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Google search reveals: This is how interest in electric cars has changed during the economic crisis

6 detsember, 2023

Searches for affordable and used electric cars are increasing on Google, while interest in new models is decreasing. This is shown by our examination of the Swedes' Googling.

Do you often Google electric cars? You're not alone. Every month, around half a million searches are made on Google in Sweden connected to electric cars. So far this year, however, the number of searches has decreased slightly compared to the previous year. A peak was reached last autumn in connection with the abolition of the climate bonus, and since then searches have not really recovered.

- Many rushed their orders to take advantage of the bonus, which led to a marked increase in searches. Now the bonus is gone, while the financial situation has further deteriorated. This has resulted in fewer people searching for electric cars, but above all it has affected how we search for information, says Daniel Odsberg, sales manager at Kvdbil.

As an example, the search "order electric car" has decreased by 50 percent since last year, while "buy electric car" shows a slight upward trend. It suggests that many people are still interested in getting an electric car, but perhaps not necessarily a brand new one, says Odsberg.

This thesis is strengthened by the fact that searches for new electric car models have decreased by 70 percent. From around 1,000 searches per month in 2022 to only 260 searches so far this year. At the same time, the search for "used electric car" has increased significantly. From 880 searches per month to 1,300 searches per month, corresponding to 81 percent. The search "cheap electric car" has also increased sharply, which underlines that the economy has become more important in the choice of car. In one year, the increase is 50 percent.

But there are also examples of recently changed search patterns. The change for the search "cheap leasing electric car" is particularly noticeable, which has soared by a whopping 143 percent in the past three months. Daniel Odsberg believes that this may be due to the fact that interest rates continued to rise after the summer, and that there are now even more people looking for favorable terms and various offers.

Search boom for electric combi cars

Another interesting trend is that there has been an increase in the number of searches for station wagons and family cars that run on electricity, especially after the summer. According to Daniel Odsberg, this phenomenon can be linked to the growing range of electric combi cars on the market, something he believes is in high demand, especially in Sweden.

- The combi is the classic family car in Sweden, but unfortunately the range of electric cars in combi versions is relatively limited and this means that families often choose larger SUVs if they want an electric car. But changes are afoot. Several car manufacturers are now launching their first electric hatchbacks, and this may be one of the reasons for the increase. This is something that many have been looking forward to, says Daniel Odsberg.

The question everyone wants an answer to

Besides economy, searches related to battery and charging are popular. Searches for charging posts, batteries and range rank high in the search lists. When it comes to brands, Tesla is at the top, followed by Polestar, MG, Kia, Ora and Volvo. The fact that the Chinese brand Ora reaches such a high position, Odsberg believes, is due to the fact that it was launched in Sweden as late as November last year, and that many people are curious.

From time to time we also do searches that are longer and more specific, often in the form of direct questions. By far the most common is "which electric car to buy?", which is entered into the search field approximately 300 times each month. Another popular query is the similar search "which electric car is best?" (about 200 times/month). The list also includes: "which electric car has the longest range?" (about 150 times/month), "which charging box is best?" (about 70 times per month), "which electric car is the most affordable?" (about 50 times/month), and "which charging app is best?" (about 20 times/month).

More people search for used cars

Since interest in the second-hand market has generally increased during the economic downturn, we have made a trend analysis here as well. If you look at the number of monthly searches for "used car", there has been a 50 percent increase compared to a year ago. At the same time, searches for "sell used car" have decreased by 50 percent.

- The search trends confirm the market's development. As the economy has gotten tougher and more people are forced to make priorities, more people are turning to the secondhand market in search of more economical alternatives. But we can also see that people keep their current car longer. Enjoying the smell of a new car is a luxury that fewer and fewer indulge in, says Odsberg.

When it comes to used cars, it is mainly brands and models that stand out in the searches. Volvo and Toyota share first place, followed by Audi, Mercedes, Kia and Volkswagen. When it comes to specific models, the Toyota Yaris tops the list, followed by the Volvo V60 and XC60, Renault Clio, Nissan Qashqai and Kia Ceed.

Most common searches for electric cars

  1. Charging station

  2. Cheap electric car

  3. Electric car charging app

  4. Private leasing electric car

  5. Electric cars in 2023

  6. Best electric car 2023

  7. Small electric car

  8. Cost to charge an electric car

  9. Chinese electric car

  10. Electric car range

About the analysis
Kvdbil has analyzed search behavior on Google with a focus on the years 2023 and 2022, but also further back to identify patterns and trend breaks. In the list of the most common searches for electric cars, similar searches have been grouped together.

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