Automakers Are Fumbling at a Crucial Point for EVs

Demand for electric cars is higher than ever, but automakers are struggling to keep pace with consumer interest. 
Written by Allison Stone
Reviewed by Serena Aburahma
Oct 3, 2022
Just a few years ago, there were hardly enough buyers to make
electric cars
a viable option for anyone. Now, we have the opposite problem.
Interest in electric cars is high
, but automakers are in a bind when it comes to actually meeting demand. 
Supply chain issues
, labor disruptions, and raw material shortages have had an impact on every sector, but car brands producing EVs could sour their reputation with customers before even really taking off. 
Read on with the car ownership experts at Jerry to learn more about this issue, and what it could mean for the future of electric cars. 
If you’ve been shopping around for a new or even a used car, you know that supply is scarce, and long waitlists have become standard for models that are in high demand. As EVs make up such a small overall percentage of the industry, the wait times to get popular models like the Ford F-150 Lightning are brutal. 
According to the
Wall Street Journal
, it’s enough to make some buyers start looking for other options. Customers like Louie Figueroa put down a $100 refundable deposit on a Ford F-150 Lightning after the vehicle was announced in May of 2021, but he’s still in the dark as to when he’ll actually be able to order one. “Now I’m thinking, ‘Can I afford to keep waiting for this?’ ” said Figueroa to the Wall Street Journal. 
Ford reportedly started delivering Lightning pickups in May of this year and has delivered at least one in every state, but it still has a long way to go if it plans to fulfill even a fraction of the car’s
nearly 200,000 reservations

Interest in EVs is outpacing manufacturing capacity

EVs only make up about 6% of U.S. vehicle sales, but that’s triple the amount from just two years ago. In July, five of the six fastest-selling cars in the U.S. were either electric or plug-in hybrids.
While automakers are working overtime to ramp up EV production, it’s just not something that is going to happen overnight. While early adopters like Tesla went full force into making only electric vehicles, many legacy automakers stalled, waiting to see how things would play out in the market. Now, however, many of those same automakers appear to be scrambling to catch up. 
Executives from General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen have all made lofty claims that they will be able to
easily surpass Tesla
in a few years, but the process of building out EV factories is expensive, lengthy, and subject to the capacity of the supply chain itself. 
GM’s two highly-anticipated new electric releases, the GMC Hummer pickup truck and Cadillac Lyriq SUV, have both faced significant delays. While waitlists stretch into the tens of thousands, the company has reportedly been making them at a pace of less than a dozen per day. 

Automakers are in a race to get batteries

Since the advent of the modern electric car, the expense of battery production has been the biggest hurdle towards making EVs affordable and accessible for all, and shortages mean that it’s not going to get easier any time soon. 
Tesla’s headstart didn’t just give the company an advantage in scale, either. Having a decade headstart on EV production has also given Tesla more time to focus on things like supply chain development, factory partnerships, and vertical integration. Tesla even operates a battery factory with Panasonic Holdings Corp.
Still, even Tesla isn’t focused on making an affordable EV. According to CEO Elon Musk himself, Tesla has raised its prices and has “no imminent plans” to work on a previously hinted-at $25,000 car. 
Shopping for an EV right now can be tough, and buyers need to save money anywhere they can. Sign up with the
Jerry
app to find out if you’re getting the best possible deal on your car insurance plan. 
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