A training program promised jobs working on EV chargers. The market hasn’t lived up (2024)

A training program promised jobs working on EV chargers. The market hasn’t lived up

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A training program out of Georgia was meant to move people from low-wage positions to green jobs of the future. It focused on Electric Vehicle charging and was met with enthusiasm.


A training program out of Georgia was meant to move people from low-wage positions to green jobs of the future, namely electric vehicle charging technicians. But as Marlon Hyde from member station WABE and Atlanta reports, so far, the job market hasn't lived up to the hype.

MARLON HYDE, BYLINE: On a January afternoon at a Goodwill career center in suburban Atlanta, Quontavious Miles is learning to install EV chargers. He's a marine veteran who used to ride a forklift. Miles is wearing a navy blue maintenance uniform. In front of him are the tools he uses to connect some colorfully cased copper wires inside of a shiny metal box.

QUONTAVIOUS MILES: The last job was just what you say - it was a job. It was something to do to get paid. This feels like the beginning of a brand-new career field.

HYDE: He was excited, being one of the first people getting this training to work on electric vehicle chargers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are more than 64,000 public charging ports in the U.S. The White House is spending billions to add more. And Goodwill's program hopes to add more skilled workers like Miles who can maintain them. He was just two weeks out from graduating.

Feel like if they sent you out to the field, you could handle it?

MILES: Yeah.

HYDE: Goodwill whittled down hundreds of applicants for the nearly 40 spots in the program.

MILES: They hope to leave us where we have job placement where by the time we're done - like, right now, we're practicing mock interviews.

DONNA LEVEL: It feels like family. I feel like I'm in a class with 14 brothers.

HYDE: This is Donna Level. She was the only woman in the first group of 15.

SUMMERS: I came here to the center with - again, with no expectation. I didn't know what they had to offer. But when I went through the list of classes and actually did further research, you know, I became interested in this in particular.

HYDE: The goal of the first group was for 80% of them to get a job by the end of April says Jenny Taylor. She's the vice president of career services for Goodwill of North Georgia. When we spoke in mid-April, she was still optimistic.

JENNY TAYLOR: I will begin to be concerned if we don't have them employed by May 23, which is that 90-day benchmark.

HYDE: But at the end of April, Tesla announced it was laying off parts of its EV charging network and plans to slow down new charger station installations.

RICH MOORE: You're seeing is you're seeing a lot of focus on the current network, where there's been a ton of dollars deployed.

HYDE: This is Rich Moore, senior vice president of ChargePoint, which also makes EV chargers. He says companies are now focusing on expanding the use of existing stations rather than building new ones.

MOORE: It's interesting when you look at workforce. This notion that there is a job gap just in EV charging and repair is probably not that accurate.

HYDE: Moore says the charging network is growing but not fast enough, and the new jobs are not here yet. Goodwill says that so far, 13 of the almost 40 participants, including Donna Level, have gotten jobs in clean energy. Quontavious Miles is one of the ones still waiting.

MILES: It's just the way things panned out. You know, it kind of make you feel like - was it all worth it?

HYDE: Goodwill says it learned a lot from the pilot and will continue working to get everyone employed. Meanwhile, Miles says the program had good intentions, and he is hopeful. But for now...

MILES: It took away the idea of - you know what? - I'm not working for anybody less than maybe Tesla or ChargePoint and making $30 an hour, you know? It's just now, it's just - you know what? - it's kind of survival mode at this point.

HYDE: But if the door ever opens up for an EV charging job, he says he is ready to walk through it. For NPR News, I'm Marlon Hyde in Atlanta.


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A training program promised jobs working on EV chargers. The market hasn’t lived up (2024)


Why do so many EV chargers not work? ›

EV Chargers Have a Reliability Problem.

As a result, many stations have been built in inopportune locations, and many fail to adhere to common standards for software protocols. That leads to network connectivity issues that prevent chargers from working as intended.

