A reporter drove a Rivian to 126 EV fast-chargers in LA and found out-of-order signs on dozens of them

  • A reporter with The Wall Street Journal visited over 100 non-Tesla fast-charging stations across LA.

  • She said 27% of the 126 fast-charging stations she visited did not work for various reasons.

  • Tesla will allow cars from other brands to use its charging stations in the next year.

Though electric vehicles have been on the market for years, range anxiety is still holding many people back from making the switch. And if you have a non-Tesla EV, you aren't necessarily going to have an easy time finding a working fast-charger — even if you live in the biggest cities in the US.

Non-Tesla EV owners will likely empathize with Wall Street Journal reporter Joanna Stern, who recently spent two days in a Rivian visiting fast-charging stations — not Tesla Superchargers — around Los Angeles and writing about her findings. She encountered frequent problems, including:

  • out-of-order signs

  • dead screens

  • error messages that said "charger unavailable" or "out of service

  • power issues

  • charging stations needing parts replaced

  • payment rejection

  • handshake failures between the charger and her vehicle

Stern's article detailing the entire journey is well worth a read, and it echoes issues that EV owners have made in the past. According to Stern, 13 out of the 30 non-Tesla DC fast-charging stations had issues. Out of the 126 individual stalls she drove up to, 27% were out of order.

Axios' Dan Primack wrote about similar issues in 2021. Primack, who also drove a Mustang Mach-E, recalled a harrowing 200-mile drive from Boston to New York City. During his drive, he stopped at three different charging stations before he was able to find one that was compatible with his car.

The charging issues and range anxiety that some EV owners face appears to even be preventing some drivers from making the switch to electric. In 2022, a survey from Consumer Reports polled more than 8,000 Americans. 61% of those who weren't certain that they wanted an EV said that they were concerned about how they would keep their cars charged.

Stories like Stern's of people struggling with finding fast-chargers highlight why a lot of non-Tesla owners are excited at the industry's wider adoption of Tesla's charging standard. Tesla plans to open its Supercharging stations — the largest in the world with over 50,000 — to several car companies in 2024 including Ford, General Motors, Toyota, and Hyundai.

The move will make electric vehicle charging more widely available to EV owners and may help address range anxiety among some non-Tesla owners. Of course, it could also lead to longer lines at charging stations.

Read the original article on Business Insider