J.D. Power, a leading market research and consumer intelligence firm, which covers the automotive sector among several other significant markets, published the study’s results on February 28th, 2023. The study uses data collected from August to December 2022.
The EVX study measures the satisfaction of EV owners with their electric vehicle during their first year of owning a particular model. It uses information gathered from 7,073 respondents collected both by J.D. Power and by EV research firm PlugShare to assign points based on customer satisfaction out of a theoretical maximum total of 1,000 points. Higher scores indicate higher average satisfaction with a specific model.
10 different factors contribute to the final score of the EVX study. These include “accuracy of stated battery range; availability of public charging stations; battery range; cost of ownership; driving enjoyment; ease of charging at home; interior and exterior styling; safety and technology features; service experience; and vehicle quality and reliability” according to the press release.
The Mini Cooper SE produced by BMW was the top model in the Mass Market Battery Electric Vehicle segment, scoring 782 out of 1,000 points. This put it solidly ahead of the 730-point segment average. The Chevy Bolt EV scored 716 points and the Chevy Bolt EUV registered 711 points, behind every other model in the EVX study except the Nissan Leaf, which garnered just 698 points.
The performance of the Chevy Bolt EV and Chevy Bolt EUV in the EVX study almost certainly results from the 2021 recall of at least 140,000 individual vehicles prompted by defective batteries. A lawsuit was filed in December 2021 against GM and its South Korean battery manufacturing partner LG Energy Solution alleging reduced resale value for affected Bolts, along with loss of usefulness because of fire risk. A similar class-action lawsuit followed in April 2022 in Canada.
Following the recall, GM started issuing Chevrolet Certified Battery Update window clings to Chevy Bolt EV and EUV owners to prove their vehicle had received the necessary updated software or replacement battery. GM began sending the clings in January 2022. Each cling includes a QR code enabling electronic verification by garages, dealerships, and other interested parties.
GM had replaced over 27,000 Chevy Bolt EV and EUV batteries by May 2022. Most of the replacements were carried out on Bolts from the 2017 through 2019 model years, with less than a thousand batteries replaced in 2020 and later model years, including 2022 Chevy Bolt EVs and 2022 Chevy Bolt EUVs.
After a halt caused by the huge recall, GM production of the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV restarted in April 2022, with manufacture taking place at the GM Lake Orion plant in Michigan. Production of the 2023 Chevy Bolt EV and the 2023 Chevy Bolt EUV was pushed back somewhat, but finally started on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022.
More recently, a recall was issued in December 2022 for 2017 through 2023 model year Chevy Bolt EVs for potential fires following a crash, caused by gases emitted by front seat belt pretensioners. The Chevy Bolt EUV is not affected. The recall affects at least 111,242 Chevy Bolt EVs from the U.S. and 19,898 from Canada. Regardless, GM plans to produce 70,000 units of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV in 2023.