Ford F-150 Lightning.

The announced parade of new, pure battery-electric vehicles coming to market in 2022 is long and impressive, from Rivian’s R1S SUV to the way-cool Kia EV6, Ford’s F-150 Lightning, Cadillac’s Lyriq, and perhaps even the Fisker Ocean, not to mention the Lexus RZ 450e


and the intriguing apology for short-sightedness called the Toyota BZ4X.

That’s just a partial list, too. Just consider the variety of planned EV models from a wide range of automakers – Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Rivian, Lucid, BMW, Daimler, Hyundai, Nissan…

With so much happening in the EV space, it’s startling that Tesla, the world’s most valuable car company, appears to be falling behind. The highly anticipated Cybertruck, various reports note, will be delayed to 2023.

No worries, though. If you want an electric pickup you’re not limited to the Lightning. General Motors has a Hummer pickup coming. Then later look for a Hummer EV SUV. A Silverado EV pickup, just unveiled, is promised for 2024, too. There’s also Rivian’s R1T pickup.

Fisker Ocean

Beyond 2022, pickup-mad North America will have all sorts of other new EVs to choose from in the next 12-18 months, too. Car and Driver lists the GMC Sierra EV among them, along with a Toyota Tacoma EV; the Lordstown Endurance; and the Canoo Pickup Truck. Surely a few others will pop up before too long.

None of the latest EVs will be cheap, though. Every one will sticker with a price that would look at home on an entry-level luxury car with a gas engine, or higher. Kia might squeeze in below $55,000 for the EV6, and the same could hold true for the

Nissan Ariya.

Nissan Ariya. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Toyota shock the market with an extremely affordable BZ4X, either. On the whole, though, EVs will remain expensive, though subsidized. Note, too, that for every EV that qualifies for subsidies in Canada, there will also be many more like BMW’s hideous iX xDrive50 which will surely top $100,000.

However, EVs should get a boost from surging oil prices, which are then reflected at the gas pump.  Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude oil prices to hit US$100 a barrel in the second half of this year. Low inventories, stretched capacity, a lack of investment in oil exploration and development, and supply chain disruptions all will play a role is driving up the price of fuel.

Adding to consumer worries is this: Consumer Reports noted in a recent study that electric SUVs are the least reliable type of vehicle for sale today.

CR noted that SUV EVs are plagued by problems in all manner of areas: “in-car electronics, noises and leaks, power equipment, climate system, body hardware, drive system, and paint and trim.”

Examples? You want examples of the headaches EV owners are suffering?

Blank display screens in Audi’s E-Tron, for one, not to mention that same model’s troubles with

Audi e-tron

exterior door lights. The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV was plagued by “electrical failure, drive unit replacement, and other faulty components.” Tesla, of course, had cars with failing temperature sensors, loose trim, mismatched paint.

I suspect the honeymoon is well and done with EV buyers. The early adopters who have tolerated the long-running problems with Tesla and so on have all done their adopting and their swaggering. The current and emerging pool of EV consumers seems unwilling to trade reliability for the thrill of having a new battery electric vehicle to flaunt around the country club.

2022 Kia EV6

And that’s if all the hype and all the promises are backed up by actual on-time deliveries. This looks like perhaps the most profound problem facing EV makers in 2022. In fact, there is a very

2022 Chevrolet Bolt

good chance of consumer backlash, as automakers struggle to fill orders.

A cautionary tale here is the state of NFI Group Inc. (New Flier Industries). As Gordon Pape notes in The Globe and Mail, the Winnipeg-based producer of buses and transit vehicles has tremendous expertise in zero-emission and sustainable drive systems and an order backlog of 8,103 units worth more than $4 billion.

NFI’s problem isn’t demand; it’s supply. NFI can’t get enough of the computer chips and other components it needs to keep up with customers anxious to go green. As a result, notes Pape, the company is “struggling and investors are fleeing.”


The problem in a nutshell:

“Our quarterly results were impacted by global supply chain and logistics challenges that combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to create significant bottlenecks and disruptions to our operations,” Paul Soubry, chief executive officer of NFI, said in the earnings news release.

In response, NFI has cut production and is idling facilities.

Here’s my point: NFI is well established in the sustainable vehicle marketplace. Many of the companies bringing new EVs to market are not, even if they have a long history of producing traditional

Rivian R1T (top) and R1S (bottom).

internal combustion engine vehicles – the legacy automakers like GM and Ford now transitioning to the EV future. Regardless, the perhaps the greatest challenge for all these automakers promising all these fancy EVs is to get the bits and pieces required to build them. They most certainly do not have the history and experience with the EV supply chain that NFI has.

Lexus RZ 450e

If I were a betting man, I’d wager many automakers will disappoint customers with long delivery delays and the inability to service what they sell because replacement parts simply are not on hand, and won’t be for months and months.

A classic case of over-promising and under-delivering? All the making are there. Let’s watch this unfold.


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