Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, says that the company is “basically sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and in the United States” for the year, according to a report from the Financial Times. This means that anyone hoping to get an EV from VW, Audi, or any of the group’s other brands may have to wait until 2023, as the company tries to navigate the chip shortage and production issues from COVID shutdowns in China.
According to the report, VW expects its backlog of orders to keep growing. It currently has plenty of people on the list waiting to get an EV and expects to add more throughout the year. But supply chain issues will make those difficult to fill. Almost every automaker has had to halt or slow down production thanks to a lack of chips. Some have even resorted to stripping out features from their vehicles just to get them off the assembly line. Electric cars also need a large quantity of batteries, which can be challenging to make in the best of times.
According to the Financial Times, VW sold just under 100,000 electric cars in Q1 2022. Tesla, according to its latest earnings, sold around 310,000 in the same time period.
VW isn’t exactly unique in its difficulties keeping up with the demand for EVs. Ford’s website for the F-150 Lightning says that “the current model year is no longer available for retail order” and it stopped taking reservations for the electric truck in December. That’s a slightly different scale though; VW’s reportedly completely out of EVs, whereas I could go to a dealership and buy a Ford Mustang Mach-E, the automaker’s other consumer-focused EV.
When Diess spoke to The Verge earlier this year, he said that the company is trying to grow its presence in America. In his Decoder interview, he said that he expected the company’s growth in the States to “mostly come from EVs,” though he did admit the company would likely see supply constraints throughout 2022.