‘83% of EV owners in US will definitely buy another one’
According to the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study, 82% of today’s owners will ‘definitely’ buy a next one in the future. Whether this will be of the same brand is less likely (only 64%), as loyalty might shift when others enter the market.
In the high-end EV segment, Tesla rules with the Model S (798 points on a scale of 1 000) and Model 3 (790). In the mass market BEV segment, the Kia e-Niro is king with a score of 782. The Chevrolet Bolt (745) ranks second, and the Hyundai Kona EV (743) third, the study reveals.
It’s all about range
This EVX Ownership Study was set up by American data analytics and consumer intelligence company J.D. Power and PlugShare, EV driver app maker, and research firm. It surveyed in October-November, 9 632 American owners of 2015-2021 model year BEVs and PHEVs.
If one thing is clear, what still defines the EV buyer’s decision: it’s all about range. Accuracy of the range figures accounts for 20% of the satisfaction score of BEV owners. A second most important consideration is where to plug them in or the availability of charging infrastructure. Only then come driving experience, quality concerns, and cost savings.
Laurels for Kia e-Niro
If it comes to range, Tesla still has one of the best credentials in the market. Still, the study shows that the Tesla Supercharger Network’s availability is a key factor in the owners’ satisfaction for sure. Access to public chargers in the mass-market BEV group scores 235 points lower.
In that segment, it turns out that the Kia e-Niro is one of today’s best armed BEVs in the market with a comfortable range if you opt for the 64 kWh battery version, claiming an average range of 455 kilometers. The cheaper 39,2-kWh version is good for 299 km.
Driving the e-Niro (64 kWh) lately, we could experience personally that Kia comes close to its promises, even in harsh winter conditions with temperatures up to minus 10 degrees Celcius. We were impressed by how this cross-over, despite its agile performances, cut down on power consumption.
Quality and reliability
Although there is little to reproach on overall quality in the e-Niro’s case, packed with many high-tech driver aid systems, the J.D. Power respondents of the mass-market BEVs seem less concerned about quality. They tend to be of merciful nature, and driving pleasure prevails.
It’s quite surprising to see that in the premium segment, quality and reliability outweigh driving enjoyment. While Tesla is often questioned for its quality problems, “Tesla owners are more highly satisfied overall, indicating their willingness to overlook quality problems,” the report says.
Both owners of premium and mass-market BEVs see the overall Cost of Ownership as a key argument to buy an electric car versus a new one with an internal combustion engine. Fewer parts and less maintenance needed are also for Americans of importance. But with gasoline prices far lower than in Europe, for instance, electricity prices are less determinant than on the old continent.