How electric truck buyers are hedging their bets

People who want to buy an electric truck hedge themselves – they order more than one and cancel orders when something is delivered. This is the result of a survey conducted by an electric vehicle battery monitoring company recurring.

Recurrent is a service that monitors EV batteries for its subscribers. The company’s mission is to provide transparency to increase confidence in pre-owned EVs and accelerate EV adoption. As part of this mission, it also studies the EV market.

See also: The pros and cons of electric cars

Reservations: a new way to buy cars

Dealers sell some electric cars like traditional cars – buyers go into a dealership, test drive cars, and negotiate to buy the car they want from the dealership’s inventory.

But increasingly, automakers are selling electric cars through a different method. Demand for most electric cars exceeds supply. As a result, automakers have started selling them through a reservation system.

Buyers typically pay a small fee to reserve their spot in line before the company builds the car, and then pay for the vehicle later when it’s ready for delivery. This initial reservation fee is often refundable, but Tesla’s reservation fees are not.

This is how Europeans have been buying cars for decades and like Ford F,
would also like to sell its gas-powered models at some point. Currently, it is common for buyers of Tesla TSLA electric vehicles to
Ford, Rivian RIVN,
and other.

In partnership with AAA Washington, Recurrent surveyed 200 shoppers which models they had reserved and which they were planning to buy.

See: Does driving an electric car really save money? A miser keeps the numbers

Backlog demand for electric trucks

your discovery? Buyers of electric trucks in particular usually reserve at least two.

89 percent of respondents who reserved a Tesla Cybertruck also reserved another electric pickup. In comparison, every buyer who reserved a Ford F-150 Lightning or Chevy Silverado EV also reserved another EV truck.

Electric truck buyers, Recurrent speculates, could be hedging their bets because delivery dates are so far in the future. Chevy is now taking reservations for the Silverado EV in hopes of delivering it by 2024, for example. Only 20% of those who reserved a Silverado EV told Recurrent that they expect to buy it.

They may also fear price changes ahead of delivery, or be willing to take the truck that shows up first. The first customer to receive an F-150 Lightning recently canceled their Cybertruck order after paying both to buy whichever was delivered first.

Cash: The Hummer vs. the Ford Lightning: 2 new electric trucks in comparison

Less common on cars, SUVs

The phenomenon is less common in electric cars and SUVs. “There are more standalone reservations for cars like the Subaru Solterra, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5,” says Recurrent. “These buyers want the car they’ve ordered and reserve their spot in line to buy it.”

Many electric cars are sold out for 2022. So, should a buyer cancel a reservation, it would be relatively easy for the dealership to sell the car to another buyer.

This story originally continued How electric truck buyers are hedging their bets

Brian Lowry

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