Thanks for the article Charles. I have found that the needs for many people are different when it comes to purchasing a vehicle of any kind, not just an EV. For me and many other people in states North of the Mason-Dixon and particularly in the Northern-most states, their vehicle needs to be reliable in any weather and road condition. For instance, if a consumer purchases a vehicle for their daily commute of the 30-50 mile round trip and something happens on the way to or from work that is out of the ordinary, such as slipping on the ice and sliding into a ditch or getting stuck in a snow bank. There are few all-wheel drive EVs and even fewer that are under that $30k magical number. Additionally, while the consumer calls a tow truck to drag them out of the snow bank or ditch, that 30-50 mile ticker is going down due to "idling" to keep the heater and whatever else running while the person waits to get back onto the road. Since, just about everyone I know in and around this area has been stuck in some winter condition at least once in their lives, there just isn't an EV made for people that drive outside of California, Florida, and the other few states in which snow doesn't tend to last more than a day or get deeper than an inch. As soon as an EV with all-wheel drive, decent ground clearance, at least a 150-mile range, and under $30k prior to or without any gov't incentives comes along, I'm in. I can bet there's more than one person that agrees with me out there too.
Cap'n, in general those average prices will not be useful for talking about the price that people typically pay. A better statistic would be the median. The number of cars at each price range (the histogram) should also be available. Cars in the lower range sell in large numbers.
I agree naperlou - it seems like an apples to oranges comparison to me. There are also too many variables to consider that make this type of purchase undefined territiory. BTW for me - nope. I wouldn't even consider it. While our yearly salary would enable us to do so - it is more enticing for me to remain out of debt with a paid off much lower cost vehicle.
Several months ago you posted an article describing an automobile having an electric motor but a conventional gas ( or maybe natural gas ) engine as backup system. A hybrid. If that automobile were priced at $30K, I just might spring for the investment. This morning I bought gas for $3.48 per gallon. A 15 gallon tank and I'm on the hook for $52.20 with each fill-up. My problem is a 74 mile per day commute plus mileage during the day while calling on clients. Roughly 800 gallons per year, while averaging 16,000 miles per year with a MPG of approximately 20, I spend right at $2800 annually for gas. My maintenance runs about $600 per year, if I have no major mechanical issues. I have not so far with this car. The real catch for me is reliability and maintenance on the $30K electric car. I definitely will pay for reliability and that's why I have a Toyota, 4 cylinder vehicle--great reliability. Over 257,000 + miles and I have only had one abnormal "event"-- a blown top manifold on my radiator. Tires, batteries, spark plugs, spark plug cables, 3,000 mile fast lube,etc., that's just about it. As the costs come down more and more you really get my attention. Great post Charles.
If I were looking for an inexpensive car, no. I can get a new ICE car for 20K or under and a slightly used one with a good warranty for $15K. I can get a slightly older one for $10K. Say you go the $20K route then that leaves $10K for gasoline. At $4 per barrel that buys 2500 gallons, which at 35MPG would be 87.5K miles. At 15K miles per year that is almost six years. Considering that I am not spending that money up front, or financing it, the difference would cover normal maintenance. I take the risk on the price, but I noticed that gasoline locally (good price) is at $3.57. I am in the Chicago area, which has some of the highest prices in the nation. I have seen it down to under $3.25 in recent memory (the last year). If I go with the good used car, I save even more.
Electricity is not free. If I charge at home, it will cost a measureable amount. That will be less than gasoline per mile, but not zero. If there are subsidies for the car that could change the equation. I am assuming this is a subsidized price or that there will be no subsidy.
A RWD electric car can sometimes even outperform an AWD ICE car. On top of that the low center gravity due to the battery being on the bottom reduces chance of slippage.
That said, if you are stuck, running the heater will not consume that much power, most of the power consumption on heat tends to be initial consumption, once the cabin is warm, keeping the temperature is much less energy intensive. It would actually be more devastating for a gasoline car as it keeps the engine on at all time to keep the heater going.
EVs actually do very well in cold climates. One of the owners of 7 Tesla cars lives in Narvik, Norway. 136 miles off the artic circle(That is pretty much equivelant to the most northorn part of Alaska) and he is very happy with them.
Though Tesla will probably offer AWD as an option on the Gen 3. According to them, they have created an AWD system that does not use up any extra power. So that would be another plus for cold climates.
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