An EV mystery
Alan's father and brother, plumbing and heating contractors in New York City, were having the hardest time finding new work vans. So they opted for the only kind available: an EV.
Why it matters: The wait time to buy a traditional Ford Transit cargo van is weeks or even longer, New York-area Ford dealers tell Alan. But handfuls of the electric version, the E-Transit, are available to anyone who walks in.
Backstory: Alan's brother and their father spent afternoons literally driving through dealers' parking lots — Chevy, Ford, Mercedes — to spot new cargo vans.
- “What they have online is not what they have on the lot. And we'd try to call them, but it's miserable," Alan's brother says.
- Each internal-combustion van they spotted was spoken for. But one vehicle that was consistently available at multiple dealers: the Ford E-Transit.
What's happening: Supply chain disruptions, and demand for e-commerce, have made cargo vans scarce.
- "Regular transit vans will be a long time," one dealer in New Jersey tells Alan.
- But not E-Transits — at least for now. "We have four," the dealer says.
The intrigue: From Ford's own data, finding an E-Transit would seem difficult.
- The company in January reported more than 10,000 orders for the E-Transit, and two months later had recorded sales of just 528 of the vehicles. (Update: Ford on Friday provided updated sales figures for its E-Transit van: It’s sold 2,449 through May, up from 528 in March.)
Bottom line: The anecdotes could be mere anomaly. If nothing else, they're the latest reminder that national data can differ sharply from regional, day-to-day realities.
- With Ford aiming to move its EV sales entirely online, these discrepancies with dealers may be the very thing the automaker is hoping to eliminate.