JD Power: EV makers must improve mobile app connectivity

TROY–Usage of auto manufacturers’ mobile apps continues to increase as 90% of electric vehicle owners say they use these apps, up from 88% in 2023 and 81% in 2022, according to the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. OEM EV App Report. A notable 67% of EV owners use their brand’s app at least half of the time they drive, which highlights the importance of a well-executed EV mobile app that prioritizes owners’ primary needs related to overall charging capability, vehicle status and remote control functionality.

“The overall experience and performance of electric vehicle mobile apps has improved year over year, as manufacturers continue to identify areas of opportunity, including feature contenting, usability and overall connectivity,” said Jason Norton, director of benchmark consulting at J.D. Power. “However, a continued focus on the specific needs of EV owners is needed to further improve the user experience and trust.”

Following are some key findings of the 2024 report:

  • App connectivity focused: Although the percentage of EV owners who experienced a connection problem (38%) is flat year over year, the experience between non-Tesla and Tesla owners is more revealing. While 40% of non-Tesla EV owners say they experienced a connection problem—down from 44% a year ago—35% of Tesla owners say they experienced a connection-related problem—up from 30% in 2023 and 20% in 2022. This problematic trend may suggest that increasing app usage is straining Tesla’s app network capacity.
  • Feature driven: The report shows that top-performing brands are addressing the needs and features desired by owners, such as the ability to accurately monitor an active charge; set charging preferences (e.g., maximum state of charge, charging schedules, departure timers); and plug and charge integration for an enhanced public charging experience. Of the 25 most common app features, 20 are cited as desirable by more than 70% of EV owners, with all but one charging-related feature having higher desirability than in previous years.
  • Continuing effect on EV shoppers: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Tesla owners say availability of a smartphone app had at least a moderate effect on their purchase decision, up from 59% in 2023. Among non-Tesla owners, only 34% say a smartphone app had at least a moderate effect on their purchase decision. Furthermore, 21% of Tesla owners say it had a major effect vs. just 8% among non-Tesla EV owners. This suggests that OEMs must do a better job of communicating the availability and feature content of their smartphone apps to help attract interested EV shoppers.
  • Dealership effect on satisfaction: Nearly three-fourths (72%) of EV owners say they received some type of assistance from the dealership with the app, an increase of 2 percentage points from 2023. Nearly 88% of premium brand owners (excluding Tesla) say they received dealership support vs. 74% of mass market EV owners. Owners who received assistance from their dealership are more likely to use the app and to be satisfied with it than those who did not.

Tesla ranks highest overall and highest in the premium brand segment of EV mobile apps, with a score of 847 (on a 1,000-point scale). Mercedes me connect (843) ranks second and My BMW (834) ranks third.

MyHyundai with Bluelink ranks highest in the mass market segment of EV mobile apps, with a score of 835. Kia Access (829) ranks second and FordPass (810) ranks third.

The U.S. OEM EV App Report, now in its fourth year, gauges EV owners’ experience with their brand’s mobile app. Insights are derived from surveying EV owners and an assessment of the most relevant EV mobile apps. Results are based on a standardized assessment approach relying on more than 350 best practices for vehicle apps that include more than 70 EV-specific attributes.

The report includes apps from the top 25 award-eligible brands that sell EVs in the United States; 10 profiled EV brands in China; and nine profiled EV brands in Europe. Additionally, almost 1,300 EV owners in the United States were surveyed in April-May 2024 to gather insights on app usage; feature desirability; and app overall execution for the 2024 report.

For more information about the U.S. OEM EV App Report, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/us-oem-ev-app-report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.