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Supply Challenges Leading to Electric Vehicle Sales Fall in Dealerships

Canada, like other countries, has been faced with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Though the country’s automobile industry has not been spared the consequences, the lack of proper supply has brought about the low sales in electric vehicles.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the sale of both electric vehicles and petroleum fuelled vehicles has been going down. The dealerships were forced to close down and lock down their businesses to be able to curb the spreading of the virus, and this consequently affected the sales. 

With the resumption of the economy and businesses starting to reopen, buyers slowly trickle back to the dealer shops and showrooms. However, it is still proving difficult to access electric vehicles apart from the districts of Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario.

 Jeff Turner gave a statement, a senior research lead at Dunsky, indicated that even before the pandemic hit, it was challenging to find electric cars being stocked in Canadian car dealerships. The main contributors to this scenario include the shortage in batteries used to power these vehicles and the manufacturers opting to export their cars to China and Europe and neglect Northern America. 

A survey carried out indicated a significant discrepancy in the distribution of electric vehicles in Canadian dealerships where there were 3,453 available in February, a 21% drop from those in December. Even the provinces’ distribution indicated a vast difference with Quebec leading with 1,944, followed by B.C with 692, and the one with the lowest number was Prince Edward with just 4. 

This big huge difference can be credited to the different ways financial incentives are given in the various provinces. These incentives have been put in place to boost electric vehicle sales by increasing the customer’s interest.  Though the difference in the motivations, the dealers not being willing to include the electric vehicles in their inventory has also been a challenge to their sale. The dealers are reluctant due to the increased expenditure brought about by the need to educate the consumers, construct the required structures like charging terminals, and the possible loss of potential income from service and repairs. 

According to Turner, electric vehicle manufacturers turn their inventory to the provinces required by the law to attain a certain minimum number in sales of electric vehicles, which leaves other regions with less or no cars in the dealerships.

Toyotas Canadian vice-president, Stephen Beatty, explained that it has been challenging for manufacturers to predict the dynamics of the market due to the pandemic, which led to the disruption of supply chains when the dealerships closed down.

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