EV Must Be Cheaper for Sales to Take Off image

A recent study shows that even if sales for plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles have been increasing, they won’t see a boom until automakers lower prices.

Plug-in vehicle sales, such as GM’s Chevrolet Volt and Nissan’s Leaf, have increased to 37,361 units through October, but this only means 0.3% of total industry sales. According to the Electric Vehicle Ownership Experience Study, the main reason for which sales have not been higher is the price: an average $10,000 for pure electrics and $16,000 for plug-in hybrids.

Toyota’s standard 2013 Prius hybrid vehicle has the base price of $24,995 and the plug-in version can be bought for $32,795. Chevrolet’s Volt, which is the country’s best selling plug-in vehicle, starts at $39,995. Recently Volt’s sales have been increased thanks to special lease rates.

“There is still a disconnect between the reality of the cost of an EV and the cost savings that consumers want to achieve,” said Neal Oddes, senior director of Power’s green practice.

Oddes said that the price for such vehicles will go down only when battery manufacturers will find solutions to lower the price of battery packs, which is the most expensive part of an electric vehicle.