 chargers. Tesla ranked highest for satisfaction among Level 2 chargers for the fourth consecutive year, with a score of 790, followed by Emporia and Grizzl-E.

Some of the latest chargers offer bi-directional charging capability, which allows the vehicle to send energy through the charger for use by other devices in the home, or balance out peak electrical demand. Up to 35 percent of EV owners are interested and willing to pay extra for this functionality, which helps lower the cost of ownership of an EV even more. For more information, check out Everything You Need to Know About Home EV Chargers.

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