CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In many aspects of life, everyone is still experiencing an unrelenting side effect of the pandemic: slowdowns and shortages.
Demand for new cars has skyrocketed, but the people buying them are left waiting weeks and even months to drive them off the lot. It’s partly because of a global shortage of microchips that are key to most makes and models.
Many people eager to shift their brand-new cars into drive are being forced to slam on the brakes.
“It’s like waking up Christmas morning and seeing no gifts under the tree because it’s complete disappointment,” Lucky Daniels said.
He and his wife ordered their Tesla Model Y on March 11 and were told they could expect to have it in May. They sold one of their cars and had the necessary charger installed in their garage.
But then, the delivery date changed -- four times.
“Since the date changes, we can’t make other plans,” Daniels said. “We have to trade a car, or we have to sell our current car, we have to get a pre-approved loan. Those things are impacted by the changing date.”
Daniels said they haven’t been given an explanation as to why the date keeps changing. Their second car was totaled in an accident, and they only have a rental car covered by insurance for a limited time. They’re hoping the Tesla will be ready by then.
They’re not alone on this ride. Many car manufacturers are pushing delivery dates further down the road as they navigate production delays.
“Because of chip shortage, because of battery constraints, because of transport bottlenecks, all of that added together there’s quite a wait for EVs and it’s not unique to the EV world, popular gasoline models are having the same issues,” Bill Bortzfield, the creator of EVRider.TV said.
Bortzfield also waited nearly a year for his electric vehicle.
According to Kelley Blue Book, manufacturers built 2 million fewer cars in 2021 than before the pandemic in 2019. Experts say people who think they’ll want a car a year from now should start looking now.
Otherwise, they warn it may take some time.
“I think you just have to be patient," Daniels said. "I think there is really nothing else you can do."
Bortzfield thinks it could be a year before the microchip shortage is remedied and more factories are up and running.