JD Power’s 2021 China Tech Experience Index Study has rendered some rather surprising results. As per the results of the study, American EV maker Tesla was dubbed as the company with the 2nd-best in-vehicle tech among mass-market electric cars in China. Xpeng Motors, which is listed in the US stock market, took first place.
The 2021 China Tech Experience Index Study aims to map the flexibility of carmakers in adopting the latest technologies to improve a vehicle’s driving experience. Automakers were ranked according to the total number of points they gained from the study’s respondents. Tesla scored a total of 597 points to take second place, while Xpeng Motors accumulated a total of 615 points.
Fellow local carmaker Li Auto took third place with a total of 577 points. JD Power noting that the “criteria for awards were not met” in the luxury electric vehicle segment in this year’s survey. This resulted in the study not including vehicles from companies like NIO, which produces premium EVs.
The 2021 China Tech Experience Study aggregated responses from 32,141 owners of internal combustion vehicles who bought cars between June 2020 and March 2021. Responses for 3,976 New Energy Vehicle owners who bought vehicles between September 2020 and March 2021 were gathered as well. Overall, the study covered 264 ICE cars across 58 brands and 50 NEVs from 28 brands across China.
While it is quite surprising to see Tesla getting beaten by Xpeng in an area that is widely considered its expertise, the tech in vehicles like the Xpeng P7 does seem to be developed specifically for local car buyers. The voice recognition features in the P7 are particularly impressive, for example, though only for languages like Mandarin. Tesla, on the other hand, adopts a more universal approach to tech.
Whether Xpeng’s local focus on its software justifies its first-place ranking in JD Power’s survey remains to be seen. Tesla, after all, has been ranked both very high and very low in JD Power’s previous studies. In the US, for example, Tesla was ranked 30th out of 33 in JD Power’s Vehicle Dependability Survey, but the EV maker took first place in the firm’s Electric Vehicle Ownership Study.
JD Power’s 2021 China Tech Experience Index Study could be viewed below.