SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Finding an electric vehicle charging station is a headache, EV owner says

Oct 20, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm

electric vehicle charges at charging station...

Electric cars charge at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Owning an electric vehicle can be tricky when it comes to finding a charging station. Just this week, a New York Times reporter shared his experience of getting stranded during a road trip because there weren’t any suitable stations along the way.

For Utahns with electric vehicles that don’t own their own home, charging can be especially hard.

Related: Toyota’s electric cars will adopt Tesla’s charging standard

Most people who rent their homes aren’t able to install a personal charging station for their electric vehicle. This leaves them to use public charging stations.

It turns out, those are hard to find.

Rebecca Henderson drives from Bountiful to Sandy to charge her car at the dealership where she bought it. But that dealership is now closing it to the public so they can maintain the electric cars that they have on their lot. 

Left to find a new place to charge her car, Henderson said she uses an app called ChargePoint to find public charging stations.

Lots of results pop up, Henderson said, but many of those stations aren’t actually open to the public.

“I’m angry that no one is investing in charging stations.”

Not only are there limited public charging stations available, but they take hours to charge.

Car owners sometimes have to leave their cars at public charging stations overnight, away from their homes, and then find a ride to get back to it when it’s fully charged. Others have to wait in line for hours to charge their cars.

Resources for electric vehicle charging

Utah Clean Energy, a local organization, has information on its website about how at-home and public charging works

Like Henderson, electric vehicle owners can turn to apps and websites to find charging stations.

PlugShare offers the locations of stations around the world. Each location that comes up on PlugShare has extra information like whether parking and charging are free and what the station’s charging capabilities are.

Similarly, ChargeHub offers a map of public charging stations across the U.S. It also provides information by state. Drivers can find a list of stations in cities across Utah on ChargeHub’s website.

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Finding an electric vehicle charging station is a headache, EV owner says