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Why are electric cars so expensive? - Graham567
I cannot understand why an ordinary hatchback can cost £15,000 but the electric equivalent is £30,000.On the £15,000 petrol engined cars there is the engine,gearbox,catalytic converter,fuel tank,pipe work etc that is missing on the electric car.This makes the petrol car at least £5,000 less,then add in the electric motor,batteries and control gear would only add £10,000 to the price so an electric car should be around the £20,000 mark to buy.I think we are being ripped off somewhere?
Why are electric cars so expensive? - mcb100
Which examples of £15,000 ICE and £30,000 EV do you have in mind?
Why are electric cars so expensive? - Xileno

Economies of scale will have a large part to play.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - daveyjp

Innovation is always expensive for the first few years. ICE hasn't changed much in 100 years, R&D is now relatively minor cost. First cars were expensive when compared to a horse and cart!

R&D sunk costs need covering and there is a huge element of risk which needs pricing on electric cars. They may also need to control supply, due to manufacturing capacity which can be done by pricing.

Edited by daveyjp on 13/07/2020 at 19:52

Why are electric cars so expensive? - badbusdriver
Which examples of £15,000 ICE and £30,000 EV do you have in mind?

I was wondering the same thing?.

Here are a couple though,

Nissan Leaf Acenta. This is the lowest spec of Leaf, but still very well equipped and does 0-60 in 7.9 seconds. Price, £26,845

VS

Ford Focus?. The lowest spec Focus is the Zetec, but the most powerful version available with that spec has 125bhp. This gets from 0-60 in 11.7 seconds with an auto box (no manual for the Leaf) or 10.3 seconds as a manual. Cost for the Auto is £23,680, manual is £22,210.

Tesla Model 3 Standard Long Range Plus. The lowest spec and cheapest version. Price (May this year) £40,490

VS

BMW 3 Series?. closest in performance is either the 330d or the 330i. Lowest spec is M Sport, the diesel costing £40,940, petrol is £38,940 (not sure if those prices are current)

So the Leaf is just over 13% dearer than a Focus (auto) with much less performance but similar standard equipment. The Tesla is actually slightly cheaper than a 3 Series diesel of similar performance and only 4% more than an equivalent petrol.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Archie35

A friend of mine in Germany bought an electric VW Golf last year, and told me what it cost. I enquired on the same car here in the UK - almost double the price. No doubt there are some subsidies at play here, but still cannot figure out how the difference can be so huge.

Edited by Archie35 on 13/07/2020 at 21:44

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Firmbutfair
I cannot understand why an ordinary hatchback can cost £15,000 but the electric equivalent is £30,000.On the £15,000 petrol engined cars there is the engine,gearbox,catalytic converter,fuel tank,pipe work etc that is missing on the electric car.This makes the petrol car at least £5,000 less,then add in the electric motor,batteries and control gear would only add £10,000 to the price so an electric car should be around the £20,000 mark to buy.I think we are being ripped off somewhere?

Your observation is quite understandable Graham 567. Apart from the need for the manufacturers to recover their enormous R&D costs, the BEV uses very expensive raw materials such as lithium and cobalt to make the batteries, plus rare earth magnets in the brushless motors, plus some very sophisticated and expensive battery management electronic systems to ensure long service life with acceptable loss of capacity over an 8 year warranty period, plus lots of high voltage, heavy current electronic circuitry to control the motors and regenerative braking etc. Without the adoption and inclusion of these very expensive materials, the modern BEV would not be able to offer seamless, linear high torque motors giving rapid acceleration from zero mph up 80 + mph. Costs will continue to come down, as production volumes increase and as governments continue to be lobbied by powerful corporations to offer tempting financial inducements to 'go electric' . However, surely the motor industry has missed the point, namely, it always has been very wasteful for an 80Kg driver to insist on piloting a 1200kg ICE car to and from their place of work, only to be now 'bullied and shamed' into driving a BEV round which weighs between 1500 kg to 2000kg to 'save the planet'

I cannot afford to replace my efficient, sub 100 gm CO2 per km, family hatchback with a Renault Zoe with only one third of the range and costing nearly double the ICE. My wife rides an electric bike and loves it - maybe 'light weight BEV' is where the future lies?

