EV owners use apps, but aren’t always happy with performance

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New JD Power research finds speed and functionality an issue with EV mobile apps

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While most vehicle owners use mobile apps offered by the automaker, those who drive electric vehicles (EVs) rely on their own the most. More than half of electric vehicle drivers use their vehicle brand’s app for at least half the time they drive, but they’re not always satisfied with the performance of the device, according to new research from JD Power. application.

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“For the most part, owners are still very dissatisfied with the functionality and speed of EV applications that are on the market,” said Jason Norton, senior director of the global automotive consultancy. “Manufacturers need to focus more on these critical areas, creating a user experience that aligns with other frequently used consumer apps. For example, banking customers probably wouldn’t wait 60 seconds to see their account on their bank’s app, so why would EV owners wait so long to confirm that their vehicle doors are locked?”

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Among the applications available for electric vehicles, the study found that the most successful came from Ford, Tesla, Hyundai, Kia and Genesis. Apps from new brands in the EV market, such as Lucid and Rivian, fell short in terms of charging functionality, app speed, and overall content offered. JD Power said startups need to “better understand consumer expectations” and provide content that their apps currently lack, such as the ability to find charging stations, configure the charging process, and provide information. on electric driving and technology.

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The study also revealed the following:

Charging is the big deal. Seventy percent of EV owners surveyed said they use their app “at least every other trip” to monitor their available range and charging process. Most charged their vehicle at home, but even so, 85% said they wanted to be able to find public charging stations if they needed them while driving.

Users want more features. Of the 20 most common app features, 15% were cited as “desirable” by 70% of EV owners, but only eight of these are widely available. Many also wanted advanced features, such as the ability to use their phone as a vehicle key, which are only offered by a few car manufacturers.

Dealers need to get involved. Applications should be explained by dealership personnel when the vehicle is sold. Thirty-two percent of EV owners said they never used their EV apps because they didn’t know how to.

EV owners don’t want to pay for their apps. The main reason owners stop using their apps is because the free trial period has expired. They are unwilling to pay for an automaker’s EV app, especially if that brand previously offered it for free but now wants to be paid for it.

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