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Two of the biggest obstacles to buying a fully electric vehicle is the premium price over comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, and the cheap gas prices U.S. drivers are enjoying these days. But, according to a new report, the price disadvantage hurting EVs could be disappearing in the next decade.
A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance says that the cost of electric vehicles will drop as lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs get cheaper. The report also forecasts that EVs will become 35-percent of new light vehicle sales worldwide by 2040.
Consider the Ford Focus. The EV version today has a starting price of $29,170, while the price range for the gasoline version is $17,170 to $30,000 at the very high end for the performance-tuned Focus ST. But most Focuses transact for under $22,000.
General Motors GM +1.73%, which uses lithium-ion batteries for extended range EVs like the Chevy Volt, and will launch the full-electric Chevy Bolt this Fall says that the cost of batteries is dropping fast–down to about $145 per kilowatt hour, and expected to be $100 per kilowatt hour by 2021. Getting the cost of the battery down is key to both retail cost to the consumer and profits for automakers as EVs require less content than an internal combustion engine, and less maintenance and potentially less warranty cost.
One of the other obstacles for consumers buying fully electric vehicles is the lack of convenient charging infrastructure. Sure, people can re-charge at home, overnight, on regular 110-vlt household current. But a large percentage of drivers have range anxiety–the fear of running out of electricity on the road and nowhere to re-charge quickly, or at all. States and automakers are investing more in charging stations, and there are news reports that the U.S. government may require Volkswagen to make a huge investment in installing EV charging stations as part of its settlement over the company’s diesel scandal. See more