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Tesla Superchargers provide best EV charging experience, new study says

JD Power looked at public EV chargers and surveyed EV owners to figure out what companies are doing it right.

Tesla supercharger stations let Tesla drivers charge their electric vehicles.
These chargers are the best in the business right now, according to this study.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

In the first JD Power US Electric Vehicle Experience Public Charging Study, Tesla came out on top. The new study found Tesla Supercharger stations provide the best electric vehicle charging experience of any other network when it comes to DC fast charging. As for Level 2 chargers, Tesla also won out. Its Destination chargers beat any other public plugs.

JD Power scored DC and Level 2 charging operators on a 1,000-point scale after surveying 6,647 owners of EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Tesla's Supercharger network landed in first with 773 points. It's not all that surprising since the network started years before competitors began building their own charging infrastructure. More often than not, Tesla Supercharger stations are the only game in town. The company's Destination Level 2 plugs also ranked highest for satisfaction with 689 points.

Overall, EV owners are generally pleased with their charging experience no matter which network they use with a score of 737 for DC fast charging use and 716 for Level 2 plugs. Unsurprisingly, satisfaction climbs for owners who access to free charging as costs remain a sour spot for many. For those with access to free charging, overall satisfaction scored 706, but dropped to 673 points if an owner paid for access. More often than not, however, it was a charger's reliability that really dragged down scores. Of the respondents, 58% said a major problem with any EV charger was an out-of-service connection.

The study highlights places where companies and automakers can improve the charging experience as more EVs begin to enter the car market, and regulations begin pushing more zero-emissions options. But, for now, it's Tesla that comes out on top.