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Title:Why is it so hard to charge electric vehicles on the road?
Date:3/18/2023 7:30:00 AM

Electric car owners are finding out how hard it can be to charge EVs at public charging stations.

A loud pop echoed through the Walmart parking lot, an alarming sign that something was wrong.

Cass Tippit had plugged his 2017 Chevrolet Bolt into an Electrify America public charging station in Chipley, Florida, and after about 15 minutes, he heard the noise and saw that the screen on the charger had gone dark. “The dashboard of the car lit up like a Christmas tree,” he said.

Tippit unplugged the car, but the Bolt wouldn’t start. It left him stranded for hours and was the start of an ordeal that would last weeks.

Across the country, Anson Long found himself in an eerily similar predicament. He connected his 2022 Rivian R1T truck to an Electrify America charging station at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. As he and his friend started to head to the mall, “We hear a loud boom, an explosive-type sound,” Long said. “We look back and see a black cloud of smoke come out” of the power unit next to the charging station.

Long rushed back to his car and stopped the charging. He tried to remove the plug from the charging port, but it wouldn’t come out. He, too, was stranded for hours and found himself chasing a solution for weeks.

Both Tippit and Long had fallen into one of the biggest cracks in the United States’ electric vehicle infrastructure. As battery-powered cars and trucks transform from local runabouts to cross-country road-trippers, drivers are becoming increasingly reliant on public charging stations. In many cases, however, they’re pulling up to plugs only to find them inoperable. Even worse, a handful have had their cars bricked. And when something goes wrong, it’s hard to figure out who’s responsible.

According to a 2022 J.D. Power survey, one in five EV drivers didn’t charge their vehicle during a visit to a public charging station last year, mainly due to outages or malfunctions.

“The dirty secret of EV...

Organization:VOX - Science
Date Added:3/19/2023 6:38:24 AM