4 Electric Cars With Terrible Reliability, According to Consumer Reports

Today’s electric vehicles have vastly improved over those original, introductory models years ago. And the EV market continues to get better at everything from battery power and vehicle performance to in-cabin technology and safety. EVs are in higher demand these days, and the automotive market seems to embrace them. 

That’s not to say EVs don’t still have their fair share of problems. Reliability is still a pain point for EV automakers, and Consumer Reports‘ latest reliability study only confirms it. Before you buy a new EV, there are four models to consider avoiding. Consumer Reports ownership survey data shows these four EVs have the worst reliability scores of all.

What Consumer Reports really thinks about EV reliability

Whenever there’s a new model of any kind, it’s almost expected there will be a few hiccups with design, materials, or operations. But when it comes to EVs, these vehicles are experiencing all those traditional new-model pains and more. Consumer Reports is warning car buyers that other concerns are showing up in many of the latest EVs related to the electrification components in their designs.

The Consumer Reports ownership surveys collect feedback from vehicle owners across 17 potential problem areas in a 12-month lookback period. And those driving EVs had plenty to report, from engine and transmission performance to electrical systems, noises, and tech. With more people owning EVs, more data is coming in about repairs, failures, and issues.

An electric car potentially with terrible reliability.
EV charging | Linh Pham via Getty Images

Now that EV sales numbers are surging, Consumer Reports is getting feedback from more respondents than ever. The preliminary studies suggest that those who spend considerable time with their EVs are also experiencing some frustrating headaches. The top reported EV-related concerns include battery pack issues, charging system malfunctions, and even drive motor repairs.

These EV models have terrible reliability ratings

The Consumer Reports team assembles the survey responses from actual vehicle owners when assigning categorical scores and ratings for every vehicle in the lineup. And one of the first poor-performing electric vehicles on this Consumer Reports list is the 2023 Chevy Bolt. Earning the lowest possible predicted reliability rating may be worth avoiding the Bolt. The Consumer Reports reviews aren’t so favorable for the 2023 Volkswagen ID4, either, with below-average predicted reliability ratings.

Consumer Reports says predicted reliability will also be a problem for the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E. It earns a slightly higher score than the Chevy Bolt, but it’s still collecting poor ownership reliability data. Consumer Reports isn’t giving the 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric any predicted reliability awards, either, as it shares rank with the Chevy Bolt.

EV alternatives with much better reliability


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It’s not all gloom and doom in the EV market. And despite these four models scoring terrible ratings in predicted reliability, there are still plenty of worthy electrified contenders to test drive. Some models are earning better scores, as reported by actual vehicle owners, including the popular Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

It turns out, too, there are a few hybrids already turning their formerly poor reliability ratings around this model year. CR lists a few vehicles with improvements in their reliability surveys, including the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, and the Kia Sorento Hybrid

Consumer Reports provides the relevant information you need to make an informed electric car buying decision based on the experiences of other vehicle owners.