Volkswagen will not ship any new electric vehicles (EVs) to new customers in Europe and the United States for the rest of 2022, as it has no longer sold battery-powered models. VW blamed continued problems with supply chain bottlenecks that have hampered global trade.
VW, which includes brands such as Audi, Škoda and Porsche, has shipped more than 99,000 electric cars so far this year.
This is three times less than Tesla, the market leader, managed in the same period.
The German manufacturer is hit by a shortage of Ukrainian-made semiconductors and wiring harnesses.
Group chairman Herbert Diess told the FT: “We are pretty much sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and the US. And in China, it’s really accelerating.
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VW aims to sell a total of 700,000 electric vehicles for 2022 in a bid to catch up with Tesla, but production has been hampered in China, its biggest market, where Covid-19 lockdowns are ongoing.
Almost every automaker has had to stop or slow down production due to a lack of semiconductor chips.
Some have even resorted to removing features from their vehicles just to get them off the assembly line.
Electric cars also need a large quantity of batteries, the production of which is proving difficult due to the availability of lithium and nickel.
Meanwhile, drivers are being warned that some of the most popular electric cars on the market are attracting so much attention that they could be waiting until the end of 2023 to be delivered.
Demand for electric cars in the UK has increased in recent years, with one in five cars registered in February being fully electric.
Popular models like Tesla’s Model S or X have a wait time that could last until the end of 2023, while the Porsche Taycan has a wait time of between six and 18 months.
Ginny Buckley, Founder and CEO of Electrifying.comsaid a “perfect storm” was to blame for the delivery delays.
She said: “While the increase in demand for electric cars is good news, it has caused delays for many drivers who want to make the switch immediately, perhaps because their current lease is about to expire or because they want to cash in on the current boom in used car prices.
“Cars like the VW ID.3 that were available for free 12 months ago now have waiting times of over a year.
“This is due to a perfect storm of increased demand coupled with a shortage of vital components caused by world events.”
Elon Musk announced earlier this week that Tesla delivered a record number of cars in the first quarter, despite numerous supply chain issues.