Why are electric cars so expensive? - madf
I cannot understand why an ordinary hatchback can cost £15,000 but the electric equivalent is £30,000.On the £15,000 petrol engined cars there is the engine,gearbox,catalytic converter,fuel tank,pipe work etc that is missing on the electric car.This makes the petrol car at least £5,000 less,then add in the electric motor,batteries and control gear would only add £10,000 to the price so an electric car should be around the £20,000 mark to buy.I think we are being ripped off somewhere?

There are NO ordinary hatchbacks costing £15,000.

None . Zip.

1.0 Ford Focus £22k ++

tinyurl.com/y8ycataa

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Brit_in_Germany

An Astra seems to be around 15K. A comparable car, the new VW ID3 will be 30K+.

Edited by Brit_in_Germany on 14/07/2020 at 11:02

Why are electric cars so expensive? - mcb100

List price for Astra starts at just over £19,000 in the UK.

Edited by mcb100 on 14/07/2020 at 11:16

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Brit_in_Germany

List price maybe but a 2020 pre-registered 1.2 with 20 miles on the clock is less than 15K.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - mcb100

Closest I can think of is Clio starting at £15, 295 and Zoe at £26,495.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - thunderbird

There are NO ordinary hatchbacks costing £15,000

Just had a quick look on brokers sites for brand new cars (not pre-reg).

After discount and contributions a brand new Skoda Scala can be had for £14264.

I would suggest that the words "ordinary" and "hatchback" suit the Scala perfectly.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Gibbo_Wirral

Same with a Ford Fiesta. Like many other cars, it seems to have swollen in size from its original and could certainly be classed as an "ordinary hatchback"

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Terry W

Battery costs were the principal cost for a new EV. They have come down in price from approx £900-1000 per KWH in 2010 to about £100-120 today.

Early EVs needed a compromise between range and cost - in 2010 a 20 KWH battery would cost £18-20k and give a range probably no more than 100 miles. Less as the battery degrades with time and use!

The reduced cost of batteries now means that a range of 200 miles + is possible with a 50 KWH battery - the cost of which today is around £5-6k.

However new technology, low volumes and scarcity usually tend to make innovative products more expensive than their obvious comparators - cars are no different to most other technology - TVs, computers, phones etc.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Sulphur Man

Dacia Sandero. A long way south of £15K

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Ethan Edwards

New Suzuki Swift starts at a shade under 12,000. The 1litre Turbo Automatic is really decent and lists at a shade over 16 so negotiable down to 15. Decent hatchback.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Lucky Aka Luckyboy

Take the Vauxhall Corsa, the cheapest petrol is about £15-16K, but the cheapest Electric Corsa is £28K. Crazy money for what is classed as a supermini. The price of ICE cars anyway seems to have rocketed in the last year or 2.Looked at the price of a brand new suzuki ignis back in late 2018, the price was £9,999, now the price of a brand new Ignis starts from £13,999, a 40% increase in just over 18 months.'

Also noticed the cost of the brand new Toyota Yaris on Bristol Street Motors, the cheapest spec is a crazy £19,900 !!. Would anyone really spend £20k on a small yaris? Yes electric cars are very expensive, but increasingly new cars in general are a rip off with 20%+ increase in new car prices

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Avant

Welcome to the forum.

The new Yaris is hybrid only, hence the increase over the previous model. Time will tell whether Toyota and Honda (with the Jazz) will come to regret not offering a more basic manual version. My wife and all four of our children prefer manuals: elder daughter has just got a new Skoda Fabia with which she's delighted (incidentally at £70 a month less than we were quoted for the old model Yaris).

