Surging gas prices in March led one-in-four shoppers to consider electrified vehicles, particularly EVs and hybrids, a trend likely to accelerate as new models hit showrooms soon, according to the Q1 2022 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch report released this week.
The Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch report is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in consumer shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors on a dozen factors key to a consumer’s buying decision. Kelley Blue Book produces a separate Brand Watch report for non-luxury and luxury brands each quarter. Beginning in Q1 2022, the methodology includes surveying both mobile and desktop users instead of only desktop users.
The top 10 most-shopped electrified vehicles were split evenly between hybrids and EVs. Toyota, Tesla and Ford dominated the list with three models each. Honda rounded out the top 10.
Tesla dominated EV shopping again. The Model 3 and Model Y were the first and second most-shopped pure EVs. They were No. 3 and No. 4 when all electrified models were considered. The Model S was No. 10 on the list of most-shopped electrified vehicles.
In terms of all luxury vehicles – EV or not, car and SUV – the Tesla Model 3 was third most-shopped, and Model Y was the fourth. Tesla Model 3 was the most-shopped luxury car for the fifth consecutive quarter; the Model S was fourth.
Most importantly, Tesla reported record sales in the first quarter, largely on the strength of the Model Y and Model 3.
Ford is gaining ground in EVs, however. The Ford F-150 Lightning, which just started deliveries to customers in March and is sold out, was the third most-shopped EV and the seventh overall among electrified vehicles. The Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV, also in short supply, was No. 9.
Shopping consideration for EV startups Rivian and Lucid dropped from 2% to 1% each of all luxury shoppers. Both had highly publicized production problems that have limited availability of their models.
The Toyota RAV4 hybrid kept its long-held spot as the most-shopped electrified vehicle. The new Ford Maverick pickup that comes standard with a hybrid engine surged to No. 2. The Maverick immediately hit the list when introduced last summer and has been climbing the charts ever since. The rest of the list included hybrid versions of the Honda CR-V at No. 5, Toyota Highlander at No. 6 and Toyota Camry at No. 8.
While consumers shopped hybrids, they undoubtedly found limited availability since they had the lowest supply of any segment throughout most of the quarter.