In recent months, Ford has received its fair share of accolades from Consumer Reports, though also a few criticisms as well. As a brand, Ford ranked near the bottom in the consumer organization’s 2023 reliability survey rankings, while the Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid was among its 10 least reliable vehicles overall. On the brighter side, the Ford Mustang Mach-E has long been one of CR‘s recommended models, which is also the case for the Ford Maverick – a vehicle that also earned “top pick” status in both hybrid and non-electrified form. However, when it comes to the overall market, a new report from Consumer Reports indicates that EVs and plug-in hybrids are actually less reliable than gas vehicles, interestingly enough.
This bit of information comes to us from CR‘s aforementioned annual reliability survey, which indicated that among the organization’s members, owners of EVs and PHEVs experienced far more problems than those who own more conventional vehicles. The latest version of the survey covers 330,000 vehicles and 20 potential problem areas. The most common trouble spots pertained to batteries, electric motors, and charging.
“Most electric cars today are being manufactured by either legacy automakers that are new to EV technology, or by companies like Rivian that are new to making cars,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports. “It’s not surprising that they’re having growing pains and need some time to work out the bugs.”
At the same time, CR‘s study indicated that hybrids fared far better than these types of vehicles, and owners actually experienced 26 percent fewer problems than traditional ICE vehicles, but that wasn’t the case with EVs or plug-in hybrids. EVs owned by respondents experienced 79 percent more problems than their ICE counterparts, but the problem was even worse for PHEV owners, who reported having 146 percent more issues. “Automakers have been making hybrids long enough that they’ve gotten really good at it,” CR notes of this interesting phenomenon.