Expensive raw materials and fewer units produced, therefore fewer economies of scale, have meant higher prices for EVs, but the gap is starting to narrow. The Ford Kuga PHEV is the same price as the equivalent 2.0 diesel Kuga, and the BMW X1 PHEV is £1,000 more than the 2.0 diesel and £2,000 more than the 2.0 petrol.

My guess is that there will still be a market for small manual cars for the next few years. although probably as EVs become commoner as we get towards 2035 (or whatever date the government settles on), more young people taking their driving tests will go automatic. Unless I'm missing something, I haven't noticed manufacturers rushing to develop a manual EV.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Terry W

Direct comparison is somewhat complicated by fundamental differences - EV range constraints offset by typically much better performance.

200bhp+ in a petrol car (say Ford Focus) comes with performance spec suspension, tyres etc. Nissan Leaf by comparison would be very differently configured!

Nissan Leaf costing ~ £30k gives 0-60 in 7-8 seconds. To get that sort of performance from a Focus also has a list price of ~ £30k.

There is now little to chose between the up front cost of Focus or Leaf bar range. EV will be cheaper to run. Whether range is an issue is a more personal judgement.

A Leaf in 2011 was more expensive, poorer performing and had less range than current models. EV prices may fall further as volumes increase and battery technology improves.

There are fewer fundamental improvements that can be made to ICE as a very mature technology. Prices may come down as manufacturers reduce investment in this part of the market, and exploit fully depreciated tooling, machinery and designs.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Andrew-T

Direct comparison is somewhat complicated by fundamental differences - EV range constraints offset by typically much better performance.

If a fuelled car had a range of 200 miles, one might live with that by topping up as needed, which should take about 5 minutes. Until that is feasible with an EV (and I can't see that happening very soon) many punters will not see them as convenient transport.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Zippy123
I doubt there will ever be a manual EV, electric motors produce the necessary power at any speed to turn the wheels making a conventional gearbox redundant.

Want reverse. Just swap positive to negative and visa versa.
Why are electric cars so expensive? - Lucky Aka Luckyboy

Thanks for the welcome.

Yes the new Yaris is Hybrid ( same as most of the Suzuki range now including the ignis and swift), but £19.900 seems way too overpriced.I think you can get a Prius for just £5-6k more.

As for Electric cars, actually the one that has got me most interested is the Skoda Citigo e IV, a good £8-9 K cheaper than a Renault Zoe

Why are electric cars so expensive? - madf

The government subsidises EV by c £3k .

SO prices go up by £3k..

The folly of Governments.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Terry W

Products in demand tend to command higher prices than those in decline. This will be true of competing vehicle technologies - increasing spare capacity in ICE and capacity/raw material constraints for EV.

So I suspect alignment in up front costs will be a year or two away.

An average annual milage of (say) 12k, fuel costs per mile for ICE ~ 12p, vs ~ 4p for EV will generate annual user savings of £960pa.

As a long term purchase EV is probably already a good deal for many users who rarely if ever need the full range anyway. Two car households may have one EV, rare extended journeys could be covered by short term rental etc. It is probable (but not certain) that recharging times will continue to fall making range less of an issue anyway.

Leasing is a more complex - affordability is influenced by initial costs and residuals.

ICE manufacturers desperate to offload capacity will negotiate large discounts with lease companies. EV manufacturers will find it easier to sell all they can produce anyway.

Does the average driver currently factor in ~ £80 per month saving into their calculations?

However there is no one point at which a change from ICE to EV makes sense for everyone - some will have bigger range concerns than others, some frequently make longer trips, some can only afford used cars (not many S/H EVs around), some dislike change, some will be plain irrational!

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Andrew-T

However there is no one point at which a change from ICE to EV makes sense for everyone - some will have bigger range concerns than others, some frequently make longer trips, some can only afford used cars (not many S/H EVs around), some dislike change, some will be plain irrational!

