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'Quite frustrating': B.C. man still waiting for EV ordered in 2020

Tom Hurtig and his wife Debbie have gotten used to practicing patience. In August 2020, he placed a deposit and put his name down for a Toyota RAV4 Prime Hybrid. As of today, there's no estimated time for its arrival.

“It’s been quite frustrating with Toyota to get an answer," Hurtig told CTV News.

The dealership, Open Road Toyota Richmond says the delay is due to extraordinarily high demand and low supply.

"We understand the wait can be frustrating to customers," said general manager Ryan Snel.

"There are currently more than 40 people ahead of Tom and Debbie who are also still waiting for this same car.”

CTV News reviewed text messages between Tom and a salesperson dating back to June 2021 that say otherwise.

"Hi Tom, just checked. Not so good news. Toyota Canada has cut allocation. Six people still ahead of you. Chances of getting one this year are slim," read the message.

Snel responded by telling CTV News that the salesperson was mistaken.

CTV News spoke to another dealership manager who says lengthy wait times, particularly for high-end EV's, continue to be the norm.

“We have clients that have already been waiting for a year or longer and some of those clients will still be waiting another three to six months or longer,” said Leon Cheliadin, general manager for Applewood Nissan.

He says he doesn't know when the supply chain issues will improve and that his inventory numbers indicate the lengthy wait times will continue for the foreseeable future.

“Challenges in metals, challenges in electronics, challenges in general distribution," said Cheliadin. "I think the containers coming overseas is a significantly lower number."

Dave Sandelands with the non-profit Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association says there are ways to cut the line.

“Because there is a wait and a shortage, dealers are marking cars up over the manufacturer's suggested retail price and people are having to pay higher prices if they want to circumvent that line because the odd person will cancel,” said Sandelands. "Rather than that car going to the next person in the lineup, the dealer may keep it, mark it up and then take whoever’s got the cash to give them that money or have a trade-in, and they go higher up on that list.”

Despite being offered a refund for his deposit, Hurtig says he has no plans on cancelling and is willing to wait it out. Top Stories

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