July 25, 2011
Shifts In Electric Car Prices

If electric vehicles are going to become cheaper that change hasn't started happening yet. Nissan raises the price on the EV Leaf in order to add features needed in colder states.

Nissan said the 2012 Leaf, which goes on sale in the fall, will cost at least $2,450 more than the 2011 model, but perform better in colder climates, with features like a battery warmer, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

The new price, $36,050 will bring it closer to the new (and lower) $39,995 price for the Chevy Volt. That latter price cut was made possible by cutting out a nav system.

Maybe component costs for an EV are falling even as prices rise. Our ability to migrate away from oil depends heavily on a shift to electric power. Though fortunately we can get some pretty big improvements in fuel efficiency at price points below those for pure EVs. See more here. Caveat: We can't predict the costs of batteries, lighter materials, and other fuel savings technologies 10 or 15 years in advance. Commodity costs, energy costs, and innovations are all unknowns that far out.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 July 25 12:37 AM  Energy Electric Cars


Comments
RSweeney said at July 26, 2011 10:12 AM:

In 1911, a Detroit Electric cost 2 1/2 times as much as a gas car and got 100 miles per charge.
In 1996, a GM EV1 cost 2 1/2 times as much as a gas car and got 100 miles per charge.
In 2011, a Nissan Leaf cost 2 1/2 times as much as a gas car and gets 100 miles per charge.

Progress comes slowly in the electric car world.

W4LT3R said at July 26, 2011 10:25 AM:

"Our ability to migrate away from oil depends heavily on a shift to electric power"
it depends even more heavily on our ability to generate enough electric power w/o burning fossil fuels, and that is not a good bet at all.

Me2 said at July 26, 2011 10:25 AM:

"n 1911, a Detroit Electric cost 2 1/2 times as much as a gas car and got 100 miles per charge.
In 1996, a GM EV1 cost 2 1/2 times as much as a gas car and got 100 miles per charge.
In 2011, a Nissan Leaf cost 2 1/2 times as much as a gas car and gets 100 miles per charge."

I'll give you the 1911- I have no idea.

Th EV1 could not be bought- only leased. No idea what it would cost if it had to pay for itself. Lets face it- it was a sad compromise to deal with CA law.

I imagine the Leaf pretty much pays for itself. Its not owned buy the US gov , for one thing.

West said at July 26, 2011 11:15 AM:

"Leaf pretty much pays for itself"

Leaf - $36,000.

Hyundai Elantra - $14,000.

difference - $22,000. At 35 MPG, even with $5 gas, (NE gets 40 highway) $22,000/5$ per gal * 35 mi/gal - 154,000 miles before it costs s much as the leaf was JUST TO PURCHASE. (Both machines will require maintenance, of course).

Yeah, those EV's sure pay for themselves. But I am sure we will make it up in volume.

JeffC said at July 26, 2011 12:35 PM:

The affordable, effective electric car is the unicorn of today ... it is a myth and given the current battery technology will NEVER come alive ...
I will virtually guarentee you that when a better energy density battery is invented it will be a very, very dangerous thing to have in a vehicle that could be involved in an accident ... plus you can't ignore the rapid charging dangers of trying to shove that much energy into that small a space in a short period of time ... This is Star Trek stuff and folks, we are nowhere near that level of science (fiction)...

The ICE will be king for another 100 years ...

m00tpoint said at July 26, 2011 1:54 PM:

"Our ability to migrate away from oil depends heavily on a shift to electric power"

Our ability to migrate away from oil depends heavily on a shift to natural gas.

anonyq said at July 26, 2011 2:47 PM:

Gas is maybe an option in the US but it is not an option in Europe. But methane gas is very easy to use in a fuel cell so don't be surprised to have an electric gas powered car in the future.

Greg F said at July 26, 2011 2:54 PM:
Nissan said the 2012 Leaf, which goes on sale in the fall, will cost at least $2,450 more than the 2011 model, but perform better in colder climates, with features like a battery warmer, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Heated seats and steering wheel but no heated compartment? They will also need heated headlights for snow. Imagine what that will do to the range on a charge.

Bruce said at July 26, 2011 4:49 PM:

Lots of gas in Europe. Some countries are exploiting it. Some countries are being exploited by greens and will not benefit and will continue to be beholden to Russia or Qatar.

"July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. natural-gas producer since last year's acquisition of XTO Energy, plans to use hydraulic fracturing in Poland for the first time this year.

Exxon recently completed a handful of exploration wells in Poland and is preparing to pump high-pressure jets of water, sand and chemicals into the holes to release gas from dense shale rock, Jack P. Williams, president of the Irving, Texas- based company's XTO unit, said in an interview today.

Exxon's prospects for unconventional gas in places such as Poland and Germany may turn out to be as profitable as the Barnett formation in north Texas, which has wells with some of the biggest returns in the company's worldwide portfolio, Williams said.

Poland may hold as much as 187 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, the most of any European nation, the Energy Information Administration said in an April 5 report. The nation has awarded licenses to Exxon, Chevron Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc. to explore for gas trapped in shale- rock formations."


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/07/20/bloomberg1376-LON92V07SXKX01-48LV2OSDM74O9O6C6O6F88QFSR.DTL

Randall Parker said at July 27, 2011 8:31 AM:

JeffC,

If the ICE remains king then where's the liquid fuel goig to come from and at what cost?

To put it another way: Will synthetic hydrocarbons come done in cost faster than electric cars?

Lobo Solo said at July 27, 2011 11:09 AM:

@Randall,

Methanol (not ethanol) is currently cheaper than gasoline per BTU. All you need is a flex-fueled vehicle to use it.

Bruce said at July 27, 2011 1:08 PM:

Maybe this project will solve the biggest problem with NG.

"This research will develop a replacement for the bulky cylindrical, heavy‐walled compressed natural gas tanks currently used in natural gas vehicles. The tank will have a storage capacity that meets the U.S. Department of Energy target: 180 times more gas per volume than under standard temperature and pressure conditions.
The replacement tank will be a flat, solid‐state, lightweight tank that stores natural gas in adsorbed form. Carbon‐activated briquettes, manufactured from spent corn cobs, which are low cost and widely commercially available, will be used inside the tank to absorb the natural gas."


http://www.energy.ca.gov/2011publications/CEC-500-2011-FS/CEC-500-2011-FS-003.pdf

http://www.wealthywaste.com/activated-carbon-from-waste

Randall Parker said at July 28, 2011 7:26 PM:

Lobo Solo,

But how can methanol scale and retain its price advantage? It is cheaper than gasoline per BTU because it evaporates more easily and has lower energy density per gallon. It is less convenient.

Bruce,

But will the research succeed? If it does, what will be the cost and reliability?

Mike said at July 30, 2011 8:45 PM:

The people who say that EVs will never happen are the same people who said that hybrids would never happen, would never catch on, would never be profitable, etc, 10 years ago. We'll see.

Ronald Brak said at August 11, 2011 5:22 PM:

Once they are produced in bulk, an electric car will cost a little less than an standard internal combustion engine car, plus the cost of batteries. The body of the car will basically cost the same to make while an electric motor costs less than a gasoline one. Batteries are apparently now under $350 a kilowatt-hour. So if they were being sold in large numbers today a small electric car might cost $5,000 to $6,000 more than a gasoline powered small car. At the moment $5,000 to $6,000 doesn't buy a lot of gasoline in Australia or Europe and might buy considerably less in the future. The Leaf and Volt are expensive now because companies are trying to get back some of their development costs and get money out of early adopters. Once there is serious competition in the electric car market, prices will come down.

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