Electric Cars Still Tied to Supply Chain Problems

Electric Cars

The next time you come back to it, try to recall what you saw in a crowded parking lot two years ago. Naturally, things have progressed since then. Today, there are a lot more electric cars on the road, and they aren’t just Teslas anymore.

“It’s not your eyes tricking you,” Matt Degen, an editor at Cox Automotive, a business that controls several firms and websites devoted to the automobile industry, stated.

“For the longest time, the majority of the EVs on the road were Teslas, and they still get the lion’s share of sales, but they’re now hardly the only game in town.”

Five point six percent of all new cars sold in 2017 were electric, according to Kelley Blue Book. Even though it might not seem like much, in 2019 that percentage was only 14%.

Similar trends have been observed in other economies, including China and across Europe, according to BloombergNEF statistics. Bloomberg classifies its plug-in hybrids as “electric vehicles,” but purely battery-powered models make up the vast majority.

Why EV sales begin to surge at about a 5 percent level is unknown. It might represent the moment when something starts to feel normal.

According to Cox Automotive, Hyundai’s overall U.S. market share is comparable to that of electric vehicles, so buying a Hyundai doesn’t seem strange or unusual.

Electric Cars Supply and Demand

Similar patterns are appearing with regard to electric cars, making it more appealing to buy one.

It just makes it easier for consumers to buy EVs now.

“I think now the demand is definitely there,” Cantor said. “It’s just been more a supply-side problem of automakers not being able to ship enough.”

The international auto industry has been having problems supplying parts, which has hampered the production of all different kinds of automobiles. Some electric models, however, have also proven to be more popular than their creators had anticipated.

The first EV to significantly slash Tesla’s still-dominant EV market share was the Mustang Mach E, released in 2021. However, Ford still needs help to produce enough to meet demand.

Each of the more than 150,000 Mach-Es that Ford has so far produced was specifically built for a customer request, according to Darren Palmer, vice president of Ford’s electric vehicle initiatives, and not just to fill dealer lots.

“We could sell it out at least two or three times over,” he added. “We have held back from launching more global markets because we’re completely sold out.”

Since then, Ford has also released the F-150 Lightning, an all-electric variation of the F-series pickup truck, the most popular car in America. 

While vehicles are being assembled inside, Ford is already enlarging the new Dearborn, Michigan factory where the Lightning is made by putting more concrete to stretch the floor area.

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Market Points

Kelley Blue Book claims 11 EVs sold over 1,000 units in 2019. This year it was 26.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 were released by Hyundai and Kia, two automakers that already had electric vehicles (EVs) on the market, albeit not very exciting ones. Rivian released the R1S SUV and R1T truck.

And after the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV were back on the market after a battery fire recall, General Motors experienced a tremendous surge in sales. EVs have also been introduced on the market by upscale manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Genesis, and Volvo.

“There’s different segments, there’s different price levels,” Degen stated. “It’s not just having to spend $50,000 or $100,000 on an EV anymore.”

According to Tony Quiroga, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver, less-priced electric vehicles are also improving with greater driving ranges and quicker charging. For example, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 won this year’s Electric Vehicle of the Year award from Car and Driver at a starting price of about $41,000.

“It’ll go from 10% to 80% on a fast charger in 18 minutes,” Quiroga stated, “which is something that only the luxury brands were doing.”

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Inflation Reduction Act Impact

Although there is some uncertainty, EV sales could continue to grow if more electric vehicles hit the market next year and the production issues that have hampered overall car production this year are resolved.

Consider the cost of gasoline. According to Jessica Caldwell, an industry analyst with Edmunds.com, the increase in gas prices earlier this year “drove people to become aware of the [electric] vehicles even if they weren’t thinking about them before.”

However, petrol costs have also dropped dramatically in recent months, which might make some drivers feel less compelled to switch to electric vehicles in 2023.

The Inflation Reduction Act’s effects are likewise still unknown. The legislation passed this year modifies the criteria for which electric vehicles qualify for consumer tax credits.

There are restrictions on the vehicle’s cost and the buyer’s income, as well as demands meant to encourage domestic manufacturing of electric cars and their batteries.

BloombergNEF’s Cantor said the critical question is not just how many EV models will be eligible but also which ones.

“So, if a Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt, and the Tesla Model Y, and a Ford Mach-E and an F-150 Lightning all qualify, those are high volume vehicles,” he stated.

Incentives might considerably increase EV sales, given their popularity and current high sales levels.

Photo: Parkers

Opinions expressed by Famous Times contributors are their own.