Why are electric cars so expensive?
In our household we take recycling quite seriously. We recycle plastic types 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, cans, bottles, paper, cardboard, food waste and donate unwanted items to charity. We’re even looking in to getting solar panels for the roof so that we can make some money and reduce the amount of electricity we use form the grid.
When I bought my first car I did a lot of research in to what car I wanted to get. My choice was limited to what I could afford (up to £12k) and at the time there were relatively few electric vehicles available, unless you had a fortune spare.
My current job is over 40 miles away and I’ve had my current car for over 3 years now. Recently I looked in to purchasing a new car in order to reduce the depreciation in my current car, by giving it away to someone in the family who drives less than I do. So I looked at all the big manufacturers and a few of them were indicating that their electric cars were imminent (middle of 2010). I decided to hold off until this year and re-checked to see what was available.
The three main electric cars available at the moment (in my opinion) are:
Nissan Leaf – http://www.nissan.co.uk/leaf
The Nissan leaf starts at £25,990 after the government’s discount.
Mitsubishi iMiEV – http://www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/iMiEV
The Mitsubishi iMiEV starts at £23,990 after the government’s discount
Peugeot iOn – http://www.peugeot.co.uk/iOn
This one is only available on contract, starting at £415 + vat per month! Unbelievable… I cannot think why someone would be willing to pay that much per month for a car… My Kia cee’d was only £315 including vat for three years (after which I owned it!)
Ok, so, let’s look at how these cars stack up against my cee’d. My cee’d was £9900 on the road, but I paid using a loan which added another £700 roughly in interest. I’ve had it for three and a half years, but four services. Each service is in the region of £320. I’ve driven 40k miles and insured it three years and taxed it once. So the total cost is roughly:
£10,600 = car including loan
£320 x 4 = £1,280 – services
£120 = tax 1 year
£60 = ish MOT
£160 = front tyres every 25k miles
£160 = rear tyres every 50k miles
Petrol is a little harder to determine. I haven’t always driven well. For the first 2 years I averaged 31 mpg. For a year 38 mpg and for the last 14k miles, 45 mpg.
That adds up to roughly £5200* in petrol over three and a half years
Which means that in three and a half years it has cost me around £17,224. For each year on, assuming 8k miles 40mpg (which is no where near what I’m doing, but is average) @, it would cost around £1800.
Now in order to get to the price of the first car in the list, I’d have to own my car for another four years! That means I’d have owned my car for just over seven years, put around 72,000 miles on the clock, before I’ve even reached the price of the cheapest electrical car in the above list! Err… That doesn’t even make me want to buy one given those stats…
So my question is why are electric cars so expensive? It certainly seems to me that the car manufactures are deliberately pricing the cars to put people off buying them. Before you comment and say that the cost of technology, e.g. on the batteries is high, I just don’t believe that. GM released an electric car back in 96. Prices should have lowered since then and lessons learnt on technology.
14000 (miles) / 45 (mpg) * 4.55 (litres to the gallon) = 1415.56 litres * £1.20 (avg) = £1698
8000 / 38 (mpg) * 4.55 (litres to the gallon) = 957.89 litres * £1.00 (avg) = £957
18000 / 31 (mpg) * 4.55 (litres to the gallon) = 2641.93 litres * £0.95 (avg) = £2509