Shopper consideration jumped 39 percent over the past month and increased 18 percent over the last week
Santa Monica, Calif.—More Americans are researching green vehicles as gas prices climb to record levels, according to Edmunds, an online car shopping resource. On-site shopper consideration of green vehicle (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric) pages on Edmunds jumped 39 percent over the past month and increased 18 percent over the last week. Of the shoppers who visited Edmunds during the week ending March 6, 17.9 percent researched a green vehicle.
Edmunds analysts estimate that green vehicles made up 6.2 percent and battery electric vehicles (EVs) 2.6 percent of all new vehicle purchases in 2021. In 2020, they estimate that green vehicles made up 4.2 percent and EVs 1.9 percent of all new vehicle purchases.
“Green vehicles — notably EVs — have grown increasingly top of mind for American consumers over the last year as more automakers have generated buzz around new products and made strong commitments to an electrified future. But the major surge in interest of late is certainly more of a reaction to record gas prices sparked by the war in Ukraine,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “Unfortunately, making an EV purchase is not particularly easy to do right now amid inventory shortages, and price-sensitive consumers most affected by gas price hikes will likely find that making the switch is also a bit out of financial reach due to the premiums that these vehicles command.”
According to Edmunds data, the average transaction price for a new EV climbed to $60,054 in February, which was $1,820 more than their average MSRP of $58,234. The average transaction price for a new vehicle (including EVs) was $45,596 in February, which was $680 above the average MSRP of $44,916.
Although EVs do not offer much in the way of cost savings in today’s market, Edmunds analysts acknowledge there are many reasons other than gas prices for consumers to consider going green for their next purchase.
“Automakers have made it clear for quite some time that EVs are the future of the industry, and environmental sustainability is a growing concern for consumers,” said Caldwell.
Manufacturer wait times vary
With the ongoing semiconductor shortage and other supply chain issues, wait times are fluid and not a guarantee. Examples include:
• Rivian’s website states that there is no guarantee of a delivery date if you reserve today.
• Tesla’s website states that wait times are model-dependent:
– Model 3: May 2022
– Model S: July 2022
– Model X: October 2022 – January 2023
– Model Y: April 2022 – August 2022
• Ford’s website states that new orders for the Mustang Mach-E have an estimated delivery time of 20-28 weeks (although Edmunds experts note that some pre-orders from last year are still awaiting delivery).
• Polestar’s website states that fully custom-ordered vehicles will be available by June 2022, but Edmunds experts note delivery could come sooner if you purchase a factory-built model.
• Volkswagen has some inventory of the ID.4 available for sale, but this is a model with production directly affected by the conflict in Ukraine.