More Americans are researching green vehicles as gas prices climb to record levels, according to Edmunds — an online car shopping resource that generates more than 20 million visits every month. On-site shopper consideration of green vehicle (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric) pages on Edmunds jumped 39% over the past month and increased 18% over the last week. Of the shoppers who visited Edmunds during the week ending March 6, 17.9% researched a green vehicle.
Edmunds analysts estimate that green vehicles made up 6.2% and battery electric vehicles (EVs) 2.6% of all new vehicle purchases in 2021. In 2020, they estimate that green vehicles made up 4.2% and EVs 1.9% 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. “If jumping into a new EV is a top priority for you right now, it’s not going to be particularly easy to make a purchase, but there are some steps you can take to ease the process.”
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence.