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Tesla, Kia Top J.D. Power Electric Vehicle Satisfaction Survey

Written By: CarPro | Mar 31, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Just how happy are first-time electric vehicle owners with their purchase? J.D. Power says it best below, saying once someone buys a battery electric vehicle (BEV), "they're pretty much hooked".  That conclusion comes from the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study that looks at first-time EV buyer satisfaction in both premium and mass market segments.  The Tesla Model 3 ranks highest among premium brand and the Kia Niro among mass market brands. 

Satisfaction among owners who are new to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) averages 754 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is comparable to 766 among BEV veterans (those who have owned a BEV prior to their current one).

Additionally, factor satisfaction among first-time BEV owners is higher for service experience (+48), driving enjoyment (+15) and styling (+8) than among BEV veterans.  At the same time, new EV owners are still getting familiar with driving range, so veteran BEV owners are more satisfied with range (+78 points) and the accuracy of stated battery range (+49).

Study Factors

New for 2022, the study is now based on 10 factors instead of seven in 2021. The 10 factors (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. Accuracy of stated battery range
  2. Availability of public charging stations
  3. Battery range; cost of ownership
  4. Driving enjoyment
  5. Ease of charging at home
  6. Interior and exterior styling (new in 2022)
  7. Safety and technology features (new)
  8. Service experience (new)
  9. Vehicle quality and reliability

“Making the initial leap of faith into owning a BEV is proving to be very satisfying,” said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power. “We know from our research that many consumers have concerns during the purchase consideration process with aspects like battery range and vehicle charging. However, once someone has purchased a BEV, they’re pretty much hooked. What will keep first-time owners coming back to buy another BEV is the compelling experience with the safety and technology features, lower service and maintenance costs, and pure driving enjoyment. The new BEVs from traditional brands are helping to attract even more first-time buyers.”

It's no surprise that the more satisfied owners are, the more likely to buy another EV from the same brand. The study finds that 96% of BEV owners whose overall ownership satisfaction exceeds 900 points say they will purchase another BEV in the future. More than half (62%) of these owners say they “definitely will” repurchase from the same brand.

Key Findings

Even those less satisfied would still consider buying another EV, but likely not from the same brand. J.D. Power says in the study, among BEV owners whose overall ownership satisfaction is below 600 points, 78% of first-time owners and 89% of veteran owners indicate they “definitely will” consider purchasing another BEV, but the likelihood to repurchase the same brand drops significantly to 6%.

Following are key findings of the 2022 study as shared n the J.D. Power press release:

  • Range satisfaction is key purchase reason: As EV batteries and driving ranges continue to improve, veteran BEV owners cite this aspect of ownership as the top purchase reason in both the premium and mass market segments, 86% and 87%, respectively. Further, when owners say BEV range never affects driving habits compared with range regularly affecting driving habits, satisfaction improves 119 points in the premium segment and 107 points in the mass market segment.
  • Incentives—when easy to get—improve satisfaction: More than two-thirds (68%) of EV owners received a purchase incentive. Overall satisfaction is higher among owners who say incentives are very easy to get (760) vs. among owners who say incentives are somewhat/very difficult to get (712). Among owners who cite incentives as a key purchase driver, 79% received a federal tax credit/rebate, but only 59% of that group say it was very easy to receive. “Many EV incentives and rebates have to be handled by owners,” Gruber said. “Dealers can facilitate the process for first-time owners by providing necessary links and forms and then walk the customer through the steps for claiming the federal and state tax credits.”
  • Quality and reliability vary in premium and mass market segments: While infotainment is the most problematic category for owners of mass market BEVs (26.2 problems experienced per 100 vehicles, or PP100), the leading problems in the premium BEV segment are exterior (14.6 PP100) and squeaks and rattles (13.4 PP100). “Quality and reliability are extremely important factors to which manufacturers will have to pay close attention,” Gruber said. “As the EV market matures, EV owners will compare the build quality to internal combustion engine (ICE) models. Our research finds that, in general, EVs aren’t problematic because of the model type, but problems experienced are often related to technology- and feature-laden models, which present some challenges for minimizing quality issues. There’s essentially more to go wrong.”


Overall, mass market EV buyers are slightly more satisfied with their first-time EV purchase.

Premium Brands - Overall Satisfaction Averages 770

  1. The Tesla Model 3 (777). 
  2. Tesla Model Y (770)  

Mass Market Brands - Overall Satisfaction Averages 774

  1. Kia Niro EV (744)
  2. Ford Mustang Mach-E (741) 

About the Study

The J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study is driven by a collaboration with PlugShare, the leading EV driver app maker and research firm. This study sets the standard for benchmarking satisfaction with the critical attributes that affect the total or overall EV ownership experience for both BEV and PHEV vehicles. Survey respondents for the study include 8,122 owners of 2016-2022 model-year BEVs and PHEVs. The study was fielded in October-November 2021.

You can read more about the study here.

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Photo Credit:  Huffines Kia.         
Source: J.D. Power press release.