If you’re a rabid fan for Tesla or a rabid fan for Ford, I’ve got bad news for both of you: demand for both of the companies’ electric trucks is about tied, according to a recent poll. If you’re more normal like the rest of us, this comes as no surprise.
Consumer insight firm Piplsay conducted a huge poll of around 28,000 people (most polls are 1,000-5,000 people) to see what they thought about their future EV purchasing decisions. Just under half of those polled said they expected to purchase an EV in the near future. 25% said they’d go for an electric truck, and 23% said they’d go for some other sort of EV. The rest of those polled either don’t expect to buy an EV or don’t know what they want to do.
That alone is very good news, and shows us that there’s a lot of potential demand for new EVs. When they broke the truck people’s numbers down a bit more, there was some very interesting stuff.
25% of them said they wanted an F-150 Lightning, and 24% said they want a Cybertruck. 23% said they want an electric Chevrolet Silverado (something that hasn’t been announced at all), and 12% want the GMC Hummer EV. Rivian, Lordstown, and Atlis split up what little was left, with 4-5% each. Bollinger also got 3%.
Tesla Is Strong In This Poll
The most impressive thing is that Tesla is in a statistical tie (within the margin of error for the poll) with Ford and Chevrolet. When you consider that Ford’s F-150 has been the best selling truck for over four decades, with Chevy and GMC (basically the same GM truck) as the #2 choice most years. For Tesla, the newcomer, to be neck-and-neck with the big players who’ve been entrenched for decades is truly impressive.
On the other hand, we do need to consider that these numbers are among people interested in an electric truck, and that was only about a quarter of the overall market. The people who don’t want an EV at all and those who are unsure outnumber electric truck buyers 2 to 1. Among that wider market, Cybertruck won’t be nearly as competitive.
Another question we need to ask is: where’s Dodge? If respondents were able to choose a hypothetical truck that hasn’t been announced (the Silverado), then why weren’t at least some buyers looking for an electric Dodge Ram? It seems unlikely that they would have no demand, even a few percent, so it’s probably something that wasn’t included in the poll.
Demand For EVs Is Good, But Could Be Better
The next big thing from the poll is that just under half of respondents were interested in buying an EV in the near future. Half were trucks and around half were for other vehicles like cars, but that half of the overall population wants an EV of some kind or another says a lot.
There’s still another half of the population that could learn more about the vehicles. 21% of the overall population isn’t sure, so we’re kind of like the guy in Dumb and Dumber.
There’s a chance (however small it may be) that the 21% of “unsures” could change their mind if they learn more about the vehicles. They didn’t give an absolute “no” to the pollsters like the other 31%. Some of them might be close to the tipping point, while others are on the edge of being a “no.”
The “Unsures” Need More Study
If you’ve already got a buyer convinced, they need no further convincing. Absent a serious bonehead move that makes them run away to a competitor (this can happen easily), they don’t need to be sold again.
Where the market’s growth will be is among those “unsures” in the poll, the 21% of people who aren’t sure if they want an EV or not. Among those people, there’s almost as much money to be made as there is among people committed to an EV truck already. Thus, this is an important part of the EV industry where fortunes can be made, or lost.
New players might find a way to convince a large portion of the “unsure” market and find their way in to buyers who weren’t impressed enough with the existing players for various reasons.
To really understand the future of the market, we need to know what makes these “unsures” tick. What makes them unsure about EVs? Is it cost? Is it the lack of charging infrastructure? Is it the way EVs are often made so different from the average gas car? Or are they unaware enough of EVs to even know if they’re a good option?
If we can learn these things, there’s a lot of open market to get into.
Featured image by Ford.
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