The study focuses on first-time owners, so those who already put up with the quirks of owning an electric vehicle are not accounted for. Thus, the level of satisfaction among owners who are new to EVs averages 754 (on a 1,000-point scale). This is comparable to 766 among EV veterans (those who have owned an EV before), according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study.
The first-time owners of an electric vehicle are even more satisfied than the EV veterans when it comes to service experience (+48), driving enjoyment (+15), and styling (+8). On the other hand, previous experience with an EV makes the veterans show higher satisfaction for the real-world range (+78 points) and the accuracy of the stated battery range (+49).
The key takes from the 2022 satisfaction study are that range satisfaction is the key purchase reason, but also the incentives play an important role. Also, the quality and reliability ratings vary in premium and mass-market segments, being indicative of the top vehicle’s characteristics. Naturally, infotainment is the most problematic category for the vehicles in the mass market category, while the premium segment, dominated by Tesla, shows a low level of satisfaction with the fit and finish of the vehicles.
The Tesla Model 3 ranks highest overall and highest in the premium segment with a score of 777. The Tesla Model Y (770) ranks second, right at the premium segment averages. The Kia Niro EV ranks highest in the mass market segment for a second consecutive year with a score of 744. Ford Mustang Mach-E (741) ranks second. Overall satisfaction in the mass market segment averages 709.
This makes the other mass-market EVs rank below average in terms of owner satisfaction. We’re OK with the Nissan Leaf scoring 708, being an older model, but what attracts our attention is how the Volkswagen ID.4 is perceived by American customers. With a score of 692, the ID.4 is close to Chevrolet Bolt only (687), an EV that scared the Americans with its spontaneous combustion abilities. No one would buy a Bolt today, and this should also frighten Volkswagen executives.