Roughly 25 to 30 new EVs are on the way in 2022.
Even more EVs are expected to launch in 2023.
The charging infrastructure is also growing.
2022 will see many new electric vehicles become available for purchase. Nearly all automakers including a handful of start-ups plan on introducing and selling new EVs next year. And although there are over two dozen on the way, most are not aimed at mass consumption. In other words, we’re not going to get a $30,000 (before incentives) EV next year.
Delays and limited options
One current and the ongoing phenomenon is demand far outstripping availability. Even if you signed up for a Ford F-150 Lightning or an Ioniq 5 with the hopes of taking delivery early in 2022, delivery delays have become the norm. If the parts supply complications, global chip shortage, battery issues, or the ongoing pandemic have something to say about when you’ll get your new EV, the safe bet is that it will be later than expected.
Another related bug beyond limited if non-existent inventories are and will be selection. Despite the coming of about 25 new EV models in 2022, the variety will still be narrow. For example, given the Mustang Mach-E’s success, Ford decided to put off an electric version of the Explorer for more than a year. This will enable Ford to focus on the Mach-E and not spread its limited resources even thinner. Based on Explorer vs. Edge sales, the 3-row has the potential of outselling the smaller Mach-E 2-to-1. But it won’t come until later in 2023.
We want EVs but not at any cost
Nearly all members of Motor Illustrated’s team are planning on purchasing an EV as our next new vehicle. A few of us are on reservations lists already but we’re all thinking the same thing: As all car companies are under massive pressure to design, engineer, and deliver new technology-packed EVs, inevitably, there will be numerous quality and reliability issues.
We already see glitches on a regular basis with our test vehicles. Most of them revolve around infotainment systems that do far more than display navigation directions and allow passengers to select audio preferences. Screens freezing, shutting off, refusing to respond to inputs, and/or requiring an infinite amount of time to load are far more common than they should be.
What’s more, error messages from driving aids that have either shut off or paused mid-operation (not necessarily because of weather conditions), engine malfunction lights, and other such warnings appear on a near regular basis as well.
It’s with this in mind that we’re worried about the short- and medium-term durability (and beyond) and reliability of the current early batch of EVs. Oh, and we know that Tesla’s been at it for more than a decade which is why we’re all the more concerned that problems, of varying degrees, are inevitable.
Battery technology snags are the more spectacular and devastating ones. We’ve published numerous stories about recalls, fires, and failures, and we don’t think we’re done yet. As the technology evolves from nickel-metal and lithium-ion to solid-state and even super- and ultra-capacitors, growing pains will surface once they are mass-produced. We’ve essentially just argued that new cars with ICE technology are still plagued with issues however problems with a $30,000 car are somewhat easier to swallow than with a $50,000 EV.
Therefore, we’d wait at least another year before buying an EV. We make the same recommendation every time the Hyundai Motor Group, for example, introduces an all-new model so this isn’t solely aimed at EVs.
So, is 2022 the year of the EV?
No, it won’t be. But it will be an important transitional year. As petrol and diesel costs continue to rise and EV prices lower slightly, and despite the limited offerings, consumers will, at the very least, hesitate longer before deciding. In a Volkswagen dealership, if there’s an ID.4 on hand, a buyer may mull it over before signing up for a Tiguan.
This scenario will be far more prevalent for premium brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi. These four brands alone could account for about 20% of all the new mainstream mass-produced EVs that will be for sale in North America in 2022. This is indicative of the fact that EVs will still be relatively expensive next year.
If 2022 isn’t the muddled mess that 2021 and 2020 have been, it is conceivable that 2023 will come to represent the opening of the EV floodgates. We’ve not met an EV we did not like so far, including the Mazda MX-30, which is five years too late, meaning that they all have their merits.
2022 might your year to buy an EV though.