EVs still have a long way to go.
J.D. Power, an automotive industry stalwart, has its latest index showing that EVs are only 51% on their way to achieving parity with traditional ICE. Once the real-time indicator hits 100%, EVs will be level with internal combustion in every way, but the scores paint a bleak picture for electricity.
The overall index score looks at six key factors, and EVs currently score high marks in only two departments. At 93% (or 93 out of 100), the user experience gained the most points. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever driven an EV. They have many positive attributes, such as low noise, vibration, and harshness levels, brisk acceleration, and loads of technology.
EVs also scored high in the affordability department, which is a surprise at face value. EVs are not cheap to buy, but this metric doesn't focus on that. It compares EV versus ICE running costs, and EVs currently have a lot going for them.
Obviously, the running cost is meager compared to gas. There are also government rebates, no congestion charges, and a high resale value for specific brands. Service costs are also minimal thanks to fewer moving parts, though it's worth keeping in mind that, in the unlikely event you need to do so sans warranty, replacing a battery is ridiculously expensive.
Certain manufacturers also sell their vehicles with some free charging included. Tesla recently announced this new benefit to get rid of stock before the new year rolls in.
The lowest score is 21% for availability. This has nothing to do with the current shortage of new inventory on dealer lots but rather with the availability of EVs within a specific price range. The automotive industry is struggling to lower EV prices, and even the cheapest Ford F-150 Lightning now retails for more than $50k.
According to the latest data, the average new car price in the USA is $48,861. The average new price of an EV is substantially higher at $65,041. Still, several decent EVs fall under the overall new car price. Examples include the base Ford Mustang Mach-E, Nissan's Leaf and Ariya, the Hyundai Kona EV, and the best of the lot, the Hyundai Ioniq 5. These cars remain significantly more expensive than their ICE counterparts, however.
It will be interesting to revisit this particular metric once the Inflation Reduction Act kicks in on 1 January 2023. Most of the cars mentioned above will be affected by the new legislation.
Next, we have infrastructure at 25 out of 100. This is understandable. In our experience, living with an EV is tough if you don't have a home charger. We expect this metric to go up as soon as the Tesla Supercharger network is opened to the USA's entire EV fleet.
Adoption is currently sitting at 26%, and it's essentially adoption relative to availability. In addition to having that price problem, many Americans simply aren't interested in EVs. You don't need to look further than our comments section to see why people aren't interested in electric vehicles. The gripes include EVs not being as environmentally friendly as manufacturers make them out to be, which is a valid argument. Other gripes include poor range and a lack of engagement, but the biggest problem is recharge time, even though it keeps on dropping rapidly.
As a result of the above, the interest metric is sitting at 27%. Large manufacturers like General Motors have a long-term plan to get more people interested in EVs, but it will be an uphill battle.
There are constant roadblocks, including increased prices and possibly a general feeling of not appreciating being forced into an EV by the government.
We also have to consider that manufacturers like Hyundai, BMW, and Toyota don't believe electric vehicles are the only solution, which creates further confusion. When respected automotive industry experts like Akio Toyoda believe the 2035 deadlines are unachievable, people tend to take notice.
The J.D. Power EV Index is not an annual report but rather a live tracker of the situation. It will be interesting to see how these various metrics change every month.