Considered a leader in the fight against climate change, California faces challenges when it comes to the reliability of its electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Major automakers, including General Motors, Honda, Mercedes and Hyundai, have expressed concern about the current state of electric vehicle charging in the state and have joined forces to develop a “more reliable” charging system.
Despite California’s significant investment in electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure, numerous broken and unusable public chargers have been reported. Early adopters, who play a crucial role in driving widespread consumer adoption, have expressed frustration with the chargers’ lack of reliability. One electric car driver even wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times titled “I’m ready to trade in my electric car.”
The problem extends beyond Los Angeles and Ventura counties. A recent study found that nearly 25% of electric vehicle chargers in the Bay Area were unusable. It’s clear that government electric vehicle charging programs are not meeting drivers’ expectations and are hindering the transition to a zero-emission vehicle future.
However, there is hope, as Tesla and its dedicated charging network show. Thanks to the company’s investment in its own charging infrastructure, Tesla drivers enjoy a seamless charging experience. This success underscores the need for greater oversight and accountability in the charging industry and in programs that subsidize public EV charging.
Many of the largest electric vehicle charging companies value profits over reliability and spend millions on lobbying to avoid responsibility. The state must ensure that these companies keep their charging stations operational and inform California drivers of their availability. It is crucial to give drivers the confidence that they can easily find a working charging station.
Rep. Jacqui Irwin, representing California Assembly District 42, emphasizes the need for better oversight and accountability in the electric vehicle charging sector. Californians are committed to achieving the state’s zero-emission vehicle goals, but reliable charging infrastructure is essential to achieving that vision.