Looking to Buy an Electric Car in NJ? You Might Have to Wait
The cost of gasoline has come down a few cents this week, but prices at the pump are still near record highs across New Jersey.
Not surprisingly that has prompted an increased interest in electric vehicles in many locations.
Ed Barlow of Barlow Chevrolet in Delran Township said more people are checking out electric vehicles at his dealership.
“They’re pretty excited especially in the current environment, learning about ways to get a more fuel-efficient vehicle,” he said.
He pointed out “they’re excited to drive the vehicles, they’ve done a lot of research online, they’re kind of excited to see the technology in the vehicles.”
But there’s a problem
Jim Appleton, the president of the New Jersey Coalition of Auto Retailers said the interest in EVs was already growing before gas prices started spiking, and more people have been going into showrooms to check them out now but “the supply chain problems and inventory shortages that are plaguing the auto industry right now are also constraining inventory and the availability of electric vehicles.”
He said if you find an EV you like and place an order for one but “it may take several weeks or even months to see that order filled, there just isn’t a lot of inventory out there right now.”
More than chips
Appleton said you’ve probably heard about the worldwide chip shortage, but many other components are in short supply right now and it’s important to remember “cars aren’t manufactured anymore, they’re assembled from parts that are manufactured all over the globe.”
He explained because of COVID “the component parts that are used to build cars, the manufacturing of those parts has been disrupted.”
He said some automobile makers have actually started shipping cars to dealers with chips that are missing.
“This is for non-essential items in the vehicle, and dealers are actually delivering those vehicles with the promise to the customer that the chip will be installed when available,” he said.
The war in Ukraine is another issue
Appleton said there are growing problems getting a number of component parts from Eastern Europe because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Appleton pointed out electric vehicles are still $10,000 to $12,000 more expensive than a comparably equipped all-gas vehicle, but federal and state tax credits and incentives make up a lot of that cost differential.
Dealers represented by NJ CAR offer 40 different vehicle models with a plug. About four years from now, they expect it will be 140 models with a plug.