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Study reveals insights into NEV market

New-energy vehicle manufacturers should pay attention to quality problems while developing core technologies if they are to win over Chinese consumers.

New-energy vehicle manufacturers should pay attention to quality problems while developing core technologies if they are to win over Chinese consumers.

A study by consulting firm J.D. Power reveals that NEVs face problems on two sides - problems of traditional vehicles and specific quality problems of green cars. 

The top three most-frequently cited complaint categories are interior, exterior and driving experience. 

In terms of specific problems for NEVs, the top four complaints are insufficient engine power, slow charging speed, abnormal reduction of endurance mileage and abnormal powertrain noises.

Jeff Cai, general manager of Auto Products at J.D. Power China, said that “new-vehicle quality largely determines which side consumers will prefer when making choices between fossil-fuel and new energy."

Cai added that with the decline of government support, consumers will be paying more attention to the car itself.

According to the study, luxury NEV brands outperform others in new-vehicle quality. 

Chinese NEV brands by traditional manufacturers have the most problems, while Chinese NEV start-ups report the fewest problems.

NEV owners are satisfied with their overall user experience, the study showed.

Vehicle appearance, styling and design gets the highest score, followed by driving experience and interior design, color and material quality. Scores of battery performance and in-vehicle high-tech features are slightly lower.

Car owners also said the user experience with vehicle operation system needs to be improved. 

The study finds that 64 percent of respondents have never tried the feature of over-the-air vehicle software updates. More user scenarios for vehicle operation system are waiting to be explored. 

In addition, the most reported problems by NEV owners when using vehicle operation systems are few functions, poor interface, and poor and slow connection.

The study is based on responses from 2,770 vehicle owners who purchased their cars between September 2018 and March 2019. The study includes 41 car models from 21 different brands and was fielded from March through May 2019 in 30 major provinces across China.

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