According to a recent report, the United States is facing a significant problem with broken electric vehicle chargers. In fact, there is such a high number of out-of-service stations that there aren’t enough qualified technicians to repair them.
A Closer Look at the Statistics
In its analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Energy, Automotive News discovered that as of early October, nearly 4,000 public charging stations with over 7,000 ports were out of service. This means that approximately 6% of public charging stations nationwide are non-functional at any given time.
However, the actual number of broken chargers might be even higher. Here Technologies, a company that monitors real-time charger data, reported that earlier this week, 4,673 chargers were out of order. It’s worth noting that some damaged chargers cannot even report their outage, inevitably raising the total count.
Common Complaints from EV Owners
J.D. Power conducted a survey earlier this year that revealed a prevalent issue among electric vehicle owners. About 21% of attempts to charge in public resulted in failure due to broken chargers or faulty payment systems. Unfortunately, this situation has been deteriorating. In a similar survey conducted a year prior, the failure rate was slightly lower at 20%.
America’s Infrastructure Playing Catch Up
The number of electric vehicles on American roads is set to surpass one million this year—an unprecedented milestone. However, the infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the rapid growth in EV ownership. To address this challenge, several states have established targets for automakers to cease selling gas-powered cars by 2035.
As America increasingly adopts electric vehicles, the urgency to repair and replace broken chargers becomes more apparent. The future depends on a reliable and robust charging network to support the rising demand for EVs.
Two Types of Public Chargers
Most electric vehicle (EV) owners primarily charge their vehicles at home. However, they often need to rely on public charging stations for longer trips. There are two main types of public chargers available for EV owners.
Level 2 or Destination Chargers
Level 2 chargers are faster than a standard home outlet but still require over an hour to fully recharge a car’s battery. These chargers are typically found at shopping centers and restaurants, where drivers can anticipate parking for extended periods.
Level 3 or Fast Chargers
Level 3 chargers, also known as fast chargers, demand more robust electric infrastructure and can recharge an EV in as little as 30 minutes. These chargers are commonly installed at highway rest stops. Surprisingly, only 21.5% of the nation’s chargers are fast chargers, according to a recent study.
The Need for Electricians
The federal government has set an ambitious goal of installing 500,000 new fast chargers by 2030. Unfortunately, the nation is currently facing a shortage of skilled workers to build and maintain these charging stations. According to Qmerit, a company that specializes in EV charging installation services, the U.S. will require at least 142,000 additional certified electricians by 2030 to support the country’s electrification push, which encompasses EV charging, solar panels, battery storage, smart panels, and other technologies.
Read: California Makes a Big Change to its Electric-Vehicle Rebate Program
This story originally ran on KBB.com.