Searches for EVs More Than Double Amidst High Gas Prices
As gas prices climb to an average of $4.316 per gallon in the U.S., and reach nearly $7 per gallon in parts of California, more people are searching for electric cars, according to Cars.com.
The retailer has seen searches for electric cars more than double over the two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. E&E News reported that there has been a 112% jump in EV searches, both new and used, on Cars.com between February 24, the start of the invasion, and March 8, when U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports.
“When gas prices spike, searches immediately go toward more efficient vehicles,” said Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor at Cars.com. Wiesenfelder said that in previous times of high gas prices, people would often search for hybrid vehicles, but now the data shows more people searching for fully electric models.
Electric cars are especially appealing during times of high gas prices, as people can charge a car from empty to full usually for far less than it costs to fill a tank with gas. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, someone could fully charge an electric vehicle for about $9, not counting the cost to install charging infrastructure at home. Drive Clean California notes that paid, public charging stations may cost about $12 to $16 to fully charge, from empty, an EV with a 150-mile range, although some public charging stations are available for free.
Aside from saving money at the pump, electric vehicles are appealing for their lower carbon footprints, as these vehicles don’t produce tailpipe emissions. But for those rushing to swap out their car for a more eco-friendly model, there are a lot of obstacles.
For one, there’s an industry supply chain shortage of parts and materials, including semiconductor chips, lithium, and graphite, meaning buyers have to wait longer to get their cars.
Not to mention the price hurdle. As reported by Grist, even used EVs often cost over $25,000, making these vehicles out of budget for many people. With supply shortages, some people are paying over asking price to get a vehicle quickly, driving up costs overall.
For now, most people will continue to deal with the high gas prices and climbing EV prices. There is hope, though, that as more car manufacturers design and produce lower-cost electric vehicles in the next few years, new EVs will be priced around $25,000 and the used electric car market will see products available closer to $10,000 to $15,000.