After Ford CEO Jim Farley admitted that the company’s Blue Oval Charging Network needed major work, FoMoCo wound up signing a deal with Tesla back in May that will grant it access to that automaker’s expansive and reliable Supercharger network, which was sorely needed. Shortly thereafter, a number of other automakers followed suit or at least announced plans to investigate such a move – including Mercedes-Benz, Rivian, Nissan, Volkswagen, Volvo, and General Motors, while SAE International also plans to standardize the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors used by Tesla, too. Now, the Tesla Supercharger network has ranked first in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study, further underscoring the importance of this shift.
Among all DC fast charger providers, Tesla ranked first with a score of 739 out of 1,000 possible points, which placed it far ahead of rivals such as ChargePoint (636), EVgo (569), and Electrify America (538). Overall, however, this study found that the current state of public charging infrastructure is woefully inadequate, as customer satisfaction with public Level 2 charging has declined to 617 (on a 1,000-point scale), 16 points lower than a year ago and the lowest level since the study began in 2021. Meanwhile, DC fast chargers declined even further, dropping 20 points to 654 year-over-year, and customers remain more skeptical of public chargers than ever. However, experts believe that the shift to NACS will help mitigate these concerns, at least somewhat.
“With greater adoption of the North American Charging Standard (NACS) pioneered by Tesla, it may provide a boost in fast-charging satisfaction among owners of EVs from other brands as they begin to use Tesla’s Supercharger stations,” said Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power. “We’re monitoring whether the use of Tesla Superchargers by non-Tesla owners will affect satisfaction, but the move does help address charger scarcity and offer access to industry-leading reliable chargers. It’s just too early to tell if it can reach the satisfaction levels of Tesla owners who are already part of that fully integrated Tesla ecosystem.”