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NewsThe Electric Vehicle Rush: Why It’s Best to Wait It Out

The Electric Vehicle Rush: Why It’s Best to Wait It Out


After driving a few dozen electric vehicles over the last four years, some more than once, it’s become increasingly clear that “new” models launched only two years ago are already outdated, outpaced, and are outperformed by the latest arrivals.

2024 BMW i4 xDrive40 | Photo: BMW

The following is an opinion piece based on hundreds of hours with and thousands of km behind the wheel of EVs costing between $40,000 and over $250,000. I’ll admit that I’m generalizing quite a bit, but the story would turn into a 4-hour read time if it included notes on all makes and models.

What’s interesting is that the EV rush is history repeating itself. Look, in the realm of technology, it is often those who wait patiently who reap the greatest rewards. The personal computer, smartphone, and now the electric vehicle (EV) all seem to follow this same pattern. As the rush towards a sustainable future intensifies, consumers are increasingly attracted to the allure of owning an EV. However, while the thought of making a swift switch to electric may be enticing, purchasing a 2023 model might not be the wisest move. Here’s why holding out until at least 2026-2027 could prove beneficial.


Pace of Technological Evolution

Nissan Leaf Photo: Nissan
Nissan Leaf Photo: Nissan

The rate at which EV technology is evolving is simply dizzying. It’s akin to the early days of the smartphone, where every new model released offered significant upgrades over its predecessor. By 2027, a 2023 EV is likely to be substantially outperformed by newer models, offering less range and more upkeep.

Think about it – the technology that defines the EV market, from battery capacity to charging infrastructure, is still in its infancy. The same applies to onboard infotainment systems, giant touchscreens, and all the functionalities that they manage. In my experience, one in two EVs I’ve driven experienced faults or somehow failed to operate as desired. This reminds me of the E65 BMW 7 Series which was the first to use iDrive – an absolute catastrophe as it froze, glitched, and crashed repeatedly during my time with a new 745i back in 2001.

Continuous breakthroughs in these areas (batteries, electric motors, onboard charging, etc.) are expected to significantly increase range and performance, reduce charging time, and even lower the price point. An EV purchased in 2023 will fall short in comparison, and its resale value will plummet as a consequence.


Increased Breakdowns and Downtime

The reliability of the current generation of EVs is also in question. As is often the case with any nascent technology, initial iterations are prone to teething problems. Since the systems and technologies onboard EVs are relatively new, they may be more susceptible to breakdowns and require more downtime for repairs.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV | Photo: Chevrolet

This problem extends beyond just the battery and drivetrain. Reports of battery fires, inability to recharge, or EVs simply bricking themselves are very common. The software that powers the EV’s various systems is also rapidly evolving, meaning the software in a 2023 EV may be outdated within a few short years, and this despite over-the-air updates (think smartphones), leading to further reliability issues. While manufacturers are working hard to overcome these challenges, it’s likely to take a few more years to iron out all the wrinkles.

Let’s not overlook the fact that all automakers are fast-tracking EV development. Most of them are currently limited to only one perhaps two models that share all-new technologies meaning that economies of scale are impossible for the moment. Cost-cutting measures, however, seemingly insignificant, are inevitable and will impact mid- and long-term reliability and performance.


Depreciation Due to Increased Production and Offerings

Tesla Supercharger | Photo: Tesla

As more automakers ramp up their EV production, the market will all but become flooded with various models and options. This is bound to increase competition and potentially lower prices, making the high initial cost of an EV in 2023 a far less acceptable investment – If anything, the same dollar will deliver far more of everything. This oversupply will undoubtedly lead to depreciation, resulting in all previous model-year EVs losing considerable value in just a few short years.

While the transition to electric vehicles is inevitable, patience, I believe, is key. Keeping your reliable petrol-powered vehicle until 2026 or 2027 (I use these years as the average lease in Canada hovers around 40 months) would allow you to avoid the early adopter pitfalls of high depreciation, low reliability, and rapid technological obsolescence.

2022 Volkswagen ID4 | Photo: Olivier Delorme

With the pace of change in the EV market, it is safe to assume that by 2027, electric vehicles will offer far more value for money, better performance, and reliability than their 2023 counterparts. Now, I the price of a litre of petrol once more reaches $2 and beyond, many might be willing to live with these “issues.” If so, current EVs are still, generally speaking, revolutionary.

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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