Electric vehicles report 79% more issues than gas-powered cars

Cal Jeffrey

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Common misconception: It stands to reason that electric vehicle powertrains should have fewer problems than internal combustion engines. After all, they don't have to withstand thousands of tiny explosions every second the motor runs. In fact, unlike ICE-driven vehicles, there are no moving parts or other stressors while the car is idling.

Unfortunately, it seems that aside from hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and fully electric vehicles (EVs) are far less reliable than combustion engines. The study comes from reliable consumer watchdog Consumer Reports. In a recent survey, CR studied 330,000 vehicles, looking at 20 common automotive issues, from minor problems like squeaky brakes to major repairs like out-of-warranty engine and transmission problems. It ranked each car from zero to 100 on reliability, taking severity into account.

On a scale of 0-100, electric cars earned an average score of 44. Electric SUVs had only slightly more problems, with a score of 43. Electric trucks were on the bottom of all EVs only scoring 30.

Examining the trouble areas, CR found that EVs had 79 percent more issues than gas-powered rigs. Plug-in hybrids were even worse, proving 146 percent less reliable than ICE vehicles. The biggest loser in the PHEV category was the Crysler Pacifica, earning an industry-low reliability score of 14.

Surprisingly, regular hybrids (EVs that don't require charging between trips) were the most reliable category, having 26 percent fewer issues than ICE powertrains. Consumer Reports claims the better reliability scores for hybrids come from 25 years of refinement.

"Hybrids continue to surpass EVs and ICE vehicles for reliability even though hybrids are more complex with gas-powered engines supplemented by an electric drive system," explained Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at CR. "This is because hybrid technology is now over 25 years old and is offered mainly from the most reliable automakers."

Consumer Reports found Lexus was the most reliable brand, with an average score of 79. Toyota (76) and Mini (71) took second and third, respectively. Honda and its luxury brand Acura tied for fourth place, each scoring 70, and Subaru just missed the top five with a 69.

By region, Japan continues to lead in overall reliability with a score of 63 – that's 17 points ahead of second-ranked Europe with 46. The top 10 most reliable makes come from Japan and Europe, seven to three, respectively. Stateside automakers trail behind with a miserable average reliability score of 39 and not having a single car in the top 10.

The five least reliable manufacturers were Jeep (26), Volkswagen (26), Rivian (24), Mercedes-Benz (23), and Chrysler (18). Bear in mind that these are average scores and that most manufacturers, including US automakers, had models scoring above average overall.

Consumer Reports advises those looking to go electric to not get in a hurry. Buyers should look into reviews and identify problems other customers have experienced before pouncing on a deal, especially for first-year models.

"As our data has consistently shown, reliability-minded consumers would be best served by forgoing brand new vehicles in their first model year," said Fisher. "EVs are still in their relative infancy as mainstream vehicles, so it's really not surprising that manufacturers, by and large, are still working out the kinks."

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Well, when you have EVs like the model 3 that destroy their batteries from rain, or Hyundai that blow their batteries at 160k km with a $50000 repair bill, this isnt that surprising. Everyone who claimed "no moving parts so more reliable" have clearly never owned an ICE powered car, since if they did they'd know that electrical issues are by far the most common problem.

https://globalnews.ca/news/10103753/electric-car-shock-50000-battery/
https://www.torquenews.com/13417/some-tesla-motors-reportedly-prone-damage-if-used-rain
https://www.theautopian.com/heres-w...-cost-42000-after-just-a-minor-fender-bender/

It isnt helped that EV makers refuse to make....normal cars. They always have to route all the EV controls and HVAC controls and driver into through the stupid, easily broken infotainment system instead of just using dials like a normal machine, and yes ICE vehicles adopting this for gauge clusters is equally infuriating.
 
This is ridiculous...

Reliability is not linked to a technology, reliability is linked to the manufacturer.

The reason why hybrids are more reliable is because Toyota is main manufacturer of hybrid cars.

The same way, the main reason EVs are more problematic at the moment is because many models are from China or are made by companies like BMW, Mercedes or Volvo... all unreliable automakers.
 
This just shows you that manufactures are worse at making EVs than combustion vehicles they have been perfecting for nearly 100 years. The title of this article is misleading.
 
It doesn't really surprises me. If you think of it, most companies (if not all) are racing into this new segment and the quality control can't just adapt. Yes have had electric motors for decades, but here we are implementing them into mass production products that weight 2 tons. I believe that a lot of the problems are related to the lack of proper investigation and research. But of course that things like door gaps have nothing to do with this, that kind of failure is totally different
 
This just shows you that manufactures are worse at making EVs than combustion vehicles they have been perfecting for nearly 100 years. The title of this article is misleading.
EVs are nearly as old as ICE, the first model T was an EV. ICE was implemented over EVs because EVs were expensive, heavy, and had limited range.

Sound familiar?

"but but but its new" STFU. GM was making a modern EV in the 90s with the EV1. We were playing with this tech in the 70s. Lithium batteries have been around since the 90s. None of this is new.
 
From the headline, we can already see the problem with the stats and the author clearly either are not very good at stats, or just don't know much about cars in general.

Japanese brands, apart from Nissan, don't make many EVs. If the most reliable country don't make many EVs, then obviously EV reliability will be skewed. If you need to make the claim that EVs are less reliable than ICE cars, why not show some side by side comparison of a particularly manufacturers failure rate with ICE and EV?

And also, are some problems due to teething issue of making new models, or that they are EV specific. While it is funny to read about Toyota's EV that have wheels falling off; can we honestly say it is due to it being EV, or that they just messed it up. Like power windows, ICE cars have them too. Like, these problems are not EV-specific issues.
 
I feel this comes as no surprise. You just have to compare household items in the past vs newer electronic “smart” versions and you can clearly see this problem. It is not to say old school products are perfect, but the general observation is that they are more reliable. Naturally, electronics also requires software to run it, which will also introduce more issues. In addition, the mission of companies nowadays is to maximize profits, hence, you can be sure there will be negative impact to quality be it deliberate or as a side effect.
 
So the most expensive one - Mercedes is at the very bottom, as expected, LOL.

Their motto - the car must fall apart soon after sale, so the sucker buys another one.

Mercedes = a turd in a fancy wrap.
 
I drive a 20 year old Ford Ranger, which has never let me down. I religiously change the oil, and keep up maintenance. For me, that is the key to longevity. I have no reason to get a new vehicle. Toyota is banking on solid state batteries being the future of electrical vehicles. We shall have to see how that goes. Quite frankly, it seems as if a lot of car makers have poor quality control now. Look at how badly Stellantis (they own the RAM, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler brands) is doing. Their abysmal sales are the proof. Ford and GM are just as equally bad with quality. I tend to think Scotty Kilmer on YouTube is correct; cars built in Japan are just plain better than anything anywhere else.
 
For ICE vehicles the most expensive single part is the body, when for EV's it's the damn battery.
The vehicle body it's not considered a spare part compared to battery.
Modern cars have thousands of parts compared to few hundreds parts (from Ford model T to cars when CAN-BUS was introduced).
More parts more failure points, it's just statistics.
Now get software and Internet on top and multiply failure rates with 10.
I miss the days when the most advanced elctronic part in cars where the relays and the ignition coil.
 
How do EVs from the same manufacturer perform compared to their ICE and hybrid vehicles? Ah data not reported, so this is really about which manufacturer makes dependable vehicles as opposed to the type.

Love the cheerleading in the comments, the internet never disappoints.
 
Whoever believed the climate freaks and bought such cars deserves the consequences.
You have to have your head up your *** not to realize that our planet's climate is changing, and at a wildly unprecedented rate, and that it's doing so because of the actions of it's Eight Billion inhabitants. Scientists almost unanimously agree, and I learned a long time ago to STFU and listen when someone knows way more than me about a given subject. Of course, wisdom isn't a strong suit for Trump's Hitleresque followers...
 
