EV Shoppers Are Reserving More Models Than They Plan to Buy

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Screenshot: Chevrolet

It looks like vehicle reservations have revealed an ugly truth: buyer mistrust. Automotive News reports a recent survey shows that EV buyers who plunk down money for reservations are often reserving more than one vehicle. And it’s all because they don’t think they’ll actually receive the vehicle they reserve.

The survey/study was performed by Recurrent. The company specializes in delivering EV battery health reports to consumers and companies. Recurrent surveyed over 200 people who had placed reservations between April and May. The findings were interesting. The main takeaway was there are a bunch of reservation holders who don’t seem to be seriously considering going through with their purchase. People are placing multiple reservations for multiple models. And it varied depending on the brand and model.

Every single Tesla model, for instance, had buyers that had 100 percent intention of going through with the purchase and buying the vehicle. The Chevy Silverado EV? Just 20 percent due to uncertainty over whether or not they’ll get their vehicle. The survey also pointed out that long waits turned off customers as well.

Of the buyers that don’t seem to be serious about some of the brands they are reserving with, their choices were all over the place. One customer has reservations for a Nissan Ariya, Hummer EV, Chevy Silverado EV, VW ID.4, and BMW iX. But they only plan to actually buy the iX. It appears that they just had to drive any other EV just in case the BMW fell through. Other models, like the KIA EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Subaru Solterra had reservation holders that are willing to wait for those and only those vehicles.

All of this though really highlights just how slippery of a slope vehicle reservations are. The last few years have shown that it’s the way to go for nearly every automaker, especially with special editions or “first editions” of models. It allows automakers free PR as they can make the rounds and tout the thousands of reservations that they have for a vehicle: “Look how many people want to buy our product!” But the reality is that many of these buyers don’t have any intention of buying these vehicles because of the uncertainty surrounding vehicle manufacturing right now. And until things get back to normal, reservation numbers don’t actually mean anything.