Surging demand for this year’s most hotly anticipated EVs is smashing order books and lengthening waitlists.
The $60,000 Cadillac Lyriq SUV is the latest model to close its 2023 order book. The automaker said it has shifted the Lyriq’s waitlist to the 2024 model, which is still open for orders.
But rising supply chain costs mean that customers of the Lyriq and other EVs may pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more for a vehicle that arrives months later than expected. That’s especially true for companies that have had to slash their 2022 production forecasts due to component shortages.
It’s a scenario playing out at companies from Tesla to Rivian to Ford. Longer-than-expected waitlists — and wait times due to the state of the automotive supply chain this year — has created a backlog of customers frustrated with the delays.
Reddit is rife with comments from disgruntled buyers whose estimated wait time has ballooned by months or been postponed several times.
Said one Rivian R1S customer, “I pre-ordered mine last October and my expected delivery date was first half of '23. And that was before Rivian drastically scaled back its expected production numbers by almost half due to supply chain constraints.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a warning on increasing prices and delivery times during the automaker’s first-quarter 2022 earnings call in April.
“It may seem like maybe we're being unreasonable about increasing the prices of our vehicles, given that we had record profitability this quarter,” Musk said. “But the waitlist for vehicles is quite long, and some of the vehicles that people will order the waitlist extends into next year.”
Demand for the Ford F-150 Lightning is so strong that Ford had to publicly address its resale policy, ultimately leaving the decision to the dealer. The automaker has already doubled its planned annual production run to 150,000 vehicles.
Meanwhile, fluctuating prices and availability of raw materials and other commodities is forcing some companies to make fewer vehicles than planned. Lucid cut its 2022 production outlook to 12,000 to 14,000 units, down from its original plan to build 20,000 vehicles. Rivian, too, may fall short of the 20,000 units it projected at the beginning of the year.