Tesla's EVs have been beaten out — at least in the eyes of Consumer Reports.
The publication ranked Ford’s Mustang Mach-E as a “Top Pick” for electric vehicles for 2022, pushing the Tesla Model 3 off the list for the first time in two years.
That's not the only place Tesla has seen its star fall on the consumer watchdog's rankings. In Consumer Reports' overall ranking of 32 auto brands, Tesla fell seven spots to 23rd place, the worst it's received since joining the "Top Picks" list seven years ago. The ranking factors in road-test performance, reliability, owner satisfaction and safety. Tesla shares fell nearly 5% in mid-morning trading following the announcement.
The Mach-E has had very few problems so far, Consumer Reports writer Jeff Bartlett reported, giving it an "edge when it comes to reliability." Meanwhile, several Tesla models have been subject to recall after recall in recent months. The designation is a win for Ford, whose CEO Jim Farley has been vying to upend Tesla's dominance over the EV market. That includes the Mach-E as well as upping production of the F-150 Lightning, its all-electric truck.
"The F-150 Lightning, if we had full production today to meet our current demand, we would rival the [Tesla] Model Y as the leading [battery electric vehicle] nameplate in the U.S. market," Farley said in the company's February earnings call.
Tesla has butted heads with Consumer Reports more than once. Last year, some Tesla vehicles lost their "Top Pick" status due to lacking key safety features. They returned to the list, though, after further testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Tesla also lost and regained "Top Pick" status in 2018 for the Model 3 due to issues with inconsistent braking distance that were fixed in a software update. Consumer Reports has also given the EV-maker low or average reliability rankings more than once.
EVs have become a hot ticket for automakers recently, most notably in a bevy of Super Bowl ads this year. With companies from Ford to GM pouring billions into upping their EV game and the Biden administration's recently announced charging network plan backed by $5 billion, it's clear Tesla is about to face even more competition on streets and highways.