Demand for electric cars may be surging, but buyers hoping to make the switch are being forced to make a U-turn as factories face months of delays, pushing waiting times for new vehicles to unprecedented levels.
As a result, choosing which electric car you want can be tricky, which is why we will do all we can at Electrifying.com to help you select the right car to meet your needs. From new and used car reviews to our handy beginner’s guide, this article will help you decide which vehicle you should purchase in the hectic current market.
Why do electric cars have such long waiting lists?
Good question. Electric car owners are facing longer than normal waiting times for two main reasons: an order backlog that predates the Coronavirus pandemic, and the on-going conflict in Ukraine.
The pandemic saw a massive surge in orders for laptops and printers as the global population started working remotely. This wiped out existing stocks and meant that factories around the world were asked to produce more. Except they couldn't because many were forced to close because of the pandemic.
Considering an electric vehicle uses 3,000 semiconductors, compared to an average of 300 used in a petrol-powered vehicle, you can see where the issue lies. So a shortage of these, alongside a lack of computer chips globally, has had a direct impact on supply and demand.
What are manufacturers saying about the waiting lists?
Manufacturers are certainly feeling the pressures. Barely two years ago, a wait of 10 weeks for a new electric vehicle was considered excessive, but now, manufacturers are unable to provide a concrete answer. This has even led to some brands closing order books altogether, with a Citroen dealer telling Electrifying.com: ‘’if a dealer says they can build you a car within three to six months, they’re probably lying. Stock is threadbare at the minute.’’
MG, for instance, says it has now suspended orders for the new ZS EV following an ‘’unprecedented level of demand’’ for the vehicle, opting to focus on fulfilling their current order quota before potentially accepting orders again in ‘’a matter of weeks’’.
With waiting times for family vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 sitting at well over a year, a salesman at a Cupra dealership – a brand which is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group told us we would be able to get into Born much faster. ‘’Volkswagen are putting extra effort into getting these cars on the road. Since it’s based on the ID.3, which has a waiting list time of one year and two to four months, they want the Cupra badge to get more market share.’’
In comparison, a Volkswagen dealership told us: ‘’I advise all customers to be a year or a year-and-a-half ahead of the schedule if they want a vehicle desperately. We don’t think, internally at least, this is going away in a rush. It’s the new norm.’’
Ford is another manufacturer that is facing issues, with the popular Mustang Mach-E being temporarily suspended from orders so the brand can more effectively manage a heavy backlog. Ford has also had to recall an estimated 6,500 Mach-E’s due to an issue with the vehicle’s battery main contactors, potentially stretching waiting times even further.
Some showroom personnel are unable to provide customers with any meaningful delivery times. For instance, a Skoda dealer told us: ‘’We were supposed to receive demo versions of the Enyaq Coupe in August, but that’s now been postponed to a date we still don’t know. I sold two last week, one to a mother and one to a daughter, and they ordered despite not getting concrete reassurance of when it would be delivered.’’