A large percentage of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are facing consistent issues with failures—and the Biden administration knows this needs to stop.
- In a 2021 J.D. Power survey, 14.5% of EV drivers say they have encountered a broken charging station, which has increased to 21.4%, Bloomberg reports.
- Zapmap Ltd.’s live-data tracking app, covering 70% of UK charging stations, found 6% of stations were out of service.
- Another San Francisco-based J.D. Power study found that non-Tesla charging stations were out of service 25% of the time. Some charging station companies even have a 39% failure rate.
- EV charging station reliability is one of the most important issues for drivers who are considering making the transition from gas-powered vehicles to EVs, Bloomberg notes.
- Tesla’s network of 45,000 superchargers only has a 3% failure rate.
Why It’s Important
President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act on August 16, 2022, setting aside $369 billion in climate-change investments to help spark the national transition from fossil fuels to clean energy by 2050. Part of the push came in a revitalization of EV technology and tax credits, pushing the automotive industry to phase out gas vehicle production by 2035.
EVs still face an uphill battle for mass adoption by the general public. Resource allocation is making a complete phaseout of gas vehicles difficult, and the high sticker price of new and user EVs is shying away potential customers. While Tesla has created a $571 billion net worth through its luxury EVs, the rest of the market struggles to catch up.
The failure of charging stations specifically creates fears among consumers that they will be unable to drive their new vehicles for long distances, as EVs require frequent recharging or a consistent network of available charging stations for long-distance trips.
The Biden administration, realizing this, created a new set of rules specifically to address the failures of broken charges, required by federal law that charging stations must be functional 97% of the time. Charging-station companies have admitted that the high failure rates of first-generation stations are too high, and many are speaking more confidently that the next generation of stations will have a longer lifespan and more regular maintenance.
“We’re really at the point right now where we have to address these issues before we get further along in EV adoption. The mindset is changing, from the early adopters who expected some bumps in the road to the mainstream consumer who is unwilling to overlook those problems,” says J.D. Power executive director Brent Gruber.
“Everyone’s first-generation equipment was just that—first generation. People didn’t really understand all the impacts that being out in the elements would have,” says Blink founder Michael Farkas.