This year in America some electric cars could become “as cheap as or cheaper than cars with internal combustion engines,” reports the New York Times, citing figures from the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research and advocacy group.
Prices are likely to continue trending lower as Tesla, General Motors, Ford Motor and their battery suppliers ramp up new factories, reaping the cost savings that come from mass production. New electric vehicles from companies like Volkswagen, Nissan and Hyundai will add to competitive pressure…. Falling prices for materials like lithium and cobalt have also helped. The price of lithium used in batteries has fallen 20% from its peak in November, though the metal still costs more than twice as much as it did at the end of 2021. Cobalt has fallen by more than half since May, in part because carmakers are selling some models that do not require it, reducing demand. New lithium mines are beginning to produce ore, which could keep a lid on prices…
As electric-vehicle sales soar — rising 66% in the United States last year to 810,000, according to Kelley Blue Book — automakers are getting better at making them…. Auto executives say that they are finding it is easier and cheaper to design and build new electric models than gasoline-powered ones. The battery cells made by Ultium, for example, are part of a collection of components that can be mixed and matched in many types of vehicles. Carmakers have long used the same platforms in multiple models, but the strategy works even better with electric vehicles because the cars have far fewer parts than internal combustion vehicles. The Ultium platform cuts the time needed to develop a new vehicle by almost two years, Dan Nicholson, vice president of electrification at GM, said at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conference in January. As a result, GM will be able to introduce three Chevrolet electric vehicles this year: the Equinox, a Silverado pickup truck and a Blazer SUV. “That’s how we get the economies of scale,” Nicholson said.
The article cite’s legislation passed last year subsidizing battery manufacturers, which “could cut the cost of making electric vehicles by as much as $9,000,” as well as the legislation’s tax credits for cars priced below $55,000.
But besides making it cheaper to purchase an electric car, “the car will need less maintenance,” the article points out, “and the electricity to power it will cost less than the gasoline used by its combustion engine equivalent.”
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