New analysis from America’s Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has come up with some interesting figures that suggest the number-one obstacle for mass adoption of electric vehicles – prohibitive cost – could be on the way out. Greentech Media reports that the study – which compared the 2012 prices of the fully electric Nissan Leaf (graph 1) and the hybrid plug-in Chevy Volt (graph 2) against comparable petrol-fuelled cars on the market – found the two EVs were within 10 per cent of conventional vehicles.
The study found that petrol prices were one of the major factors affecting this balance, but the bad news – for us in Australia, anyway – is that America’s state and federal EV incentives were an even more important contributing factor, as were capital costs, which are being driven down in the US in what appears to be an electric car price war. Driving habits and maintenance also played a role.
As GreenTech‘s Katherine Tweed notes, the question now is whether capital costs can continue to come down when incentives are discontinued. The cost of charging equipment has already been cut in half by some manufacturers, and GM announced this week it was cutting Volt US pricing by up to $5,000, following Nissan’s move to slash about $6,000 from the cost of the Leaf for 2013. But prices will have to keep coming down for EVs be truly competitive.