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Should EV drivers worry about the charging network?

A study released by the Canadian government in late August found the country needs to speed up the instillation of public chargers, while a U.S. study discovered that a quarter of 181 public quick-charging stations visited in the San Francisco area did not work.

By Michael Bettencourt Wheels.ca

Sep 18, 2022 2 min. read

Article was updated 10 days ago

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Recent studies about EV charging should give pause to owners, those considering buying an EV, and even the government and charging network providers.

A study released by the Canadian government in late August found the country needs to speed up the instillation of public chargers, while a U.S. study discovered that just over a quarter of 181 public quick charging station visited in the San Francisco area did not work.

Keep in mind, this is an area of the U.S. where it doesn’t need to deal with extreme swings in temperature and humidity, or ice and snow like, say, in Southern Ontario. I haven’t seen a similar study done about station reliability here, but it seems possible the percentage of working chargers in this country could be less than in San Francisco.

This doesn’t mean Canadians will end up at non-working stations. Many EV owners will check websites, such as plugshare.com, before deciding where to charge their vehicle. Owners burned by a public station will also complain about it on social media.

The reliability of finding a working charging station is a big reason why there is hesitation about EVs adaption among many. It is also one reason why Tesla has roughly three quarters of the current EV market in North America. The company has its own charging network.

The U.S. has said Tesla is expected to open its charging network to other EVs so it can access government funding. Nothing has been said about its Canadian network, but there is hope the federal government will provide Tesla and other charging network providers with more funds, rules and incentives to ensure they are as realiable as gas stations.

Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court

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