EV owners are much less satisfied with their home charging experience than at the same time last year, according to new results from the survey giant J.D. Power.
The reason, it’s suggested, is satisfaction with the cost of charging, which declined versus the same study last year by about 30 points.
Much as satisfaction with gasoline vehicles fluctuates with price hikes at the pump, a significant hike in residential electricity rates appears to have played a role in EV charging satisfaction.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential end-use electricity cost has risen from 13.72 cents per kwh in December 2021 to 14.96 cents per kwh in December 2022—a hike of about 9%, and one of the highest year-over-year price spikes in decades. The energy hike was especially painful in New England, which already has the most expensive electricity in the nation. There, it rose from 22.07 cents to 27.04 cents per kwh during the same period—a hike of nearly 23%.
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Even these price hikes do little however to erase the cost benefits of EVs. Gas vehicles can cost up to six times more to drive per mile than EVs.
The U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study was conducted from December 2022 and February 2023 and included 13,860 owners of 2017-2023 model year EVs and plug-in hybrids.
J.D. Power noted a growing regional difference in these results, with the highest decline in satisfaction among those in New England, where residential electricity prices are among the highest in the nation. The East South Central region, offering one of the lowest average prices, ranked highest.
EV owners are also less satisfied with their charging speed, Power observes, in a trend that could be closely related to the rising size of EV battery packs. The survey company also pointed out that those with a permanent (post- or wall-mounted) Level 2 charger were most satisfied, while those relying on mobile Level 2 charging connectors or Level 1 charging were unsurprisingly the least satisfied.
In this year’s survey, permanent Level 2 chargers from Tesla ranked on top, again, followed by Grizzl-E, Emporia, and ClipperCreek, which all performed above the segment average. Those from Chevrolet, Ford, Electrify America, and JuiceBox had the lowest levels of satisfaction.
Separately, those who used charge scheduling were more satisfied—with higher ratings for those using the automaker’s mobile app versus the charger’s mobile app.
Many shoppers could potentially ease the financial pinch they're feeling, either in charge rate, costs, or both. J.D. Power continues to note that awareness is low about charging and specifically the programs that might save money with charger installation or upgrades.