Web search interest in electric vehicles reached a record high in the U.S. on March 9, according to Google Trends, but has since tapered off a bit. Since then, consumers have changed the way they search for vehicles, using the term “ev” to find battery-powered cars. The keyword “ev” peaked on March 20, and then again on March 27, 2022.
Searches for EVs continue to trend higher than average during the past two years, as California gas prices hit an average near $6 per gallon, summer rolling blackouts once again threaten the Golden State, and shortages for the material to make batteries threaten growth for the automotive industry.
The highest areas of interest in electronic vehicles remain Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Massachusetts -- all well above average. Google Trends also indicates that California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado have risen above average in searches during the past 30 days.
Some of the top queries in the past 12 months focused on trucks and SUVs, such as the F159 Ford Lightening, and Toyota bZ4X. More recently searches have focused on luxury car manufacturers such as Acura, and Blink charging stations.
Rivian Automotive Chief Executive RJ Scaringe believes the auto industry could soon face shortages of battery supplies for electric vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, even more so than what the world recently experienced with the computer-chip shortage.
Shortages could occur in all types of raw materials, including processing them and building the battery cells.
Sales of battery electric vehicle (BEV) models have increased dramatically in the U.S. during the last couple of years, from a 1.8% market share in 2020 to 2.7% in 2021, and 4.3.% for the first two months of 2022, according to data from consultancy LMC Automotive.
Google and Microsoft have increased the types of ads and services offered to automakers and dealers.
In March, Google launched an automated auto advertising unit for dealerships supported via a vehicle-inventory data feed that connects to Google's merchant center.
This feed contains details about vehicle inventory, such as make, model, price, mileage and condition.
The details are used to match shoppers who are searching for information with the most relevant cars.
The vehicle ads now provide a new advertising format on search that shows nearby cars for sale. The ads initially launched in the United States, but Google plans to add more countries soon.
Microsoft advertising also launched automotive ads in March. Automotive Ads are feed-based product ads that allow marketers to upload all the attributes of the dealership’s car inventory, such as make, model, year, trim, image, URLs, and more to showcase them on the right rail in the Microsoft Bing search engine results page, and on native placements across the Microsoft Audience Network.
Google and Microsoft are not the only companies increasing support for the automotive industry as spending by consumers is expected to increase.
Aki Technologies, which helps brands and retailers target personalized advertising, Monday announced the appointment of Katherine Herb to senior sales lead of automotive to spearhead its newly-created automotive division. She comes to AKI from vice president of automotive at Univision.
The move supports rapid growth, coming off the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, when in 2021 the automotive industry experienced a 20.5% increase in digital ad spending. The industry should see another 13.7% jump in 2022, per Insider Intelligence.