What if EV demand outstrips supply?
Electric vehicles are on the rise but many OEMs cannot keep up with rising demand. Below, we listed some models that cannot keep up the pace, while others are readily available. What you can do to bridge the gap when going electric?
Hyundai Kona Electric
One of the EVs whose production cannot keep up with demand is the Hyundai Kona Electric. In the USA, the 'e-Kona' was supposed to be available from the beginning of 2019 in California and in ZEV-focused states, however Hyundai already admitted that it could not fulfil orders in non-ZEV states due to the high demand elsewhere. In Europe the popularity of the Kona outstrips its supply as well, especially in Norway and the Netherlands.
The same issues are seen with the Kia e-Niro, where demand exceeds production capacity as well. Just a month after the start of sales, the 900 available units for the UK were sold out and now the scarcity is manifesting itself everywhere. Delivery times for new orders could even extend to more than a year instead of the initially announced 6 months. Even orders already placed could be delayed. However, Kia already announced that both its battery suppliers are looking to increase production capacity two-fold by the end of 2019, with a further third added by the end of 2020.
E-Golf sales were up 60% globally, but without any production bottlenecks, VW could have sold many more. To meet increasing demand, Volkswagen already ramped up production in March 2018, gradually doubling production capacity (from 35 cars a day up to 70), or 2,100 cars a month from the previous 1,050. Since battery supply is crucial and often the weak link in the entire EV supply chain, the announced production increase was planned together with the start of operations at the Hungarian EV battery plant of Samsung SDI. In the US, however, the sales of the Volkswagen e-Golf decreased due to shrinking supply.
Tesla Model 3
After a tough start in the US with delayed production due to various reasons, from battery bottlenecks to software issues, the Tesla Model 3 is finally becoming a common sight on North American roads. At the end of 2018 Tesla cranked up the output in the run up of the EV tax incentive phase out in 2019.
Since the beginning of this month, European customers can drive around in a Model 3 as well. Norway is still experiencing delays, though. In case you wonder: no, the entry-level $30,000 model is still not available.
An EV that has no issues whatsoever to keep up with demand is the Nissan Leaf. However, the next step in production could be challenging, considering the recently unveiled long-range Nissan Leaf e+ 3 Zero Limited Edition. Since its presentation about a month ago, there are already more than 3,000 pre-orders in Europe alone. This is about two-thirds of the planned 5,000 units that are expected to be delivered in the summer of 2019.
Here again, it should be said that almost half of them are reserved for Norwegian customers. Despite the high number of pre-orders, Nissan is convinced it will deliver on time again.
Bridging the gap
The gap between supply and demand is a market-wide problem which might undermine the predicted rise of the EV. In most cases a shortage in the battery supply chain is seen as the primary bottleneck, causing demand to outstrip supply by far.
While many OEMs are indeed addressing the battery supply chain to increase EV production and deliver the EVs on time in the future, you don’t have to put your plans to electrify your fleet on hold.
Besides choosing a EV model that can be delivered on time you can also opt for pre-leasing a vehicle while you wait for your preferred EV to be delivered. Moreover, you can try to electrify your fleet via your leasing company, who often has special agreements with OEMs in order to get priority delivery of certain models.