% CR wants Tesla to pay more attention to them %

EV simplicity wins: Consumer Reports names new Bolt most reliable car in
Chevy’s line
Oct. 20th 2017  Jameson Dow


It’s often expected for new models to receive low reliability ratings, but
Chevy has bucked that trend with the Bolt.  In Consumer Reports’ new
reliability ratings released yesterday, while Chevy as an overall brand
scored relatively low (18th place), the Bolt came in as the most reliable
car the manufacturer sells, out of 15 models (the highest number of models
of any manufacturer ranked by CR).

This is great news, because the Bolt is a great car in pretty much every
other way too.  It won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year and many other awards,
and we really like it, even though it’s not without its quibbles.  Despite
all these awards, sales initially lagged (though they’re picking up as the
car is made more available nationwide), so perhaps CR’s rating will help GM
sell some more Bolts – if they actually want to. We’ll see if Chevy puts the
Bolt, their most reliable car, front and center in its national ad campaign
about winning awards for reliability.

Given that the Bolt has only been out for about a year now, and the survey
(which goes out in April) only covers the first six months of production,
it’s quite exceptional that these very early cars had so few quality issues. 
Of course, it could be that some issues might develop as time goes on, and
it’s entirely possible that the ratings will drop as the car becomes more
widely available or more of them get on the road.  But this would be
opposite to the standard expectation that early cars tend to have more
problems, so it seems that GM has done something remarkable here.

Electrek’s Take

As Consumer Reports mentioned in their analysis of Tesla’s reliability which
we reported on yesterday, electric cars will tend to be more reliable than
internal combustion cars because the powertrain is much simpler, with fewer
moving parts and dealing with much less significant stresses (e.g. no
explosions, ideally anyhow).  Until now, though, Tesla, the best-known
manufacturer of EVs, has not faired exceptionally in CR’s survey, though
this is somewhat to be expected of a new manufacturer (and as the article
from yesterday states, they do seem to be improving, and the quality issues
on the Model X are notably not problems with the powertrain).

But Chevy is not a new manufacturer, so they give us a better idea of what a
well-designed EV can do in terms of reliability.  The Bolt is really a
well-thought-out package, and has several touches which shows that Chevy
intentionally designed the car as an EV, not just some retrofit of a
previous vehicle platform.  It’s still not quite as “from-the-ground-up” as
Teslas have been, as the Bolt does share many parts with other GM models,
but this emphasis on designing the car around the powertrain has turned out
well for GM.

Another thing to note in the rankings is that the i3 is BMW’s least reliable
car ...

These ratings show the benefit of EV technology – as electric vehicle
advocates have been saying for a long time, if you just design an EV from
the ground up to be simple, it will turn out to be much more reliable than
an ICE car.  For various reasons, most EVs on the road haven’t yet taken
advantage of this inherent advantage – either because they’re from a new
manufacturer who’s still working out kinks (Tesla), or they’re based in
large part on existing vehicle platforms if not just a complete retrofit
(nearly everything else).

It will be interesting to see how Tesla’s Model 3 fares when CR actually
gets one in hand.
[© electrek.co]

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