Electric pickup buyers hold multiple reservations as delivery date uncertainty looms: survey

Credit: Cybertruck Owner’s Club

With so many electric pickups set to hit the market in the coming years, consumers are playing their hands by holding reservations on multiple EV trucks due to the uncertainty of when they might be delivered.

A new survey from Recurrent shows that “about 89% of Tesla Cybertruck reservations overlap with another truck pre-order, and 100% of Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado reservations also pre-ordered another vehicle on this list. ”

It is no secret a major focus of many electric automakers in 2021 and 2022 was the EV pickup. With trucks being such a popular body style in the United States and elsewhere, companies were fending to offer the first EV pickup, but also the most effective one. While Rivian’s R1T was the first electric pickup on the market, the GMC Hummer EV joined the list shortly after. However, notable newcomers and worthy opponents are coming, as the Tesla Cybertruck and Chevrolet Silverado EV are both expected to hit production lines in the next year. A breakdown of how many reservations each truck has, and how prospective EV truck buyers are playing their multiple pre-orders, shows the anticipation for the emergence of the electric pickup market.

“We knew that 2022 would be the year of the electric truck, and the year has not disappointed us, at least as far as pre-orders go,” Scott Case, CEO and co-founder of Recurrent, said. “But I’m also taking pre-order number claims by manufacturers with a grain of salt, because clearly not all of those orders are solid. Shoppers should not be scared off by long pre-order waits if they know the vehicle you want.”

It has been reported on numerous occasions that the Tesla Cybertruck has accumulated a massive number of pre-orders: 1.27 million+, according to Recurrent’s research. The F-150 Lightning is second with 200,000 pre-orders, and the Rivian R1T and R1S and Hummer EV have 90,000 and 65,000, respectively.

However, the breakdown of how these pre-orders are being played is most interesting. Recurrent surveyed over 200 EV shoppers in a partnership with AAA Washington to see what EVs buyers have pre-ordered and which they intend to actually purchase. The research showed that Tesla vehicles have 100 percent order fulfillment, while other vehicles, like the Chevy Silverado EV, only had a 20 percent fulfillment rate.

“In the case of Tesla, there is a non-refundable order fee that may weed out some impulsive reservations, as well as the knowledge that the market is hot enough to resell your order before you even take delivery,” the study said. Recurrent attributed the outliers above to three factors:

  • Uncertainty on delivery time – or delivery at all – may cause some shoppers to modulate their enthusiasm for certain vehicles. Of course, the Tesla Cybertruck, with its seemingly infinite production delays, comes to mind here.
  • Refundable reservations mean that customers can express interest in many cars and make the decision when they see when, and what, they can actually drive off in.
  • With all the buzz around electric vehicles, manufacturers may be incentivized to make reservations easy for shoppers in order to pump up their numbers, even if these reservations don’t all turn into sales

In general, however, EV truck buyers are more likely to have multiple reservations. Recurrent says the strategy of over-ordering allows buyers to keep their options open, especially as production and delivery dates have not yet been solidified by the manufacturers, which gives the reservations holders more time to analyze their decisions. However, 89 percent of Cybertruck reservations overlap with another EV truck order, while 100 percent of Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevy Silverado EV orders are paired with another vehicle on the list Recurrent put together.

Credit: Recurrent

Additionally, the study found that Tesla brand loyalty runs deep. “Recurrent found that many families have gone all-in on Tesla. Around 50% of those who have reserved both a Telsa Cyber Truck and a Tesla car model plan to redeem both,” it said.

Tesla reservations do not seem to overlap with other brands, which would align with the company’s history of brand loyalty. “If you’ve reserved a Ford F-150, Rivian, or Chevy Silverado, chances are good that you may also have reserved a Tesla Cybertruck,” Recurrent’s study added. “But, if you’re interested in any of the new, non-truck options on this list, there is virtually no overlap with the Tesla brand. There is a clear chasm between non-Tesla cars and Tesla reservations.”

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Electric pickup buyers hold multiple reservations as delivery date uncertainty looms: survey
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