Tesla was the highest-scoring brand in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Tech Experience Index Study, which evaluates advanced-tech features in new cars.

The study ranks brands by problems per 100 vehicles, the same metric used in J.D. Power’s annual Initial Quality Study, which is considered an industry benchmark. Included for the first time, Tesla achieved the highest score in the study’s history—681 points out of a possible 1,000.

However, Tesla’s score is considered unofficial, because it does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law, meaning it does not meet the full criteria for awards. Polestar also wasn’t officially ranked, but its score of 608 points would have put it near the top.

2023 Polestar 22023 Polestar 2

“The disruption from high-tech entrants such as Tesla and Polestar further accentuates the necessity for innovation,” a J.D. Power press release said. “It is also essential because new-vehicle technology is a leading reason for purchase.”

The results burnish Tesla’s image as a high-tech innovator. The Tesla Model 3 (and by extension the Model Y that followed) was seen as a tech leader when launched—not just in battery and propulsion tech but in its user interfaces. More recently, Tesla has tried to maintain that image with increasingly outlandish features like steering yokes and touchscreen gear selectors on the Model S and Model X.

Genesis, which offers a fingerprint reader on its GV60, performed at the top among officially ranked brands—even though that feature in general was noted the most problematic in the study’s history. Perhaps that’s because Genesis also offers a phone-based digital key feature, which ranked high in both desirability and execution in the study.

Genesis GV60 prototypeGenesis GV60 prototype

This shows that new tech features must be properly executed to be worthwhile. J.D. Power recently found that while EV powertrains aren’t a problem, all the other tech that automakers tend to pack into EVs is.

But, as J.D. Power noted in this study, tech features are also part of the appeal here, and one facet of the strong consumer interest in EVs noted in another of the organization’s recent studies. So it’s a balancing act for automakers between delivering more tech without souring customers on the EV experience.

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