According to a report by Kelley Blue Book, EV shopping has risen over the first quarter by 69% when gas prices started to rise.
Since January, the national average for a gallon of gas has increased above $4, sparking more anxiety about inflation as well as interest in electric and hybrid vehicles. In their news release, Kelly Blue Book published the following findings:
“In the early weeks of March, shopping behavior on Kelley Blue Book and our sister site Autotrader has changed.
- EV shopping consideration rose 69% from January when gas prices started to rise.
- Shopping consideration for hybrids increased 32% from the beginning of the year.
- Shopping for fuel-efficient subcompact and compact sedans increased 16%.
- EV shopping consideration spiked the most among non-luxury buyers — those most impacted by higher gas prices — and for electric SUVs versus cars.
- Car shoppers in the West, where gas prices are among the highest in the country and EVs are more common and accepted, showed the biggest spike in interest in EVs. The South also showed much higher interest in EVs than earlier.”
As Cox Automotive Executive Analyst Michelle Krebs noted in a news release, “Cox Automotive data was showing a general rise in interest for EVs and hybrids even before the spike in gas prices. While high fuel costs may further accelerate the interest in fuel efficient vehicles, it is too early to tell if it will permanently change buying behavior. Near term, changing driving habits and gas consumption may be the only options for consumers.”
But while demand has increased, there’s still a shortage in the supply of all types of new vehicles due to ongoing issues with the supply chain. In particular, Cox Automotive went on to report, supplies are lowest among small fuel-efficient as well as hybrid vehicles — and it doesn’t look like inventory issues will be resolved “in the foreseeable future” due to the BA.2 COVID-19 variant in Asian and other global issues.
As interest increases in EVs, dealerships can get prepared by adopting a digital online shopping experience. Such a platform allows dealers to capitalize on increased search traffic and funnel in new leads in order to start nurturing relationships that will turn into sales in the future as EV supply levels increase.