Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 31.
Searches for electric vehicles skyrocketed in March as prices at the gas pump remain elevated nationwide, according to a new report.
From Feb. 24 to March 25, searches for electric vehicles on Cars.com increased more than 170% as gas prices reached record highs, according to the automotive website.
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“The war in Ukraine, proposed infrastructure legislation, rising gas prices and supply-chain issues are just a few drivers of market volatility that have spurred consumer interest in EVs,” according to Cars.com.
A Tesla electric car is seen parked at a charging station in Altamonte Springs, Florida on January 20, 2019. ( Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)
As of Thursday, the national average for a gallon of gasoline is at an elevated $4.22. Prices stabilized over the weekend after continuously rising since the beginning of the year due to strained supply and increased demand, according to Edmunds.
Consumers were already reeling at the pump even before the war compounded the issue, driving oil prices even higher. For instance, two-thirds of Americans said gas prices were already too expensive even when the national average hit $3.53 per gallon earlier this year, according to a recent AAA survey. Over half of motorists, 59%, admitted that if prices hit $4 a gallon, they would make changes to their driving habits or lifestyle, according to the data.
Although electric vehicles have been gaining popularity, with searches for them nearly doubling since last year, that doesn’t mean consumers are buying them, according to Cars.com.
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Purchases for electric cars “still lag due to extremely limited supply and several barriers to entry, with EVs constituting less than 1% of vehicles on the road,” according to the report.
Jenni Newman, Cars.com editor-in-chief, said that “automakers need to ramp up production, but until the supply-chain shortages level out, the extreme lack of available EVs can’t keep up with the growing demand in the current market.”
Gas prices in Westchester are above $6 as prices at the pump continue to rise across the Southland on Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Newman said this may eventually change with nearly 50 new models hitting the market in 2025.
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Currently, consumers in California, Florida, Texas and Illinois have the “strongest interest” for such cars, according to the report.
Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Arizona do not even have enough supply to keep up with increasing demand, according to the automotive website.