J.D. Power Study: Electric Vehicle Owners with Home Chargers Reap Benefits

Owners of electric vehicles who use a permanently mounted Level 2 charging station at home have the highest home-charging satisfaction, scoring 749 out of 1,000 in the inaugural J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study.
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J.D. Power chart
Courtesy of J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study

Owners of electric vehicles who use a permanently mounted Level 2 charging station at home have the highest home-charging satisfaction, scoring 749 out of 1,000 in the inaugural J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study.

In all, 88 percent of EV owners say they charge their vehicles at home “often” or “always,” making it a “significant part of the EV ownership experience.”

Still, EVs have yet to catch on, and represent less than 1 percent of annual vehicle sales. Range anxiety, slow charging times, a lack of a national charging network, and a steep drop in resale values challenge the market. The batteries, once they reach their end life, also are difficult to recycle.

The study measured EV owners’ satisfaction within three charging segments: Level 1 portable; Level 2 portable; and Level 2 permanently mounted charging stations. Satisfaction is measured across eight factors: fairness of retail price; cord length; size of charger; ease of winding/storing cable; cost of charging; charging speed; ease of use; and reliability, providing a comprehensive assessment of the owner experience and charger performance.

After those who use a permanent home charging station, users of a portable Level 2 charger were the second most satisfied (741). Satisfaction is lower among EV owners who use a slower Level 1 charger (574).

According to Realtor.com, “a Level 2 charger station will cost roughly $500 to $700, and the parts and labor will likely cost $1,200 to $2,000. The installation process could cost more if the main point of charging will require major electrical upgrades.” The site also recommends homeowners get several quotes from electricians and seek out an installer familiar with electric vehicle home chargers.

“Permanently mounted chargers are a significant expense, so owners of such chargers need to determine if it’s the right investment for them based on their usage and vehicle,” says Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power.

“Many such owners need to upgrade their service panel to accommodate their EV’s amperage, and installation may require extra permits. The cost experience is so different for these owners because many spend thousands of dollars to have a charger permanently installed. The upside for those who have done so is higher satisfaction.”

Other key findings of the new study include:

  • Tesla provides best overall home charging experience.
  • The most-often-cited problems with Level 2 permanent chargers are charger stopped working/needs repair (29 percent) and WiFi issues (22 percent).
  • Cost-saving utility programs are underused.
  • Despite knowing that their charging speed will be very slow, owners of Level 1 chargers are still very dissatisfied.
  • EV owners in the Northeast are most critical of charging costs.

J.D. Power’s U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study is the result of a collaboration with PlugShare, the leading EV driver app maker and research firm. Survey respondents for the inaugural study included 9,127 owners of 2015-2021 model year BEVs and PHEVs. The study was fielded in October-November 2020.

To view the full study, visit here.

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