Rivian Tops Tesla in J.D. Power EV Satisfaction Survey

Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T

J.D. Power has released its latest Electric Vehicle Experience Ownership Study, and the Rivian R1T scored the highest, with a 794 out of 1,000, beating the Tesla Model 3's score of 759. Considering how loyal Tesla owners are, that’s surprising, but the Rivian is also a fantastic truck, so it’s not exactly shocking. And owners who were surveyed gave the R1T high marks for driving enjoyment and both interior and exterior styling.

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Considering the Rivian R1T costs more than a lot of people make in a year, it had better be pretty darn good. As far as more mainstream EVs go, the Mini Cooper Electric is apparently the car to get if this survey is to be believed. It wasn’t far behind the Rivian, scoring a 782. Owners said it especially stood out when it came to quality and reliability. The Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach E came in second and third, respectively.

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“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, in a statement. “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. Today’s EV owners are looking for quality, reliability, driving enjoyment, safety and technology features.”

The study also found a number of differences in the factors mass market and premium EV owners had problems with. For example, while mainstream EV owners had a lot of complaints about their infotainment systems, premium owners complained more about squeaks and rattles. There’s also a big gap in satisfaction with public charging infrastructure, which is reportedly due to the superiority of the Tesla Supercharger network. But with Tesla opening up that network to non-Tesla owners, that gap will probably close over the next couple of years.

“The EV marketplace is dynamic and the important factors that manufacturers need to watch will vary based on their history and experience,” Gruber said in a statement. “First-time EV buyers who are more mainstream will compare their EV’s build quality to what they know about gas-powered vehicles.”

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