High Gas Prices Are Pushing Electric Car Sales to a Tipping Point

When Eric Dirksen received his first electric car in December—a new Tesla Model Y—he didn’t know gas prices would spike a few months after. But with fuel costing about $4.20 per gallon on average this week, he’s happy with the decision.

Tesla Model Y (Image: Tesla.com)

Tesla Model Y (Image: Tesla.com)

“Very fortunate at the timing,” he says. Dirksen spent $62 on charging in the last month, roughly the same amount as 15 gallons of gas. “I wanted to be more intentional with ensuring I was doing what I could to ensure a sustainable future for my daughter. It was the obvious choice,” Dirksen says of his purchase. “The savings are still mind blowing to me.”

With gas prices painfully high for the third straight month, more Americans like Dirksen have been turning to fuel-efficient vehicle alternatives as a way to save money, new data shows.

An unreleased report from CarGurus, an automotive research and shopping firm, shows that 53% of active shoppers say they are considering a more fuel-efficient vehicle in response to high gas prices. The data, shared with TIME, looks at consumer sentiment toward electric vehicles based on an online survey of 2,176 U.S. automobile owners at various points this year. It finds that 40% of Americans now expect to own an electric car in the next five years, up from 32% in February and 30% last year.

 Read more: Time

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