Gasoline rise: More buyers want an electric or hybrid car, but it’s not easy to get them now


Amid the recent spate of news reports that gas prices in the US are rising to their highest levels Since the Great Recession, American car owners are already looking for greener, more fuel-efficient options. But they may not have much luck if they鈥檙e really in the market for an option like an electric vehicle.

More drivers are looking for electric cars

Car-buying website Edmunds.com announced Thursday that the number of potential buyers on its site looking for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars increased 39% from the previous month and 18% from the previous week. Of shoppers who visited Edmunds during the week ending March 6, the website said, 17.9% searched for a 鈥済reen vehicle.鈥

EV charging center
Electric cars are the most environmentally friendly models. / Photo: Unsplash

The increase in gasoline will cause more demand for EV鈥檚

One thing that is key to note is that the data in question is for the week ending March 6, which is a few days before the president Biden to announce the US will ban oil imports from Russia in response to Russia鈥檚 invasion of Ukraine. In his speech announcing the measure, Biden was very clear that gas prices would likely rise as a result, so presumably the fight for greener cars will only intensify in the coming weeks.

Additionally, Cars.com reports that searches for new and used electric vehicles are up 112% as of March 8 compared to the previous week. Searches for new electric vehicles on that site are up 83% and searches for used models are up 130%and many buyers are likely to balk at the high price of several new electric cars.

Semiconductor shortage further complicates matters

While gas spikes have historically prompted buyers to switch to more fuel-efficient options, as they鈥檙e clearly looking to do here, pandemic-driven shortages of materials and semiconductors have severely limited the supply of new cars. Car prices are also at record levels, so even if you can find something you want to buy, you鈥檒l pay a lot more for it.

The average cost of a new car increased to $46,085 in Februaryand how Jessica Caldwellchief knowledge officer at Edmunds, noted in an email, modern electric vehicles tend to be more expensive options. As Edmunds points out, if you can find one, the average transaction price for a new EV was $60,054 in February (although it鈥檚 unclear how tax incentives factor into that number).

鈥淕reen vehicles, particularly EVs, have become increasingly important to American consumers over the past year as more automakers sparked buzz about new products and made firm commitments to an electrified future. But the big spike in interest of late is certainly more a reaction to record gasoline prices caused by the war in Ukraine,鈥 Caldwell said. 鈥Unfortunately, buying an EV isn鈥檛 particularly easy to do right now amid inventory shortages, and price-sensitive consumers hardest hit by gas price increases will likely find making the switch a bit too easy. out of financial reach due to the premiums these vehicles command鈥, he added.

Buying an EV right now is not an immediate savings

So while buying an EV will save you gas in the long run and is increasingly desirable for environmental (and performance) reasons, right now, there鈥檚 no guarantee you鈥檒l actually save money. And again, that鈥檚 if you can find one at a reasonable price. the promising Kia EV6 2022 it came in at $57,115 in loaded AWD format, and it hasn鈥檛 been uncommon to see some in the $60,000 to $70,000 range. To make matters worse, car dealers are freaking out about price increases right now, even as automakers beg them to cut prices.

What do you do if you want to buy a new car right now?

There are a number of strategies you can employ, but the key is to be flexible. If you don鈥檛 need a new car right away and can wait to make a purchase, you should probably go that route. Otherwise, be flexible about the models and options you want, and be prepared to look beyond your area. than you normally would. Used car prices have gotten just as high, so the same applies on that front. And remember: if you鈥檙e shopping for a new electric vehicle, you probably shouldn鈥檛 be buying it right now if cost savings is your primary goal.

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