J.D. Power survey ranks Tesla’s mobile app sixth behind Kia, Ford, and others

J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. OEM EV App Benchmarking Study found that electric vehicle (EV) owners are much more interested than internal combustion engine (ICE) car owners in mobile apps that connect to their vehicles. The study also concluded that despite being the EV sales leader, Tesla’s mobile app ranked far behind those from other automakers.

According to the study, the top five EV mobile apps are Kia Access, FordPass, Porsche Connect, myChevrolet, and MyHyundai.

Tesla ranked sixth because according to J.D. Power, the app has not changed significantly for many years. The market research company says that stagnation has opened the door to other automakers offering apps with greater functionality.

Even so, the study also found that apps for EVs lack the same functionality found in apps for ICE cars. Both Mazda and VW were given as examples of where functions were removed from the EV app that were present in the ICE app.

On the plus side, the study did find that Tesla’s app is the industry benchmark in terms of speed for remote control functions.

Other key findings of the study were that EV owners are less willing than ICE owners to pay for access to the mobile app. Kia Access is free for five years, and then depending on the functionalities the owner wants it could cost anywhere between $59 to $199 every year after that.

Similarly, Porsche Connect is free for one year, and then costs $205 per year thereafter.

The good news is that this should be outdated very soon. Based on information we have received, Tesla is planning to release a major update to their app in the coming months.

The study included apps from 15 automakers that sell EVs in the US and Europe. A total of 14 models were tested in the US and another 5 in Europe. Almost 600 EV owners in the US were surveyed in March 2021. You can read more about the study here.

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