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EV/AV Report: Electric vehicles get worn down; while Tesla offers free FSD trials

Toronto, Ontario — Toronto, Ontario — In this weekly electric and autonomous vehicle report, a J.D. Power survey reveals that electric vehicle (EV) drivers are uninformed about the reality of tire wear; while Tesla offers Full Self Driving (FSD) features to United States consumers in a free trial.

Expectations wearing thin

According to a J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study released on March 25, EV owner expectations are not fully aligned with the reality of EV tires naturally wearing out faster.

This wear time is largely due to electric vehicles having a higher weight and torque than internal combustion engine vehicles.

“The widening satisfaction gap between EVs and gas-powered vehicles highlights an opportunity for the tire manufacturers and automakers to educate EV owners on the differences in performance,” said Ashley Edgar, senior director of benchmarking and alternative mobility at J.D. Power, in a statement.

The study ranked Michelin as the highest in the passenger vehicle tire segment for the 21st consecutive year with a total score of 834 points out of 1,000.

Goodyear tires scored second with 812 points, and Continental scored third with 811 points.

Source: J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study

The study included responses from 31,414 owners of 2022 to 2023 model-year vehicles and the data was collected from August through December of 2023.

Due to the conflict of maximizing vehicle range and optimizing tire wear for EVs, Edgar further noted that tire manufacturers and OEMs “need to work together to overcome the challenge without completely sacrificing tire performance in other areas, especially as the EV market continues to increase.”

FSD goes for free

To help boost its adoption, on March 26, Tesla announced a free one-month trial of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software for drivers in the United States,

Tesla has been offering FSD technology for more and more vehicles since 2020. However, for US$199 per month, many Tesla owners have been opting against installing the technology onto their vehicles due to safety concerns.

This push from Tesla comes following a recall in December of 2023 in which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered Tesla to recall more than 2 million vehicles to update a system that is supposed to ensure drivers are paying attention when using autopilot—the software that comes preinstalled on Tesla vehicles.

According to reports, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also pushed sales staff to give demonstrations of FSD to new buyers and owners bringing in their vehicles for servicing.

“Almost no one realizes how well FSD actually works,” Musk reportedly said in an email encouraging employees to report the technology.

Currently, Tesla’s FSD is only legal for use in the United States and Canada.

While the company sells vehicles with FSD capabilities in Europe and China, regulations prevent fully autonomous driving features from being activated.

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