EVs Bring More Problems Than Other Vehicle Types

One sore spot for EV owners is the frequency of tire changes due to the heavier weight of the electric batteries.

Photo: Artem Podrez / Pexels

The tradeoff with more expensive long-to-charge EVs has always been that they cost less for maintenance and don’t require as much repair as traditional gasoline vehicles.

Once taken for granted as a certainty among EV advocates, that advantage now crumbles into a liability and setback based on a JD Power study released Feb. 8.

Owners of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) experience more problems than owners of gas-powered and hybrid vehicles, reported the consumer insights and data analytics firm. Its 2024 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 30,595 original owners of 2021 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. It was fielded from August through November 2023.

Battery electric vehicles generate 256 problems per (pp) 100 vehicles, while plug-in hybrid vehicles score 216 pp 100 vehicles, hybrids get 191 pp 100 vehicles, and gasoline vehicles come in lowest at 187 pp 100.

One sore spot for EV owners is the frequency of tire changes due to the heavier weight of the electric batteries. At three years of ownership, 39% of owners saying they replaced tires in the past 12 months — 19 percentage points higher than owners of gas-powered vehicles.

The industry average has increased 4 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) year over year to 190 PP100 from 2023. The rate at which problems have increased between 90 days and three years of ownership has increased to 17%, up 5 percentage points from 12% in 2023.

The study, now in its 35th year, covers 184 specific problem areas across nine major vehicle categories: climate; driving assistance; driving experience; exterior; features/controls/displays; infotainment; interior; powertrain; and seats.

The JD Power findings underscore the challenges faced by Hertz auto rental, which is ridding its fleet of 20,000 electric vehicles, or one-third of total EVs it bought, due to higher maintenance costs, more repairs, and lower resale values when compared to its fleeted gasoline vehicles. The global rental car giant also has shelved a massive order of Polestar electric vehicles.

EV manufacturers are also trimming back production and supply plans as more consumers avoid buying all-electric vehicles due to concerns about costs, range anxiety, charging access, and overall reliability.

Ford recently reported its battery powered models lost $4.7 billion last year, and projects the losses will grow to as much as $5.5 billion this year, according to a report in Forbes.

In Q3 2023, Ford lost about $36,000 on every electric vehicle model it sold at dealerships, according to Inside EVs.

Originally posted on Charged Fleet

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