May 26, 2024

A photo of cars being stored at a site in Germany.

Photo: Alexandra Beier (Getty Images)

We’ve all heard the stories recently about electric vehicles sales falling short of expectations. Companies like Tesla have seen sales slow in recent years and automakers such as Ford have even slowed production of their own electric models. Now, we’re seeing what’s happening to the unsold cars that are out in the world already: they’re piling up at ports.

Across shipping hubs in Europe, unsold electric cars are filling storage spaces, with some automakers even looking to rent extra warehousing space to keep their shiny new cars shiny and new, reports Automotive News. As the site explains:

Several automakers have leased large areas in the ports for vehicle imports that so far have no customers for the cars. Logistics companies are also renting additional parking spaces outside the ports.

“This situation currently affects all European ports where large quantities of vehicles arrive,” Gert Ickx, spokesman for the administration of the Belgian ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.

The issue has been exacerbated by the rise in exports of Chinese electric vehicles, which are sitting in shipping hubs unsold while people argue over whether or not they pose a national security threat.

The Chinese EVs being imported into places like Europe have also been hampered by reduction in subsidies for electric car sales. Automotive News reports that a cut in EV subsidies in Germany has hit sales, leaving many cars stuck on docks with nobody to buy them.

Movement of vehicles around global shipping hubs is also being impacted by a shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers, with fewer on hand to drive the cars out of ports and onto their next destinations.

A version of this article appeared on Jalopnik’s The Morning Shift.

Read more: Elon Musk’s Tesla is having a brutal 2024. Here’s how it went wrong

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