Demand for EVs is significantly outstripping supply, and customers of automakers in the US market have had to wait more than a year for EVs to be ordered. A whole range of problems prevent the increase in production volumes in a short time – from the shortage of semiconductor components to the lack of materials for the production of traction batteries. However, in July, five of the six most popular cars on the US market were electric or plug-in hybrids.
This publication reports The Wall Street Journal with reference to Edmund’s statistics. However, the concept of popularity from this source can mislead an unprepared buyer. In fact, we are talking about the speed of sale of available vehicles. As of July this year, the average electric car in the US found its owner in 19 days, four days less than an internal combustion engine car. In July last year, it took an average of 47 days for an electric car to find a buyer in the US, so the difference is significant.
Electric vehicles now make up 6% of the main US light vehicle market and have tripled in the last two years as demand for vehicles with other types of propulsion fell. At the same time, GM has difficulties in obtaining traction batteries in sufficient quantities, which is why so far it assembles no more than 12 electric SUVs Hummer EV1 and crossover Cadillac Lyriq per day, although the number of pre-orders is already in the tens of thousands of copies. A recently opened joint venture with LE Energy Solution should solve the supply problem of GM’s traction batteries for electric vehicles, but it won’t happen immediately.
So far, Tesla has an advantage in the U.S. electric vehicle market, with its products accounting for up to 70% of sales in the first half of the year. Attempts by other manufacturers to get closer to the leader encounter problems with the availability of both electronic components and traction batteries. Rivian, for example, was forced to cut its forecast for the number of electric vehicles planned for production. Lucid has had to do this twice a year and now expects to produce no more than 7,000 cars by the end of 2022. Ford Motor management believes that the entire industry now has only half the materials needed to produce traction batteries in sufficient quantities. For this reason, enormous resources are invested in localizing the production of lithium batteries in the main sales markets and battery manufacturers are happy to participate in joint projects.
Despite all this, electric vehicles are still a luxury. In the same US, buyers paid an average of $66,000 for an electric car in July, up 28% from the same month last year. The average cost of a car with an internal combustion engine during this period increased by only 12% to $ 45,000.According to American dealers, consumer interest in the recently presented Toyota bZ4X crossover is very high, but buying it is problematic, especially considering the recall that has so far prompted car owners to turn over car dealerships and wait for a possible solution to the problem of wheels falling off on the road.