Car reservation

How electric truck buyers are hedging their bets

People who want to buy an electric truck are hedging their bets – they order more than one and cancel orders when something is delivered. It is the result of a survey conducted by an electric vehicle battery monitoring company Recurrent.

Recurrent is a service that monitors EV batteries for its subscribers. The company’s mission is to provide transparency to increase confidence in used electric vehicles, thereby helping to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. As part of this mission, he also studies the EV market.

Also see: The pros and cons of electric cars

Reservations: a new way to buy cars

Dealerships sell electric cars like traditional cars – buyers walk into a dealership, test drive cars, and negotiate to buy the car they want from what the dealership has in stock.

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

Buyers typically pay a small fee to reserve their place in the queue before the company builds the car, then pay for the vehicle later when it’s ready for delivery. These initial reservation fees are often refundable, although Tesla’s reservation fees are not.

This is how Europeans have been buying cars for decades and how Ford F
would like to sell even its petrol models eventually. For now, it’s common for Tesla TSLA EV buyers,
Ford, Rivian RIVN,
and others.

In partnership with AAA Washington, Recurrent surveyed 200 buyers, asking them which models they had reserved and which they planned to buy.

See: Does driving an electric car really save money? A stingy runs the numbers

Pent-up demand for electric trucks

Their discovery? Electric truck buyers, in particular, tend to reserve at least two.

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

Electric truck buyers, recurring speculation, may 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 they expected to buy it.

They may also fear price changes before delivery or be willing to take the truck that comes first. The first customer to take delivery of an F-150 Lightning recently canceled their Cybertruck order, after paying for both with the intention of buying whichever was delivered first.

Check: The Hummer vs the Ford Lightning: 2 new electric trucks compared

Less common with cars, SUVs

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

Many electric cars are sold out for 2022. So if a buyer canceled a reservation, the dealership would have a relatively easier time selling the car to another buyer.

This story originally took place on KBB.com.