BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — For a long time, the electric car had a tough go of it. But over time more and more consumers have started looking in that direction. Then the floodgates started to open — at least in terms of acceptance. But an actual increase in the number of electric cars on the road? Not so much.

The same supply chain issues that have slowed the delivery of innumerable consumer goods, and driven up prices, are also hitting vehicle sales. Car and truck inventories are down 60% from a year ago and 70% from 2020 according to Cox Automotive. Further deepening the problem: Ukraine is a big producer of car parts including electric vehicle wiring systems, and many have closed because of the war, forcing European car makers like Volkswagen-Audi to shut down assembly lines.

Bad news for anyone who wants to buy an EV. But those who’ve already purchased them are looking pretty smart now. Chase Howard recently bought a 12-year-old Nissan Leaf.

“I got this car back in January,” he said. “Gas prices, I want to say, were $4.25 a gallon. And then I got this car and now I’m noticing that gas — I passed by a gas station earlier today — it was like $6 already over here and then I’m noticing, like, in LA it’s $7, so it’s definitely going up.

Howard’s older Leaf has a 50-mile range, so it’s strictly an around-town car, but EV makers have solved that issue. 17 News Chief Weather Forecaster Kevin Charette says his 2021 Tesla Model 3 has a 350-mile range, the same distance that many gas-powered cars get on a full tank. Charette is a walking advertisement for EVs.

“I have several friends that thought I was crazy just to go all electric including some family members,” he said. “It’s funny because now the gas prices are going through the roof. They said, ‘Oh, man, did you foresee this?’ Not really. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to go electric, but other than that I like to go a little more green.”

But economic, geopolitical and other factors, like the pandemic, have conspired to make EVs a dream deferred for many. Fuel prices up, EV inventories down. When six bucks a gallon seems like a good deal, perhaps it’s time to start considering other options. It would help, though, if those options were actually available.