It will be interesting to see what problems of scale develop when EVs have become commoner. In the last century when all cars were leaded-petrol-fuelled, with carburettors, the problems of lead pollution forced a switch to unleaded, and then cat-converters. Then the consumption advantages of diesel pushed things in that direction until someone noticed that diesel engines generated nasty NOx. One almost wonders whether car makers were behind it all.

The batteries (a) demand large amounts of scarce minerals, (b) add a large constant mass to the vehicle (but perhaps no more than a diesel engine) and (c) take a long time to recharge. We shall have to see.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - corax
The batteries (a) demand large amounts of scarce minerals, (b) add a large constant mass to the vehicle (but perhaps no more than a diesel engine) and (c) take a long time to recharge. We shall have to see.

How about a Yabadabadoo car then? It would keep you fit too. Your feet might need a few resoles,but apart from that....

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq7noaMwLfg

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Engineer Andy

The problem will come when there's enough on the roads that queus start forming for public charging stations and such places start charging (pun intended) the full price, including that required to keep up with demand for building them - including upgrading underground cabling facilities and, at some point (and the biggest cost by some margin) having to upgrade or add new electricity sub-stations.

At the moment, demand for public charging points is still manageable and incentives in place to add them, but that is changing.

I agree that a similar crunch point will come with the batteries, because of their huge capacity compared to other uses, e.g. in mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Until that problem is solve and/or of how to economically charge EVs quickly (within 5-10 mins) for people who live in flats, terraced housing etc that cannot install such systems, I can't see it taking over from ICE.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - alan1302

I agree that a similar crunch point will come with the batteries, because of their huge capacity compared to other uses, e.g. in mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Until that problem is solve and/or of how to economically charge EVs quickly (within 5-10 mins) for people who live in flats, terraced housing etc that cannot install such systems, I can't see it taking over from ICE.

With ICE cars being banned from sale from 2035 or 2040 - can't remember which - then EV's will take over or people will start going without their cars and I can't see that happening any time soon.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Manatee

With ICE cars being banned from sale from 2035 or 2040 - can't remember which - then EV's will take over or people will start going without their cars and I can't see that happening any time soon.

The answer might be that most people won't own their own car.

Autonomous cars are also inevitable, eventually. With masses of networking capacity and processing power, an obvious development is to link them all together to share data about their own movements and either act as a giant hive brain and/or be directed by a central system. This will facilitate efficient routing and road usage and the best use of overall capacity. Cars will be a bit like Boris bikes. When you get home, the car can go off and find a charger, maybe at your home, maybe elsewhere. Many homes won't have their own charging point anyway. When you want to go out, you will summon a car which obediently rolls up to the door to collect you, or you might have pre-booked it.

When in use, the autonomous cars will be able to organise themselves into nose-to-tail convoys. Mixed traffic might not even be allowed, at least not without an onboard device that can communicate with the hive to help prevent collisions with human-piloted cars and provide navigation. Nobody will want to drive anyway, it will be no fun at all in a fully regulated road environment in what amounts to a milk float with a stop and go pedal and mandatory automatic lane keeping, speed control and autonomous braking.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Lucky Aka Luckyboy

I watched the film Logan again the other night, set in about the year 2030, and the roads are full of driverless lorry trailers.When their sensors detected an obstacle or for example a human driven vehicle they would send out a loud warning.Got the impression that depsite the warning, the driverless trailers seemed to have priority on the road, if a vehicle or obstacle didnt move out the way, looked like they just plough through the speed they were going.

I'm not convinced with driverless technology, read about another Tesla on autopilot that crashed into 2 police cars in the USA. Would be interested who can be deemed at fault, the driver for not taking control or Tesla and/or the automated software

Why are electric cars so expensive? - daveyjp

Tesla UK chargers now deliver charge at almost 600 miles range per hour, that's 150 in 15 minutes, more than acceptable, but only Tesla achieve that and their product range isn't great. The 'Y' will probably be their game changer.

Unfortunately other EV charging infrastructure is woeful. Numerous providers, numerous interfaces to pay, numerous plugs and cables and units which don't work when needed.

