For almost a century, Consumer Reports has played a critical role in improving transparency across many industries and guiding buyers to the right products and bands. This is especially true for the retail automotive sector, where expectations for safety and reliability are much higher than in other businesses.
On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports. Fisher oversees vehicle evaluations and communicates with customers on the issues impacting their driving experience to create transparent and informative reviews. Now, he discusses his insights into electric cars and why many buyers are turning to hybrids in 2024.
1. Although Consumer Reports is far from being the only vehicle review platform, the company focuses solely on elements that most consumers are likely to prioritize when making a purchase. This makes its analysis more specified and targeted than others.
2. Consumer Reports is a non-profit and goes to great lengths to ensure that its evaluations remain unbiased. Vehicles are purchased by the company for testing rather than being given for free by manufacturers.
3. Electrified powertrains make sense for many, but not all, drivers. Consumer Reports helps buyers determine whether an electric vehicle meets their needs or not and, if so, which model is the best fit.
4. Electric vehicle ranges are based on mixed driving tests, which incorporate both highway and off-highway environments. Since battery-powered cars are less energy efficient at getting up to speed, OEM-advertised driving ranges may not provide accurate insights for a consumer who drives primarily on the interstate.
5. Tesla chargers are more reliable and accessible than those from other manufacturers, making the brand one of the better options on the market for most electric vehicle buyers.
6. Consumer Reports recommends that buyers consider hybrids over electric vehicles since they are currently less expensive, more reliable, and drive farther. Some hybrids are currently more reliable than their ICE counterparts.
"Right now, if you are looking for an EV, you really should look at a Tesla because the Tesla infrastructure is just superior to the infrastructure you would get with any other EV." — Jake Fisher