Imagine buying a new car and suddenly most of the gas stations are broken. That’s a reality new EV owners are encountering when it comes to EV charging stations supplied by major players like ChargePoint, Electrify America, and EVgo.
Many stations often cause customers to leave without recharging due to unreliable or damaged hardware, and the situation worsens over time. For some EV owners, it may seem like the companies behind charging networks are asleep at the wheel. But from time to time they raise their heads to let us know that they realize there is a problem and are working to fix it.
Today, for example, EVgo says it has made “significant progress” with a renewal campaign designed to increase reliability at its stations.
It may seem like the companies behind charging networks are asleep at the wheel.
EVgo started its “ReNew” program in January, which it says helps the company quickly identify old and faulty chargers for upgrades or repairs. Now, in the first two quarters of this year, EVgo claims to have “refreshed, replaced or decommissioned” 120 positions. That’s about the same number of chargers it processed in the first three quarters of 2022.
EVgo also says it has cut station repair times in half in the past 12 months, and all of its new stations include at least four stations, with many under construction featuring six or more. In addition to EV owners struggling to find a charger that is free of damaged cables, error codes, or network issues for payment or app connectivity, many are now discovering long lines at stations waiting for other vehicle owners. electricians recharge their electron recharges.
In JD Power’s latest survey of customer satisfaction with DC fast chargers, EVgo scored below the segment average and fell between ChargePoint and Electrify America. Tesla, which operates more than 12,000 positions in North America, is the only company to score above average. EVgo has about 1,900 fast chargers on your network.
New EV owners have not set careful expectations about charging availability and reliability
Early adopters tend to purchase electric vehicles with charging plans in place. Many install home chargers, identify work locations and plan stations before embarking on a road trip. But as the availability of electric vehicles increases, many new owners may not have done as much research and set careful expectations about charging availability and reliability compared to gas stations.
EVgo is working to improve its customer service and add education to the mix to help new electric vehicle owners. That includes recruiting more members for its 24/7 customer service offering to help with EV questions and provide account and charging help.
EVgo too has PlugShare, the decade-old EV route mapping app powered by EV owners who check in at chargers and report their experiences. So if someone has a problem, EVgo should know quickly. It seems that many EVgo stations I have visited in the past are highly rated, except for one in a closed rest stop (Why aren’t there more at the other rest stops, EVgo?) But others In the last week in California we have not had a good time.
Meanwhile, Tesla owners enjoy the best experience for charging their electric vehicles thanks to Tesla’s extensive network that includes easy charging “handshakes” that are handled by the car and not necessarily initiated by the app or screen. payment. However, EVgo I have content which includes a series of talk show-style videos to help teach EV drivers about electric cars and charging, as well as advertise the company’s AutoCharge-Plus plug-and-charge service that allows some models of Electric vehicles start charging without opening the application.
EVgo also added Tesla connectors at some of its stations to appeal to Tesla owners, although it primarily only supports 50 kW speeds because it relied on CHAdeMO to Tesla adapters. However, for non-Tesla electric vehicles, EVgo says that “almost all” of its locations now include 350 kW chargers.
The charging landscape may evolve over time as virtually all car brands adopt Tesla’s once-proprietary charging connector, now known as the North American Charging Standard (or NACS).
That includes Ford, GM, Rivian, Volvo, Polestar, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Fisker, Honda and Jaguar. As new electric vehicle models from these brands appear with NACS ports on board around 2025, EVgo and other charging companies like ChargePoint (which is also trying to fix itself) could soon have fewer hassles (and fewer excuses). ) to build a reliable network.