J.D. Power Reports EV Satisfaction, Rivian & Mini Are Winners

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Organizations like J.D. Power and their ilk seem to have been measuring customer satisfaction in the automotive segment ever since someone told Henry Ford he just might be onto something with his idea about assembly lines. It’s no different as we move into the EV age, with these types of surveys continuing to provide interesting insights into the minds of real-world people who have shelled out their own money for a new rig.

The group’s Electric Vehicle Experience ( EVX) study focused on first-time EV owners, a solid approach since the uptake of electric cars has increased dramatically over the last couple of years – mostly with customers who are new to the segment. This is a logical approach since aspects of EV ownership can be markedly different than that of an ICE car. In fact, 85 percent of EVX respondents were first-time EV owners. That’s huge. 

“The electric vehicle landscape is changing quickly, and newer models are bringing in more mainstream, first-time EV buyers,” said Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power. “Recent vehicle launches from both new brands and traditional automakers have had a profound effect on what factors are most important in the ownership experience.”

The EVX classified vehicles into two groups, premium and mainstream, with the value of 1000 points being used as a perfect score. There were five eligible models in the premium segment, aggregating an average grade of 756 points. Atop the heap was the Rivian R1T, which scored 794 in its first year of eligibility, and the Tesla Model 3 which earned 759 points. In terms of mass-market cars, the Mini Cooper Electric ranked highest with a score of 782. Kia's EV6 (762) ranks second and Ford's Mustang Mach-E (742) ranks third. The segment average was 730.

Unsurprisingly for anyone who’s been paying attention to articles detailing stories of EV ownership, public charging infrastructure remains a vexatious issue for nearly everyone – regardless of brand. Tales abound of broken chargers, payment difficulties, and general dissatisfaction with the overall state of public charging. Owners of non-luxury EVs panned that part of the ownership experience, giving it an average score of just 341 out of 1,000 points. Other issues were grousings about (surprise!) infotainment controls and overall carping about touchscreens. In this, some EVs are not unlike some ICE vehicles, it seems. Speaking of discontent, J.D. Power also listed owners who are least happy with their EVs. In order to make the VerticalScope overlords happy with fresh new clicks, we’ll detail those owners in a separate post. 

The 2023 study includes 10 factors (in no particular order): accuracy of indicated battery range; availability of public charging; actual battery range; the overall cost of ownership; general driving enjoyment; ease of at-home charging; styling; safety and tech features; service experience; and vehicle quality/reliability. Survey respondents for the study include 7,073 owners of 2022/2023 model-year BEVs and PHEVs. The study was fielded in from August through December 2022.

[Image: Rivian]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 21 comments
  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Mar 10, 2023

    Of interest to potential EV buyers should be the SECOND vehicle in each range;

    Tesla Model 3 and the Kia EV6, both of which are established and popular.

    Here in Florida I've seen ONE Rivian and ZERO Mini Cooper Electric, in an area where they fit the social demographic.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Mar 10, 2023

      The Mini is like the FIAT 500 Electric...you have to be looking for it and know what you are looking for. They don't stick out from the gas model outside of badges, wheels and maybe some aero. Still, I have only noticed one and it was at a dealer here. I see more of the FIATs but I own one so I notice them. Still strange since it wasn't even sold here. The Mini was due to hit right when Covid started. I was on the wait list but it never showed so I just went with the FIAT. I figured all Rivians went straight to Bring a Trailer or Cars and Bids.

  • Akear Akear on Aug 28, 2023

    If you are willing to pay JD Powers will give your company a good review. JD Power should not be taken seriously.

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...