Carlypso: Data Shows Low Gas Prices Don’t Impact Plug-In Electric Car Sales
Like a record that just keeps on skipping…
An analysis by Carlypso once again bangs home the point that low gas prices don’t impact sales of pure electric cars.
And because we like to reinforce this fact, here’s the press release confirming it one more time:
Time to reconsider the Nissan Leaf for the Escalade? Not so Fast.
Carlypso Analysis Shows Plummeting Gas Prices Are Not Immediately Impacting New/Used Electric Car Sales
San Carlos, CA – January 20, 2015 – Carlypso, the first technology company to help owners sell used cars completely hassle-free for more money than a trade in, announced today a new study on the impact of low gas prices on electric car sales.
As part of Carlypso’s sales process, the company analyzes millions of transactions each month to get an idea of “true” prices. While Kelly Blue Book and NADA guides have helped users for decades in establishing pricing guidelines, Carlypso’s rigorous price algorithms go a level deeper – predicting the selling price and selling time of any make, model or trim.
This analysis on gas prices and electric car sales was based on 28,074,658 used cars sales, of which 217,217 electric vehicles, from January 2013 to December 2014.
In late 2008 with gas prices at or above $5/gallon an electric vehicle buyer could expect to save about $4,000 per year on gas compared to driving a medium sized SUV. Now those savings are less than half. Experts themselves feared that electrical vehicle sales could take a hit when oil prices fell from around $110 per barrel to $59 per barrel, the lowest level since the financial crises in 2008 / 2009 (see http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/1027/Will-falling-gas-pr ices-kill-the-electric-car).
While one would expect electric car sales to take a tumble with gas prices at an all-time low, that is not, in fact, what Carlypso’s data shows.
Carlypso examined 28,074,658 car sales from January 2013 to December 2014 and found that electric vehicles are slowly gaining market share. By the end of the first quarter in 2015, more than 1% of all new vehicles purchased will likely be electric vehicles. In December 2014, already 0.86% of new vehicles purchased were electric vehicles with Tesla’s 3,500 units of the Model S, Nissan’s 3,102 units of the Leaf Chevrolet’s 1,490 units of the Volt and BMW’s 1,013 unit of the i3 representing more than 70% of electric vehicles sales.
Commensurately, the demand for trucks hasn’t dramatically shifted upwards either in the short term. Despite oil prices falling precipitously, demand has remained relatively consistent between 51-53% of seasonally adjusted sales. Most of the increased demand in light-truck (domestic and foreign) occurred as gas prices stabilized over 2013. This study looked across all categories of light-trucks representing 16.63M retailed units from January 2013 to December 2014.
“The data is a bit surprising; the fact is no one is really changing behavior when it comes time to buying a car despite the savings at the pump. Consumers still want what they want when it comes to features and choosing certain brands and models,” said Nicholas Hinrichsen, Co-Founder of Carlyspo. “We tell our customers to buy exactly what they want, and let the investors worry about the oil prices. Your vehicle’s value and demand is unlikely to change despite the oil market – even though your charges at the pump may change.”
 Calculated based on 15,000 miles per year driven, $5.00/gallon gasoline and 17 mpg blended city/highway MPG. Electric vehicle consumption based on 0.025 cents/mile charge.
2 Bureau of Economic Analysis, Light Vehicle Sales