The info except for manufacturers overall score - is behind a paywall
I mean they should have said the most reliable EV - to at least see what a good one can achieve

A lot of Kiwis have bought second hand Nissan Leafs shipped direct from Japan ( Japanese do not like 2nd hand cars - we drive on the left side as well )
Leaf has been around for a longtime - think in our own consumer magazine - owners have a high satisfaction -Batteries seem to go past date quoted = old battery can be sold off to someone off grid as power storage for solar/wind/slow water turbine whatever

Tesla seems to be getting a bad rap at moment for quality and cost of repairs

Leaf in NZ - probably a good buy as direct import - over 13 years of manufacture , not too expensive ( 2nd hand ) - and a simple about town car
 
You have to have your head up your *** not to realize that our planet's climate is changing, and at a wildly unprecedented rate, and that it's doing so because of the actions of it's Eight Billion inhabitants. Scientists almost unanimously agree, and I learned a long time ago to STFU and listen when someone knows way more than me about a given subject. Of course, wisdom isn't a strong suit for Trump's Hitleresque followers...
Hitler was a national socialist with far more in common with current liberalism and definitely not a libertarian which is still all about individual rights rather than a hive mind. It still astounds me how ignorant people are about Germany's flavor of dictatorship. It had far more in common with Stalinism than either party had with consrvative tenets.
 
This is ridiculous...

Reliability is not linked to a technology, reliability is linked to the manufacturer.

The reason why hybrids are more reliable is because Toyota is main manufacturer of hybrid cars.

The same way, the main reason EVs are more problematic at the moment is because many models are from China or are made by companies like BMW, Mercedes or Volvo... all unreliable automakers.

Any car can be unlucky. Batches of parts can be manufactured improperly. Oversights on checks.
But the more moving parts, the more components, all mean more parts to go wrong.
The more electrics the more they want to overcharge you for fixes.
And to keep money rolling in, they try to make parts last just beyond warranty.
Like apple they want you now to go to them.
To subscribe to services.
Cars are an outdated for of transport and no longer fit for purpose.
Especially if you're going to live in a world of economic growth, as that means population growth, which means longer commute times.
The easiest way to solve the problem, is to build proper econimally viable cities and towns with proper infrastructure.
But that isn't what the rich want. And if you believe in money, its not what you probably want.
You like everyone else are stuck in a system than only really works for the 1%.
 
Besides what’s stated in the comments, the other problem with this conclusion is that many EVs are either luxury or new models. Luxury vehicles are prone to problems because they have more new technology and bells and whistles.

I also noticed not a single frequently occurring EV powertrain issue was documented by the article—that’s because it would be linked to a specific unreliable EV model or is less frequently occurring than the equivalent ICE drivetrain problems.

Also for those talking about battery replacement costs in an EV, yes it is expensive but unlikely to be more than $20k. It’s also something you can find out before you buy a car. It also usually comes after driving more than 200k miles and be the only big expense.
 
CR counts being stranded by the vehicle too close to squeaky brakes to take any of their vehicle reliability reports seriously.
 
The info except for manufacturers overall score - is behind a paywall
I mean they should have said the most reliable EV - to at least see what a good one can achieve

A lot of Kiwis have bought second hand Nissan Leafs shipped direct from Japan ( Japanese do not like 2nd hand cars - we drive on the left side as well )
Leaf has been around for a longtime - think in our own consumer magazine - owners have a high satisfaction -Batteries seem to go past date quoted = old battery can be sold off to someone off grid as power storage for solar/wind/slow water turbine whatever

Tesla seems to be getting a bad rap at moment for quality and cost of repairs

Leaf in NZ - probably a good buy as direct import - over 13 years of manufacture , not too expensive ( 2nd hand ) - and a simple about town car

I very much like the part about selling off the old batteries for off-grid storage, that's an idea I never thought of but it could be a great idea for some company to get into, buying the discarded batteries from owners that replace them.
 
EVs are nearly as old as ICE, the first model T was an EV. ICE was implemented over EVs because EVs were expensive, heavy, and had limited range.

Sound familiar?

"but but but its new" STFU. GM was making a modern EV in the 90s with the EV1. We were playing with this tech in the 70s. Lithium batteries have been around since the 90s. None of this is new.

Um no the Model T was not an EV:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T

There WERE EV's but the Model T was not one of them.
 
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