Why small businesses are installing electric vehicle charging stations? ›

It can increase foot traffic to nearby businesses and generate extra income. Offering electric car charging options can also provide a competitive edge and help build customer loyalty. Plus, EV charging for businesses shows a commitment to sustainability, which can attract eco-conscious customers and employees.

What is the projected demand for EV charging stations? ›

FOTW #1334, March 18, 2024: By 2030, the US Will Need 28 million EV Charging Ports to Support 33 million EVs. National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that by 2030 there will be 33 million EVs on the road and 28 million EV charging ports will be needed to support them.

What percentage of EV chargers are not working? ›

A J.D. Power report this past May quantified the problem: “Through the end of Q1 2023, 20.8 percent of EV drivers using public charging stations experienced charging failures or equipment malfunctions that left them unable to charge their vehicles.” The numbers were worse in a study of EV chargers in the San Francisco ...

What is the biggest problem with EV? ›

Battery issues, climate control, and in-car electronics are among the biggest problems in electric vehicles.

What are the drawbacks of EV charging stations? ›

Here are a few potential drawbacks: 1. Cost: Installing and maintaining an EV charging station can be expensive. Building owners or homeowners associations may need to bear the costs of installation, equipment, electricity usage, and ongoing maintenance.

What are the hazards of EV chargers? ›

What are the potential risks of EV battery chargers to property? Malfunctions can cause fires or explosions, due to a manufacturing defect, glitch in the charging process or damage to the battery. This is a problem because lithium-ion battery fires can be difficult to control or suppress and they release toxic fumes.

Can you make money installing EV chargers? ›

The most common way EV charging stations generate revenue is through user fees for commercial or public charging. Organizations can charge per kWh or per minute and can expect to retain 15%-30% of the charging fee for profit.

Are EV charging stations not profitable? ›

A charging station may not turn a profit until it's in use about 15% of the time, but once utilization approaches 30%, the station is busy enough that drivers start to avoid it, according to Jones at Blink. “[When] you get to 30, you start worrying about whether you need another charger,” he said.

Why are there so few EV charging stations? ›

It can seem a bit of a deadlock: companies won't build more chargers until there are more EV drivers. Meanwhile, individuals and companies don't want to invest in EVs if they think charging them will be a problem.

Why are EV charging stations free? ›

Get in on manufacturer incentives

Many automakers offer free charging packages to attract new customers. Tesla no longer provides unlimited free Supercharging with new models, but it often offers complimentary charging promotions to boost sales, like at the end of a quarter.

What is the future of electric vehicle charging stations? ›

Charging confusion and range anxiety made many Americans hesitant to adopt electric vehicles. But 2024 is shaping up to change that, with most automakers shifting to the same standard. Expect to see more EV charging stations in more desirable locations in 2024.

What is the EV charger market trend? ›

The global electric vehicle charging station market size was valued at USD 16.43 billion in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 22.45 billion in 2024 to USD 257.03 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 35.6% during the forecast period.

What is the potential of EV charging market? ›

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Market was valued at USD 588.6 million in 2023, and is predicted to reach USD 5695.6 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 39.1% from 2024 to 2030.

Why do none of my car chargers work? ›

Loose connections, the use of the wrong charger type, wall charger issues, and damaged cables can cause charging issues. Inspecting the charger regularly, updating its software, and repairing or replacing it are ways to deal with common charger issues.

What is the problem with EV charging? ›

The EV charging problems will include limited charging stations, broken EV chargers, charging station compatibility issues, range anxiety, charging cable management, unreliable charging infrastructure, EV charging apps, and many more.

Why are Electrify America chargers broken? ›

Behind the snafus are a daunting set of structural problems. They are tied to the peculiar way that EV chargers have evolved, and the fact that wires and batteries are way more complicated than what happens at the gas station. “It's a harder problem than pumping fuel from one reservoir into another,” Ferro said.

Is the EV charging network failing? ›

As EVs hit U.S. roads, public charging is lagging behind

The U.S. government has pledged $7.5 billion to build out more fast chargers, but as of the end of March, only seven stations and 38 individual chargers were up and running.

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