By Alice Seeley
With gas prices at a record high, more consumers than ever are interested in buying an electric vehicle to save money. Potential buyers of electric vehicles are being placed on waiting lists that can last for weeks or months as demand and supply shortages drive prices higher and higher.
Global supply chain issues with computer chip and semiconductor shortages are making it hard to fulfill electric vehicle orders, according to Maxwell Vehicles CEO Max Pfeiffer. The average gas-fueled vehicle requires 100 semiconductors, whereas the average electric vehicle has more than 1,000.
While the demand for electric vehicles has increased 150% since pre-COVID, the “supply chain’s running at 50-75% of what it was pre-COVID,” Pfeiffer stated. He does not believe the supply chain issues will resolve themselves soon and “it’s going to keep getting worse.”
Environmental Economist at New College of Florida, Mark Paul, echoed Pfeiffer’s.
“We don’t have enough batteries and auto manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for electric vehicles today,” said Paul.
In addition to computer chip shortages, electric vehicle manufacturers are struggling to secure precious metals and other raw materials that go into electric vehicles batteries.
Elements like lithium, cobalt, and nickel are necessary for producing electric vehicles. With the Russian invasion, these materials became difficult to obtain. Russia and Ukraine are both major suppliers or dealers of these precious metals. Audi CEO, Markus Duesmann, predicted that “raw materials are going to be an issue for years to come.”
American sales of electric vehicles may only be around 15 million this year, 2 million less than average, said Warren Browne, an automotive veteran who owns his own supplier consultancy.
“The chip shortage overwhelms everything,” he stated.