Electrify America leads other EV charging networks in studying user experience
The study, published in conjunction with charged electric vehicles, examined the overall user experience for the largest DC fast charging networks in the United States, including app/website usability, charging locations, and ease of conducting a session or getting technical support. The testers noted that it was not an assessment of EV ownership experience (no data was recorded from test cars) or the feasibility of long road trips.
The testers covered 2,100 miles over six days in September 2021 and conducted 150 tests at 28 locations (four each from seven charging networks) in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Electrify America chargers
Electrify America received the highest overall score thanks to the availability of Plug & Charge, a well-designed app and website, lighted stations, the many 350kW stations available, and displays showing both vehicle-requested and vehicle-provided kW of charging station . However, Electrify America has also been criticized for relatively high prices, lack of roaming with other networks, and long waits at the support hotline.
It’s worth noting that while the study takes into account the technical performance of chargers, it does not take into account network uptime or hardware reliability. Reliability varies widely between stations and is probably a bigger concern for EV drivers than some other things highlighted in the study, like free WiFi.
Volkswagen ID.4 at Electrify America, Hazel Dell WA
As many users have experienced, there is often a lack of accountability when chargers aren’t working or don’t provide a consistent experience. Automakers are beginning to take some of those concerns into their own hands, with Ford sending “Charge Angels” directly to fix charging issues.
As we mentioned earlier, owners are most satisfied with the predictability of home charging at Level 2 – although acknowledging that home charging is not always easy.
Electrify America plans to double its network by 2025 — but it’s also looking for more investment to grow it. The network is being funded by Volkswagen as part of the automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scheme, but VW is reportedly buying Electrify America from other investors to fund the expansion.