For Canadian consumers hoping to make the switch from a gas to an electric vehicle, prepare to wait.
Industry experts say supply chain struggles resulting from the lack of semiconductor chips, part shortages and factory shutdowns experienced last year due to the pandemic will continue well into 2022.
“I think anybody that’s shopping for a vehicle that’s in high demand is going to have to wait and it’s the same for battery electric vehicles.
If you think of battery electric vehicles, they make less of them. If there is demand for them, the wait time is even longer,” said Motormouth Youtube Channel’s Zack Spencer.
Adding to wait times – getting through the backlog of vehicles already ordered by consumers.
“The semiconductor issue is going to be with us for the rest of the year because you have to remember they have to build all the cars that have already been ordered and then they have to fill rental fleets and all of these other things. So, there’s a massive backlog and pent-up demand,” Spencer said.
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While there are some EV models available, Spencer says the popular vehicles will be harder to find.
“For Tesla, it’s about three to four months to get one. There are certainly winners and losers in the EV space. There are going to be some vehicles like a MINI electric you might be able to get one of those. You might be able to get the new Chevrolet Bolt when it goes back into production next month. The Nissan Leaf, vehicles like that,” Spencer added.
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“The popular ones, the ones everyone wants — those are going to be harder to get.”
Penticton, B.C. resident Greg Morris has been waiting for his electric vehicle.
Despite putting two deposits on two separate EVs, he’s been told he’ll have to wait six months to a year for his new vehicle.
“Buying a new car is an exciting thing and you want that to happen as soon as you can. It’s hard to stay excited,” Morris told Consumer Matters.
Morris placed deposits down for the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Kia EV6.
“I didn’t get a choice as to the colour. I just gave them my money and said I’ll take the first one that shows up,” he said.
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A recent survey for Transport Canada by Dunsky which looks at vehicle inventory across the country found a majority of dealerships in Canada still have no zero-emission vehicles in stock.
It also discovered inventories tended to be focused in Quebec, B.C. and to a lesser extent Ontario.
“I am concerned there are these wait times. I know that in B.C. we are actually better off than the rest of the country because of the zero-emission vehicle mandate the government put in place. Every car dealership has to sell a certain percentage of new cars,” executive director of Clean Energy Canada Merran Smith said.
“Canada needs to get our electric vehicle mandate in place. The federal government committed to that during the election and so we are hoping to see them move quickly on that in 2022 and that’s going to help the supply problem in Canada,” she added.
Ottawa has stated Canada is committed to mandating all new light-duty vehicles sold be zero-emission by 2035, with an interim sales target of at least 50 percent by 2030.
If you are in the market for an electric vehicle, Spencer recommends ordering the car you want and being prepared to compromise.
“The unfortunate thing is the consumer is not in the driver’s seat,” he said.
“You don’t get to make the choices. You basically have to take what’s given to you and if you don’t want it, someone else will buy it.”
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