At this stage of EV development, and considering most buyers generally only have one car to be jack of all trades, I believe the best compromise is probably a plug in hybrid with about a 100 mile battery range and an ICE for longer trips.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Andrew-T

Tesla UK chargers now deliver charge at almost 600 miles range per hour, that's 150 in 15 minutes, more than acceptable,

That is still a poor comparison with fuelling an ICE car, when 600 miles can be added in about 5 minutes. The only feasible way for EVs to be recharged is overnight at home, or parked during a workday. Recharging at a roadside station will be unacceptably slow.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Terry W

There are drivers who leap in the car, drive 600 miles, refuel in 5 minutes with no break for a pee, and then drive another 600 miles. Range and recharge time is critical!!

For those who don't and for whom an annual mileage of say 12000 is fairly evenly spread across the year range is somewhat less of an issue.

An effective range of 200 miles represents 3-4 hours driving on a motorway. A 30 minutes recharge during which facilities and coffee are accessed would not be a major barrier.

60 minutes ++ would be a problem if it was once or twice a week - but if such journeys were once or twice a year ............

200 mile range would cover (say 20 miles a day) commuting, school runs, shopping etc for a week or more.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - daveyjp

Using my "one car for all demands" approach I think 200 miles is enough to be a barrier for me.

I did that yesterday on a trip to the coast. I went somewhere with no charging facility at the other end so I would have had to find a charger at some point of the trip to give me 50 miles or so. For a day out with a 90 minute journey both ways it is inconvenient to stop and therefore a psychological barrier to go EV.

This is why I think 300-400 miles is the sweet spot for pure EV, but only Tesla offer that at the moment.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Andrew-T

An effective range of 200 miles represents 3-4 hours driving on a motorway. A 30 minutes recharge during which facilities and coffee are accessed would not be a major barrier.

That is assuming there is no queue for the charging points. Given how long a charge takes, that seems unlikely to me. Which also suggests the possibility that some scally might unplug your car and connect his/her own.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Engineer Andy

Tesla UK chargers now deliver charge at almost 600 miles range per hour, that's 150 in 15 minutes, more than acceptable, but only Tesla achieve that and their product range isn't great. The 'Y' will probably be their game changer.

Unfortunately other EV charging infrastructure is woeful. Numerous providers, numerous interfaces to pay, numerous plugs and cables and units which don't work when needed.

At this stage of EV development, and considering most buyers generally only have one car to be jack of all trades, I believe the best compromise is probably a plug in hybrid with about a 100 mile battery range and an ICE for longer trips.

The time will come soon when Tesla won't be able to afford to subsidise their charging network, then what will owners do? Teslas (and other EVs) are still the preserve of the well-heeled, so I can't see the large number of charging stations being built in less affluent areas, and the vast majority of workplaces just don't have the space or cash to install/pay for the number needed.

The 2035-40 deadline for changing all new sales to EVs is, to me at least 20+ years too soon. All it's going to do is increase the divide between rich and poor.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - alan1302

The time will come soon when Tesla won't be able to afford to subsidise their charging network, then what will owners do?

Then they will pay to charge - you said the owners are all well-heeled so paying to charge up won't be an issue.

Why are electric cars so expensive? - Zippy123

As for Electric cars, actually the one that has got me most interested is the Skoda Citigo e IV, a good £8-9 K cheaper than a Renault Zoe

It’s cheaper because it has around half the range!
Why are electric cars so expensive? - Manatee

ICE cars have had 100 years of evolution and much fixed cost has been recovered years ago. And volumes are still higher than for EV's.

Anybody who can live with the range and charging time of an EV will get savings on running costs, so will be prepared to pay more.

Although EV's are simpler to assemble they require half a ton of batteries that aren't cheap.

EV's are also seen as a premium product, and to a degree future proof (this bit is perhaps perceived rather than real - wait and they will get cheaper).

 

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