Google Trends Reveals Record-Breaking Interest in EVs

Interest in zero-emission electric vehicles seems to be on the rise based on recent data from Google Trend. As gas prices around the country rose over the past few months, more and more Americans searched for electric vehicles on online search engine Google.

Google Trend, which analyzes top search queries and their popularity on Google Search, has revealed that online interest in electric vehicles peaked in March as gas prices reached an all-time high, partly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the effect it has had on crude oil supply.

But according to Jesse Toprak, the chief auto analyst at EV subscription company Autonomy, the increase in gas prices isn’t the only reason why more people have been typing “electric vehicles” into Google search engine. A combination of factors is at the root of the increased online interest in EVs, Toprak says.

Compared to just a few years ago, there are significantly more EV models for consumers to choose from now. As such, he says, high gas coupled with new EV products has spurred consumer interest in these zero-emission vehicles.

However, consumer interest doesn’t always translate to sales, especially when you consider just how expensive most EVs are. Most of the interested consumers were likely checking out the benefits and costs associated with electric vehicles. At the moment, however, the average American still cannot afford the upfront costs associated with purchasing an electric car.

Most drivers would rather hold onto their existing vehicles rather than shell out tens of thousands of dollars for an electric car. Still, Toprak claims that the search data from Google Trends is a good indication of consumer demand and is in line with what Autonomy has seen in recent days: a rise in electric vehicle inquiries and reservations.

More consumers, even those who have been on the sidelines regarding zero-emission vehicles, are also interested in learning about electric vehicles, Toprak says.

Melinda Hanson, cofounder of Electric Avenue, a public affairs and mobility strategy firm based in Brooklyn, New York, says increased marketing is also partly responsible for increased consumer interest in EVs. Aside from Tesla, several major automakers ran electric vehicle ads during the Super Bowl.

Other fuel-efficient vehicles such as compact and hybrid cars have also been subject to increased interest, Cox Automotive executive analyst Michelle Krebs says. However, we still have a long way to go before the public is intimately familiar with electric cars, Hanson cautions.

The nascent EV industry also has to deal with the global chip shortage as well as a dip in the supply of the minerals used to make EV batteries. These challenges notwithstanding, the public expects sector players such as Fisker Inc. (NYSE: FSR) to meet the growing demand for the electrified means of vehicular transportation.

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