Eager to own a new electric (EV) car? You may have to wait a while as manufacturers are dealing with heavy demand and a shortage of raw materials.
We take a look at these and other factors affecting the electric vehicle (EV) market.
2021 was the most successful year in history for drivers buying EVs. More than 190,000 battery electric vehicles joined Britain’s roads, more than in the previous 5 years combined.
Demand is growing for cleaner cars and hopefully waiting times are only an issue in the short term.
It's not just EVs with a long wait time, popular petrol and diesel cars are also suffering. A new Nissan Qashqai will take up to 13 weeks to reach their owner, a VW Golf will take up to 25 weeks and the Volvo XC40 up to a year.
Most EVs use lithium-ion batteries. The minerals needed for these can differ, but lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite and manganese are considered the key materials. All of these have to be mined, which can be an expensive and complicated part of the production process.
Coronavirus, Brexit, and other external factors have affected the supply chain, leading to long waiting times. There's also a shortage of lithium on the market, and when battery makers get their hands on it, they’re having to pay a high price. The cost of the metal has surged by almost 450% in the last year.
A shortage of semiconductors - with production of certain car parts impacted by the current geo-political crisis - has also added to delays for new EVs. Car manufacturers have faced semiconductor shortages since the beginning of the pandemic, and the lack of computer chips has restricted the production of tech-heavy EVs. Unsurprisingly, car manufacturers have had to slow down their output until things improve.
It may not be ideal but it could be worth the wait - 90% of EV owners say they won’t switch back to petrol or diesel now they've 'gone electric'. Nearly two thirds say they won’t go back because of environmental reasons, while 56% say they’ll stick with EVs because of their lower running costs.