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Yes, the popularity of electric vehicles continues to surge among the car-buying consumer population. Additionally, automakers are widely adopting new commitments to introduce partial and full EV rosters in the coming five to 10 years. However, an elephant in the room could hurt EV adoption.

There are murmurs of EV charging headaches and complications that make the overall experience a nuisance for countless EV owners. The charging process is just as vital as the electric vehicle and hybrid itself. Yet, as some suggest, it’s an area of vehicle ownership that many engineers have overlooked.

Charging processes are too complicated and unreliable

There, we said it. It’s not the first time someone’s called out the lagging infrastructure and process for charging an EV. In a recent video on YouTube, Auto Focus calls out a situation that is becoming more common for electric vehicle owners. In this situation, a Tesla Model 3 driver struggled to get her car plugged in and charging. It wasn’t until she asked for help that she realized she needed an adapter to plug the Tesla into the ChargePoint station. However, additional complications ensued because she hadn’t set up an account to pay.

Why the charging process is just as crucial as the EV

An EVgo electric vehicle fast charging station in Vienna, Virginia
An EVgo electric vehicle fast charging station | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

With each new model year, automakers are improving and streamlining every detail of their electric vehicles. Battery life is getting longer, horsepower is increasing, and all the plush amenities keep the latest EV models luxurious and stylish. Back to that elephant in the room, though. Even with the most innovative and upscale cars to sell, the charging process for those could seriously hurt sales and EV adoption. 

The point is that the charging station infrastructure is just as crucial to the vehicle ownership experience as the car itself. Leather seats and over-the-air updates won’t matter if the owner can’t find a working charging station and is stranded in a parking lot. Surround-view cameras and auto-pilot parking technology won’t matter if consumers struggle to determine where and how to keep the EV charged. 

Do engineers overlook this one critical detail?

Consumers have also been taking on Reddit with their engineering suggestions for all the problems that currently plague charging station infrastructure. With the initial push to further develop the nationwide electric charging network of stations, it’s as if engineers keep overlooking one glaring detail. One of the commenters in this thread commented that these problems are a “predictable outcome of incentives to deploy X number of chargers” without a plan for maintaining or servicing those stations.

Other commenters suggest making charging stations universal with offerings for all types of EV batteries, similar to how gas stations offer multiple fuel varieties. Another post suggests charging stations be installed at gas stations specifically to ease the availability issues and make it easier for commuters to find a place to get a quick charge. For now, you have to download the apps to find compatible chargers near you. Then, you have to hope the charger works when you do finally get there and plug into it. One Reddit commenter said their experience with Electrify America chargers was awful, as they were forced to drive to a few different charging stations to find one that actually worked.

Before you buy an electric vehicle, you’ll want to consider the charging station infrastructure where you live and drive the most. Additionally, you’ll need to educate yourself on any required adapters and payment accounts. It’s probably best, too, that you prepare to encounter more than a few non-working chargers and not let yourself run too low on a charge just in case. Your EV might be excellent, but consumers need to know that the charging process is seriously lagging and will definitely impact your overall ownership experience with any EV you own.

Related U.S. News Says These Are the 6 Best States To Own an EV Based on Charging and Cost of Ownership

U.S. News Says These Are the 6 Best States To Own an EV Based on Charging and Cost of Ownership