J.D. Power says its new study, which will be updated and released monthly, tracks the progress of the EV shift by looking at millions of data points across 26 data sets.
It measures EVs against their internal combustion counterparts on a scale of 0 to 100 in six categories: interest, availability, adoption, affordability, infrastructure and experience.
A score of 100 means EVs have achieved parity with gasoline-powered cars. The top-line score, which averages the results in each category, was 47 in October, which represented the first complete data set. When the index launches in January, it will reflect November data.
In October, owner experience scored highest, at 89, followed closely by affordability, at 86. But no other category was higher than 30. Infrastructure registered at 28, while adoption languished at 22.
When considering the total cost of ownership over five years, EVs are nearly even with equivalent gasoline offerings, and some models are cheaper, J.D. Power said. While EVs have higher sticker prices, electricity generally costs much less than gasoline, and EVs have higher residual values. EVs should climb closer to parity as federal tax credits become available in the coming years, J.D. Power predicted.
EVs also scored high in customer experience, with the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Model Y topping the premium segment, and the Kia EV6 ranking No. 1 among mass-market brands.
“Once they own an EV, customers just fall in love with how quiet it is, the smoothness of the ride and the torque off the line,” Krear said. Range limitations, however, remain a customer gripe.