While electric vehicles on the whole are more expensive than their gasoline/diesel counterparts, it looks as though the gap between electric vehicles and their traditional fuel counterparts is reducing. This now begs the question, what price would you pay for an electric vehicle? Would you pay $20,000? Would you pay $30,000? Would you pay $50,000?
In many ways the attractions of electric vehicles are often overlooked because many of us already know the cost of running a gasoline/diesel vehicle, while we have probably not really researched the cost of running an electric vehicle. It is wrong in this particular instance to base everything wholly upon the initial cost of the vehicle when there are so many potential savings further down the line.
The cost of electric vehicles today
There is an array of electric vehicles priced around the $25,000 level, including the Honda FIT EV and Nissan Leaf to name but two of the more popular brands today. These prices include an array of financial incentives from governments around the world which significantly lessen the blow from a financial point of view.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There is speculation of an air aluminium battery pack which could give electric vehicles journey capacity in excess of 1000 miles. Would this make a real difference for you?"
The interesting time will come when governments around the world begin to reduce the financial incentives made available to buyers of electric vehicles. This will leave the electric vehicle market to fend for itself and battle against the headline prices of more traditional gasoline/diesel counterparts. It is likely to be some time off before governments begin to reduce their financial investment in the industry and hopefully by that time we will have seen economies of scale and technological developments reduce the cost of creating electric vehicles yet further.
Refuelling your vehicle
At this moment in time the cost of refuelling an electric vehicle is significantly lower than that of its gasoline/diesel counterparts in the U.S. and the gap is even wider in countries such as the UK. While this gap is likely to reduce as additional electric capacity is required in the future, it is unlikely that we will see any material difference in the long run. The basic cost of refuelling your electric vehicle, when taking into account the cost of electric units in isolation, will always be significantly lower than that of more traditional fuels. Some people will argue about the cost of electric car batteries which will need to be replaced at some point in the future, but on the whole there are significant savings to be made.
As electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than their gasoline/diesel counterparts, there is a significant difference in maintenance costs. While this will vary from car to car and country to country, the fewer moving parts the less things which can go wrong and hopefully this will lead to a long-term reduction in maintenance costs. There is also an argument that better weight distribution for electric vehicles also reduces wear and tear, which will further reduce maintenance charges.
In reality, the maintenance of electric vehicles is still very much in its infancy because of the relatively small number of cars on the road. However this is an area which will grow and become more competitive which should hopefully help to maintain electric vehicle maintenance costs at relatively low levels.
The insurance of electric vehicles is somewhat tricky at the moment because this is a relatively new market and one which does not as yet attract the amount of competition required to greatly impact prices. Indeed a number of electric vehicle owners have expressed concern about the lack of competition in this particular field and the fact that many insurance companies tend to avoid the insuring of electric vehicles at this moment in time. However, this is something which is changing, will continue to change, and very quickly it will become ultra competitive which will lead to more realistic pricing.
There are many areas of the electric vehicle industry in their relative infancy although once the sector breaks into the mass market we will see a massive increase in competition across-the-board.
When looking to acquire an electric vehicle it is very easy to see the headline figures regarding the purchase of the car and discount it as more expensive than its gasoline/diesel counterparts. On the surface this assumption is true, but the reality is that in the long term there are significant fuel savings, potential insurance cost reductions and long-term maintenance savings to be had. More than ever it is vital that we look at the overall picture of the electric vehicle industry and the future cost of running such a vehicle.
The major turning point for the sector, with regards to the mass market, may come once Tesla delivers its much promised $30,000-$40,000 popular electric vehicle. When this will be is anybody's guess, but write-off Elon Musk at your risk as he very rarely fails to deliver on his promises.