A new J.D. Power study shows a decline in Tesla owner satisfaction, but an increase for other EVs.
The annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) study measures customer satisfaction for the first 90 days of ownership, based on a survey covering 37 vehicle attributes. With a score of 878 out of 1,000 points, Tesla remains one of the highest-ranked brands, and outperformed other brands in some attributes, but that score is down nine points from a year ago, when Tesla was first included in the study.
The overall picture for EVs was more positive. Excluding Tesla, the score for EVs was 840 points, which is a two-point increase year-over-year, even as the industry as a whole saw a consecutive year-over-year decline in owner satisfaction for the first time in the 28-year history of the APEAL study. The industry-wide satisfaction score was 845—two points lower than 2022 and three points lower than 2021.
2022 BMW i4 M50
EVs are also closing the gap with gasoline cars. The average score for gasoline cars was 843 points, just three points higher than EVs and tied with plug-in hybrids. Among individual models, the BMW i4 was also runner-up in the Compact Premium Car category, behind the Lexus IS.
Some EV models appear to have lost some ground to gas models in the rankings, however. The Mercedes-Benz EQS and Kia EV6 topped gasoline vehicles in their respective categories in the 2022 APEAL study, but didn't repeat that this year. The i4 was the only EV in the top three of any model category.
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS
This study also doesn't cover the service experience. Another J.D. Power study published earlier this year found EV owners were less satisfied with dealership service than owners of gasoline cars.
As J.D. Power has emphasized before, most first-time EV owners are very satisfied with the EV ownership experience, and those who buy an EV are likely to get an EV again, even if their satisfaction diminishes from that first impression. The studies suggest those Tesla owners might be less giddy about the experience, but they sure aren't looking back.