Broken Charging Stations Could Be Stalling the EV Movement
Drivers often encounter broken equipment at EV stations
Matt Hirsh long loved the idea of electric vehicles and first leased his Hyundai Ioniq in 2020. He even installed a charger right next to the driveway of his suburban Boston home, where he does most of his topping up. But lately the relationship has started to fizzle.
Sometimes he takes longer trips, forcing him to use multiple apps and websites to meticulously plot out the charging stations on his journey, so he doesn’t get caught without a charge. One frequent drive, to a brother’s home in New York, often takes him by a station run by Electrify America in the Massachusetts town of Chicopee—where he often finds some if not all of the four available plugs broken.
It's a vexing situation for Hirsch, and he worries about the effects that broken and slow chargers will have on the nation’s wider electrification project. "It's hard to convince someone to change their behavior unless [the alternative] is much easier and much cheaper," he said. Right now, that's not always true for electric cars. Range anxiety, the fear of being stuck somewhere without a charge, has prevented some Americans from seriously considering electric cars as a viable option. They worry a charging blunder will leave them stranded on the side of the road.
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