Charger reliability improved for the first time in two years in the first quarter. - IMAGE: Pixabay/distelAPPArath

Charger reliability improved for the first time in two years in the first quarter.

IMAGE: Pixabay/distelAPPArath

A new report by J.D. Power says it’s now more affordable to lease an electric vehicle than to buy one, and that availability of EVs for sale and reliability of public EV chargers have improved.

The report points out that a federal tax credit is now accessible for EV leases while the same credit is restricted to certain models for purchases. That’s making it cheaper on average to lease an EV than to buy one compared to the total cost of owning a comparable gas-powered vehicle, according to the J.D. Power EV Index.

Meanwhile, carmakers have moved production from smaller economy EVs to sports-utility vehicles and full-size pickups, thereby increasing EV availability in more rural areas of the country, the report says.

The report gave as an example General Motors’ discontinuation of the popular Chevrolet Bolt to pivot to production of the Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV pickups.

Such shifts will give consumers in rural areas that have had low EV adoption levels EV alternatives comparable to internal-combustion-engine models, the report says. In May, North Dakota – which has the country’s lowest EV adoption rate -- Nebraska and New Mexico experienced the biggest EV availability increases.

Charger reliability has also improved for the first time in two years, J.D. Power says. But about 21% of consumers say they still encounter chargers that don’t work. Plus, satisfaction with level two public chargers – more than 70% of the U.S. infrastructure – fell 11 points in the first quarter. But satisfaction with fast chargers (level three) improved, though such chargers are much less widely available, the report says.

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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