Electric cars have three times more problems than thermal cars

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Electric cars are proving to be less reliable than their thermal counterparts.

© Tesla

American analysis company JD Power has published the results of its IQS (Initial Quality Study) study on the quality of cars on the American market in 2024. Since this market is quite different from the European market, the study would undoubtedly bring some variations if it were carried out on the Old Continent, but there is little doubt that it would be quite similar overall.

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The results for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are striking, with relatively poor performance compared to cars with internal combustion engines.

Not so reliable cars

The electric car is presented as an attractive economic choice. Indeed, in the absence of the many moving parts that make up an internal combustion engine, these vehicles are presented as more reliable and requiring less maintenance, not to mention the brakes that wear out less thanks to regenerative braking or the operation with electricity which is cheaper than oil.

In reality, things are slightly different. In addition to the much higher purchase price, electric drivers face faster tire wear and high public charging costs. According to JD Power analysts, EVs also encounter more problems of all kinds than thermal ones… up to three times more!

Volkswagen ID.3

Electric cars seem to face many problems that push their owners to garages.

© Volkswagen

EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrids) require more repairs than gasoline vehicles, and this study follows others that point in the same direction.

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BEV and PHEV owners experience problems that are severe enough that they take their new vehicles to the dealer at a rate three times higher than gasoline vehicle owners.

Frank Hanley, director of vehicle benchmarking at JD Power.

The results, given as the number of problems per hundred vehicles, abbreviated as PP100, reveal that thermal vehicles are already not ideal with 180 PP100. However, this is a figure that must make electric car owners salivate and their alarming level of 266 PP100.

If no improvement has been noted this year, in the case of You're hereit is even a clear deterioration that is visible. Indeed, previously better than its comrades, the manufacturer falls into line, with the same average of 266 PP100. JD Power notes that the removal of the traditional controls for the turn signals and windshield wipers “was not well received by Tesla customers“.

Is it the fault of electric vehicles?

On the thermal vehicle side, manufacturers Ram, Chevrolet and Hyundai fared best with 149, 160 and 162 PP100 respectively, with Chevrolet placing first in four different categories.

On the premium brand side, it's less famous, with Porsche which takes the lead with 172 PP100, ahead of Lexus (174 PP100) and Genesis (184 PP100) while the average for premium brands is 232 PP100, when mainstream brands display one of 181 PP100.

Porsche 911

It seems that Porsche is the manufacturer that is doing best in the premium segment.

© Porsche

Customers complain about many intrusive and often poorly managed alerts, such as the rear seat being buckled when there are no passengers or pets, or the driver assistance systems, which are frustrating because of the “Inaccurate and annoying alerts from rear cross traffic warning“, among others.

Many owners are also experiencing persistent connectivity issues with Android Auto and Apple CarPlaywhich is one of the top ten problems encountered by motorists. Unintuitive on-board controls are also a concern, with electric vehicles having more problems than combustion engine vehicles in this area.

Finally, a question arises: is it not mainly the technologies, more present in electric and/or premium vehicles, which pose a problem, rather than the electric propulsion itself?

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