If our current economy and supply chain were in a normal state, we would be seeing a sharp shift toward consumer adoption of EVs as a result of the latest gas price surge. Even though the price premium of buying an EV remains a barrier to widespread adoption, consumers tend to think in terms of the monthly impact on their pocketbook.
At $4.25 per gallon, a Ford F-150 owner who drives 15,000 miles per year would be paying $3,350 per year for gas, or around $275 per month. On a psychological level, the prospect of eliminating much of that expense with the electric F-150 Lightning or a similar EV becomes more powerful each day. The freedom that EVs offer from expensive gas station visits would have potent appeal.
The caveat, of course, is that market conditions are anything but normal these days. The combination of strong consumer demand and supply chain disruptions — now exacerbated by the Ukraine crisis — has sent vehicle prices surging and pushed dealer inventories to record low levels.
And used cars are more expensive, too — the consumer price index for used cars jumped 40.5 percent between January 2021 and the same month this year, while the sticker price on new vehicles rose 26 percent.
Facing empty car lots and intense competition for both new and used vehicles, consumers increasingly are concluding that, in a pinch, “any car will do.” As a result, nearly every EV model is sold out, and there is a lengthy waiting list for new-car buyers.