Following the press release that Edmunds issued on March 10, 2022, Edmunds' automotive experts have continued tracking consumer car shopping behavior in response to elevated gas prices nationwide and have found that consumer interest in green vehicles is continuing to grow:
- On-site shopper consideration of green vehicle (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric) pages on Edmunds.com for the week ending March 13 climbed to 25%, which represents a 39% lift from the week prior and an 84% lift from the same week in February
Edmunds analysts conducted a survey among U.S. car shoppers* on March 14-15, 2022. Key findings, along with a quote from Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights, can be found below.
Edmunds Car Shopper Survey Results
- Car shoppers believe gas prices are the highest they've ever seen and expect more increases. 63% of respondents say current gas prices in their area are the highest they've ever witnessed. 45% of respondents note they expect gas prices to increase further, although Edmunds analysts note that gas prices have begun to drop slightly.
- Gas prices are king for car shoppers. 12% of respondents said that gas prices were the most important factor in their vehicle purchase, while 34% said that they were very important. Of those shoppers who said they would consider an EV purchase, gas prices were the most important consideration (31%), followed by environmental sustainability (29%).
- But gas prices aren't the only driver of green vehicle consideration among car shoppers. When asked how high gas prices would have to be to make the switch to an EV, 26% of respondents said they are considering purchasing a green vehicle regardless of gas prices.
- Geopolitical unrest and climate change are on the minds of a third of car shoppers. 36% of respondents said that the war in Ukraine could affect their future car buying and ownership choices; 34% of respondents said that global warming could be a factor in future purchases.
- Car shoppers are more willing to test greener options before fully committing to electric. 38% of respondents said they wouldn't go fully electric but noted they would consider a hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
- But hold your ICE-powered horses. Shoppers are still hesitant to go all in on electric vehicles: Higher prices (50%), limited charging infrastructure (62%), range anxiety (53%), and concerns about the hassle of owning an electric vehicle (27%) are among some of the top factors that respondents listed as reasons why they're not planning on purchasing an EV.
- Despite a greater willingness to consider going green, bigger is still better to American consumers. 46% of respondents said they would not consider a smaller vehicle for their next purchase; 37% said they would.
"After what has felt like an eon of speculation and empty promises when it comes to EV adoption, we seem to have finally arrived at a moment when consumers are actually educating themselves on electrified vehicles and the choices that will be available when they're ready to make their next purchase. Gas prices are a major contributor to this shift, but more consumers are likely noticing that there are far more options in the body styles they want, from the brands they like, coming to the market. The irony in all this is that although market forces are driving up a consumer appetite for these vehicles, it's coming at a time where few are actually available to purchase. Although we're still a long way out from full-on EV adoption, it's a good sign in the meantime that the EV market seems to be tackling the biggest cited barriers to entry such as lower pricing, infrastructure and range, which will make the eventual switch to an EV more palatable for many consumers." — Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights
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*n=400. All survey participants are Edmunds registered users who have indicated that they are shopping for or recently purchased a vehicle.