J.D. Power's Electric Vehicle Index could prove integral to automakers as they move forward with the EV transition. The index helps measure various roadblocks to EV adoption so that companies can more easily chart an efficient path forward. It combines millions of data points that are regularly updated to help nail down what's hindering EVs from reaching parity with their gas-powered cousins.

It seems that some automakers are already working to chart the most successful and efficient path in transitioning from gas cars to EVs, though it's still a guessing game for many reasons. Meanwhile, other brands are seemingly hoping that electric cars are a fad, and various roadblocks will continue to put their viability into question.

Every month, J.D. Power's EV Index will provide a number on a 100-point scale. The number is the publication's assessment of the progress of EVs reaching parity with ICE cars. J.D. Power will also provide an analysis of the roadblocks to parity, and how they're evolving.

Many folks who follow EVs could probably provide a similar list of obvious roadblocks to adoption: upfront cost, limited availability, range anxiety, lack of charging infrastructure, etc. However, different companies may have to focus more on different aspects to successfully reach parity and increase adoption. Moreover, the roadblocks vary widely based on regions of the country.

For example, Tesla already produces cars with plenty of driving range, and its charging infrastructure is arguably the best in the business. Clearly, these are among many reasons the US EV maker sells many more EVs than rivals. A few other automakers have also proven quite successful when it comes to range, and their EVs also boast overall appeal and impressive performance, so these may not be roadblocks those companies need to worry about.

As far as location is concerned, while an area like California may be on the right track when it comes to charging infrastructure, the same certainly isn't true of states like Montana or Wyoming. However, currently, there are loads of EVs on the road in California, but the same can't be said about many other states. J.D. Power shares how its EV Index can help with such diversity: 

"The new service also includes substantially increased data granularity in which metrics are available at the national, regional, state and Designated Market Area (DMA) levels, and can be broken down by segment, brand and model."

Vice president of electric vehicle practice at J.D. Power Elizabeth Krear adds:

“Vehicle electrification has industry leaders grappling with billion-dollar decisions, and hyper-detailed data and analytics will help guide their decision making. We’ve created a smart and dynamic way to capture how the EV marketplace is performing in relation to gas-powered vehicles, and the index provides a heightened level of detail never seen before in this arena.”

Essentially, J.D. Power takes millions of data points and breaks the information up into six categories that comprise its overall EV Index. The categories are as follows: Interest, Availability, Adoption, Affordability, Infrastructure, and Experience.

While some of the categories may seem quite obvious, the publication breaks each down with details to help us better understand its reasoning.

Currently, according to J.D. Power, the Interest score is up eight points from a year ago and Availablity is up 12 points. However, Adoption is actually down four points since the availability of EV models is actually "outpacing the EV retail share."

Since more and more people are buying EVs, and the infrastructure hasn't kept up, J.D. Power's EV Index shows that the Infrastructure score is also down four points. It appears the Experience score has also fallen, but only by two points. The publication says people are becoming less satisfied with the overall EV experience primarily due to the sales experience itself. Legacy automakers have made it clear that adjustments must be made to the sales model to lure EV buyers away from startups like Tesla.

When it comes to Affordability, J.D. Power expects much fluctuation in the score. It's currently down 12 points year over year. EV prices rose in 2022 due to inflation, supply chain issues, and growing demand. However, prices are coming down now, and thanks to economies of scale, there's an expectation that EVs will eventually reach price parity with gas-powered cars.

As you can see, it's pretty clear what the roadblocks are and how they're currently playing out. However, they'll certainly change over time, and J.D. Power's EV Index aims to keep us apprised of those changes so that EV adoption may be able to proceed more quickly and efficiently.

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