A Frustrating Hassle Holding Electric Cars Back: Broken Chargers
A recent survey found that about a quar of public charging stations in the San Francisco Bay Area, where electric cars are common, were out of order. A major effort is being made to build hundreds of thousands of public chargers – the federal government alone spends $7.5 billion. But electric car drivers and analysts said the companies that install and maintain the stations need to do more to make sure those new chargers, and the more than 120,000 already out there, are reliable. Many sit in parking lots or in front of shops where there is often no one to ask for help if something goes wrong. Problems include broken screens and buggy software. Some stop working halfway through, while others never start. Most electric vehicle owners mainly charge at home, so they use far fewer public chargers than people with conventional cars at gas stations. Many also report few problems with public charging or are more than willing to review past issues. And most battery-powered vehicles on the road today are made by Tesla, which has its own charging network that analysts and drivers say is reliable.
Some frustrated drivers say the issues are making them question their ability to completely abandon gas vehicles, especially for longer journeys.