A recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports, has highlighted ongoing reliability challenges for electric vehicles (EVs), primarily attributed to charging and battery-related issues. The survey revealed that, on average, new EVs experienced 79% more problems than their gasoline-powered counterparts, while hybrid vehicles demonstrated fewer issues compared to traditional gasoline vehicles. Plug-in hybrids, however, faced a notable 146% increase in problems.
The reliability of electric pickups ranked the lowest among vehicle types, while compact cars, sports cars, and small pickups emerged as the most reliable in a comprehensive evaluation of 19 categories.
Consumer Reports' senior director of Auto Testing, Jake Fisher, attributed the challenges to the relative novelty of EV technology for traditional automakers, emphasizing their limited experience with batteries, charging infrastructure, and electric motors. Fisher recommended consumers consider leasing EVs, citing the ongoing evolution of electric vehicle technology in North America.
In the brand rankings, Tesla secured the 14th position, with particular challenges identified in body hardware, paint, trim, and the climate system of its battery-powered vehicles. Despite these concerns, Tesla stood as the second-best U.S. automaker, trailing only behind General Motors' Buick in terms of vehicle reliability.
Tesla received positive marks for its motor, charging technology, and battery reliability. Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis' Chrysler brands occupied the 29th and 30th positions, respectively.
Asian automakers dominated the top 10 positions, with Lexus claiming the first spot, followed by Toyota. The Consumer Reports survey covered 20 problem areas, encompassing aspects like the engine, electric motors, transmission, and in-car electronics. Data for the survey were collected from over 330,000 vehicles spanning model years 2000 to 2023, including some newly introduced 2024 models.
Marta Tellado, President and CEO of Consumer Reports, emphasized that, despite significant shifts in the automotive landscape, consumer priorities remained centered on finding safe and reliable vehicles.