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More and more charging stations are popping up everywhere for all the electric vehicles people are scooping up. Depending on where you live, it seems that some EV drivers are happy with their public charging options and other drivers are not happy at all. The states with the happiest drivers may surprise you. 

EV Charging Station
An EV Charging Station | Getty Images

Some states are happier than others with their public charging

J.D. Power released a study they conducted on top barriers to the greater adoption of EVs in the American market. What they found is that charging station availability is a top barrier. This was also a top barrier in a study they conducted back in 1997 on the general interest in electric vehicles. 

J.D. Power stated, “While more and more automakers shift resources to EVs, consumer demand will remain sluggish unless the public charging infrastructure becomes more readily accessible.”

The study considered a range of factors, including ease of use, cost of charging, speed of charging, the safety of the location, charger availability, physical condition of the charger, and things to do while charging. 

Here are some of the top findings of that study: 

  • Most EV owners are satisfied with the ease of the charging process. The study considered two types of charging: DC (direct current) and Level 2 charging. The majority of owners understand the charging process of both types and see no issues with either. 
  • A key issue is the operability and maintenance of public chargers. The growth of the public charging infrastructure is making the availability of charging stations less and less of a problem. However, the industry needs to be more mindful of the maintenance of these charging stations. The study found that one in five respondents did not charge their car when they stopped and 72% of those said it was because of the station malfunctioning. 
  • Owners who use DC fast chargers are planners. The users of the DV fast chargers are typically on a planned road trip that determines the choice of charging location. Level 2 chargers are used for convenience and lower prices. 
  • Satisfaction with the availability of public charging stations differs by region. Different states have different levels of EV concentration. Interestingly, the states with the highest concentrations do not have the highest levels of customer satisfaction in public charging. 

These 7 states are the happiest with their public EV charging 

The J.D. Power study found that the level of EV owner satisfaction with public charging is a regional phenomenon. Two factors in this owner satisfaction were considered: availability of public charging and condition of public chargers. 

The happiest states with public charging were in the West North Central Region: 

  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

The happiest states with the condition of public chargers were in the East North Central Region:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

It’s surprising why these states are so happy 

The Pacific Region, led by California, has the highest number of public chargers and the highest concentration of EV owners. These EV owners, however, are unsatisfied with the availability and condition of public charging. Texas and Washington also have the same problems.

According to Public Power, Brent Gruber, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power, said, “Public charging continues to provide challenges to overall EV adoption and current EV owners alike…Not only is the availability of public charging still an obstacle, but EV owners continue to be faced with charging station equipment that is inoperable.”

The answer is not to add more charging stations. Stations need to be added where there are gaps in highly-traveled areas and high-density areas for people who don’t have access to residential charging. And then those stations need to be kept reliable. 


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