Custom Order Your Perfect Electric Car
Traditionally, car dealerships have all kinds of deals and incentives available to customers in the winter. The months between November and March tend to be a slower time in the business, when customers are distracted with things like the holidays – or would just prefer to wait until better weather before shopping for a new vehicle. Keen shoppers, then, know that they’ll pay the least for a car during these months. At least, under normal circumstances.
The last couple of years, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and related supply-chain issues, mean that the car market is far from normal right now. At the beginning of the pandemic, car manufacturers shut down their production lines, cancelling orders for parts and supplies – including microchips and semiconductors which are predominantly sourced from the Far East. When production restarted on automotive production lines, the manufacturers of those semiconductors, who themselves had reduced capacity and workforce, had pivoted their businesses to prioritize the booming consumer-electronics industry. More people working from home meant people needed better computers, better screens, and better mobile devices – using many of the same chips used in the lower-margin automotive industry.
Car companies want to make more cars, and more electric vehicles, but they can’t always get all of the chips they need to make those cars. Which means that, right now, instead of there being a glut of unsold vehicles on dealers’ lots with deep discounts, there are empty parking spaces – and a feeding frenzy for every vehicle that does become available. Vehicles that arrive are selling for full MSRP or even more.
While this isn’t good news if you’re in the market for an electric vehicle right now, it’s fantastic news if you have been considering an EV, and have the time and patience to wait a few months. Because, while you may not be getting your EV at a discount, by placing an order now, you can have some fun and specify exactly the vehicle you want – from the paint color to the choice of wheels, interior trim, and specific options – something you’d rarely have had the opportunity to do in the past.
How To Make Your EV Dreams Reality
Your journey towards building your dream EV no longer needs to start in a dealership – it can be done from the comfort of your home. Spend some time on our GreenCars Buyer's Guide to narrow down which EVs most interest you, based on its electric range, performance, or features.
Then visit the vehicle manufacturer’s website, where you can use a configurator tool to investigate the various trim levels, options, colors, and interior choices available. Most manufacturers allow you to build a car in “real time,” with 3-D images of the vehicle updating as you choose different options and packages. The more time you spend, the more specific your dream can become, right down to the accessories you want fitted by the dealer before the car is delivered.
Most manufacturers will also, at the end of the configuration process, allow you to understand what your monthly or weekly payments might look like if you choose to lease or finance the vehicle instead of purchasing it outright. This will let you adjust your options and spec to suit your budget. Watch GreenCars for ongoing advice on how to spec and factory-order a new vehicle; we feature a new EV configuration at least once a month, with expert input from dealership staff.
Add EV Charging Upgrades
Since you are choosing to go electric, make sure you pay particular attention to any battery or charging upgrades available for the vehicle you are considering. Many vehicles offer a range of different battery sizes, and while even the smallest battery will likely be more than enough to cover the needs of your daily commute, choosing the biggest battery will likely improve your vehicle’s resale value. Charging upgrades, such as a built-in 19.2-kW AC charger, should also be ordered if available – they improve convenience, and also “future proof” your EV for improved technology down the road.
Some manufacturer websites will also allow you to option an additional level 2 home charger (on top of the one in a bag that typically comes with the car), as well as assistance in finding a certified electrician to install your home charger. If not, GreenCars has you covered: you can look up home chargers here, and even search for an EVSE-certified installer.
How to Get Your Electric Car Ordered
Once you have built your dream car on the manufacturer website, you will have the ability to save your configuration on the website and generate a code you can bring to a dealer to complete your order. Most manufacturers will let you use their website to send the code directly to a dealer in your local area, to save you even more time.
You will need to complete the vehicle order with a dealer, who, by working with the manufacturer, can actually secure a built slot and date for your vehicle, and then provide you with an accurate timeline on when it will be delivered. The dealer can then give you periodic updates, and contact you when the car has arrived to arrange delivery.
While the wait may be a little longer than you’re used to when purchasing a car – and while you won’t be getting a juicy discount – the wait, and the reward will be sweet. When your factory ordered car does arrive, it will be exactly the car that you want – and the result of your dreams made into metal, rubber, plastic, and leather reality.