New data from MotorTrend finds that electric vehicles are hot on their users’ buying lists. And one upcoming EV pickup truck could be the most polarizing.
The motor magazine, TV network, and car-shopping site found that in the past year, 78% of active car shoppers are “very interested” in EVs at the moment, and that over the next five years nearly 50% of car shoppers say they will definitely or probably buy an electric or hybrid vehicle.
“All of us, even the people who are watching right now are saying to themselves, ‘I know I’m going to get an EV, is it the right time?,” said Alex Wellen, president and CEO of the MotorTrend group in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “‘I don’t know about the range anxiety, I don’t know about how I’m going to charge it, is it affordable?,’ but everyone knows that they’re going to be inside of an EV soon.”
The inevitability of EVs in the car buyer’s mind seems to be growing by the day. And with the passage of the federal tax credit for EVs, and new models introduced every day, the pull to buy EVs is becoming more powerful. However, pricing may be an issue as the average cost for one soars to $55,000 on average.
That being said, when drilling down over the data the most popular EV models on MotorTrend’s Buyer’s guide starts with, not surprisingly, the Tesla Model 3, followed by the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevy Bolt EV, Tesla Model Y, and Lucid Air.
But what’s more surprising is that the most popular EV (and and vehicle overall) brand searched on MotorTrend.com over the past year is Rivian, which had 22% more search volume than Tesla, and 67% more than Lucid.
While the Rivian R1T pickup was named MotorTrend’s 2022 Truck of the Year, its relatively low sales volume, long waitlist, and high price make it a surprising top search term. But its capabilities, such as having four electric motors, 900 hp, and all-terrain abilities may have drawn curious EV shoppers in.
Speaking of electric pickups — the one that’s getting the most heat recently is the Tesla Cybertruck, due for production later this year. MotorTrend users are definitely interested in it, but not without caveats.
“From a design point of view it’s very polarizing, and I think a lot of people just won’t simply want it,” Wellen said, though he believes CEO Elon Musk has done a nice job of surprising doubters in the past, and should be close to as capable as the Rivian R1T.
But pricing will be key — and it’s here where the Cybertruck will have to thread the needle in a competitive space that also counts the Ford F-150 Lightning and soon the Chevrolet Silverado EV and Ram 1500 REV EV.
“Musk said in 2019, three and a half years ago that [the Cybertruck] would be $39,000 – I think eventually, like they did with the Model 3, they’ll have a $39,000 truck,” Wellen said, but not right away. “But if they want to do three or four motors, I would say they would be lucky at $75,000.”
With the dual-motor Rivian R1T starting around that price, it will be an interesting landscape if Tesla is able to make the Cybertruck and its tri-motor setup at $75,000.
One thing is likely for sure, when the Cybertruck is finally out and available for sale, it just might become the most popular search term on the MotorTrend.com website — because of its fans as well as its haters.
Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
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