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Electric cars 'will be cheaper than conventional vehicles by 2022' - The Guardian

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,596
Canyon Lake,CA
Once Electric vehicles are less expensive than gas cars, and the charging infrastructure is available everywhere, few will purchase combustion vehicles.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,395
14,407
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Electric cars 'will be cheaper than conventional vehicles by 2022' - The Guar...

That article's projections about battery cost/kWh is overly pessimistic when it comes to Tesla. Quote from the article:
Colin McKerracher, lead analyst at BNEF, added: “At the core of this forecast is the work we have done on EV battery prices. Lithium-ion battery costs have already dropped by 65% since 2010, reaching $350 per kWh in 2015. We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in.”
I believe that Tesla's 2015 cost/kWh was well below $350, and will be below $120 by 2020, not 2030.
 

RichardL

Member
Oct 6, 2013
650
567
San Diego, California
What is encouraging is the general tone of recent articles about the 'inevitability' of a move to EVs - most articles are more 'when' than 'if' recently - at least as far as I can tell.

I don't see recent articles saying EVs will never work, or that Fossil is the way of the future - more arguing about the details...
 

sandpiper

Active Member
Sep 25, 2014
2,833
2,322
Ontario, Canada
According to The Guardian, EVs will be cheaper than ICE cars by 2022. See the article here --> Electric cars 'will be cheaper than conventional vehicles by 2022' | Environment | The Guardian

I have three thoughts on this:

1. Yes, EVs are going to be cheaper much sooner than we expect.

2. Because EVs are vastly simpler than ICEVs, I suspect that, within a few years, we're going to be inundated with with very inexpensive low quality EVs from China - to the point where I think it has the
potential to pretty much destroy the NA auto industry. Remember... the Chinese are being held at bay mostly because they don't yet have the depth of knowledge and experience required to design and build really great quality ICEVs. Take the IC out of ICEV and all of that wonderful engineering expertise in Detroit, Germany, Japan, Korea becomes largely irrelevant. Now it becomes "how can we enormously mass produce really cheap EV batteries with known techniques, and slap them into simple but relatively attractive shells.

3. The perception of what EV is will change. It will no longer be a toy for greenies and wealthy people. It will be that cheapo thingie that you buy because you can't afford anything else.
 

RobStark

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2013
10,715
56,572
Los Angeles, USA
Building safe reliable gliders(shells) is no easy task.

It will still cost ~$6k to ship a vehicle from China to the USA.

Chinese labor cost are approaching Mexican labor cost.

That is why largely luxury or niche vehicles are imported to the USA and why just about every serious competitor in the USA builds in North America.

And getting consumers to believe Chinese cars are safe and reliable is another Herculean task.

Given Chinese industrial policies and tariffs I think it will make it much easier to slap anti-dumping tariffs and non-tariff barriers on Chinese vehicles.
 
Nov 24, 2013
329
3
Europe
Hm? EV's will become "that cheapo thingie that you buy because you can't afford anything else" ??? Is the 'anything else' an ICE-car? Why would I want that? Is it because having an ICE-car is so much more rewarding than having a Tesla? Not in my experience.

I have three thoughts on this: (...)

3. The perception of what EV is will change. It will no longer be a toy for greenies and wealthy people. It will be that cheapo thingie that you buy because you can't afford anything else.
 
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YoungStranger

Member
Feb 10, 2012
187
82
Telford UK
That poll by BMW of UK drivers is interesting, although it doesn't say how serious the polling was. If it was of potential BMW purchasers, then it bodes well for Tesla in the UK...
 

Ed Hart

Member
Nov 5, 2014
313
289
Yorba Linda, CA
In terms of shear materials used, ultimately an electric car will be cheaper to build than an ICE. The simplicity of electric drive vs. either gas or diesel points the way.
 

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sandpiper

Active Member
Sep 25, 2014
2,833
2,322
Ontario, Canada
Hm? EV's will become "that cheapo thingie that you buy because you can't afford anything else" ??? Is the 'anything else' an ICE-car? Why would I want that? Is it because having an ICE-car is so much more rewarding than having a Tesla? Not in my experience.

Maybe not quite the right way to say it. Since conspicuous consumption is usually associated with status, I'm betting that ICEs will eventually become the premium cars. Within the next decade, I think you're going to have some incredibly inexpensive EVs.
 

peteyswift

Member
May 29, 2015
300
126
VA
2. Because EVs are vastly simpler than ICEVs, I suspect that, within a few years, we're going to be inundated with with very inexpensive low quality EVs from China - to the point where I think it has the
potential to pretty much destroy the NA auto industry. Remember... the Chinese are being held at bay mostly because they don't yet have the depth of knowledge and experience required to design and build really great quality ICEVs. Take the IC out of ICEV and all of that wonderful engineering expertise in Detroit, Germany, Japan, Korea becomes largely irrelevant. Now it becomes "how can we enormously mass produce really cheap EV batteries with known techniques, and slap them into simple but relatively attractive shells.

3. The perception of what EV is will change. It will no longer be a toy for greenies and wealthy people. It will be that cheapo thingie that you buy because you can't afford anything else.

As we've seen in the past, even if other large US car companies can't make compelling products they won't be allowed to fail by our government. Having said that, the fear of foreign and domestic volume EV production should motivate those companies to actually compete, instead of whatever they've been doing until now. But, as noted above, our government can't/won't allow China to take over the EV market at home.

I disagree with point #3. EVs will be the new standard and companies will compete intensely in that space to differentiate themselves. Just like they have done in the ICE space in the past. The education of EV-naive consumers will continue to be viral such that ICE will be the inferior and archaic mode of transportation. Think tape deck vs MP3 player, etc.

One question: how much mineable lithium does Earth have? I know we can recycle it, but is there any chance that future battery pricing can be affected by supply, certainly if/when it is the standard?
 

vitaliy

Member
Jun 17, 2015
295
75
Tysons, VA
The sad part is that some are still buying brand new 2016 ICEs hoping for long term return... Well, sure, they can, but it's sounds so strange to all that are aware of the future.
 

Forty Creek

Member
Aug 27, 2013
469
46
Carlisle, Ontario
The sad part is that some are still buying brand new 2016 ICEs hoping for long term return... Well, sure, they can, but it's sounds so strange to all that are aware of the future.
The future seems obvious to us (the ev informed) but the vast majority of car buyers are oblivious the the progress being made in the EV space. Even family and friends who know I've been driving an electric car for years, don't fully get it. Also, most of those buying new 2016 ICEs do not have any alternative at this particular moment due to cost or range concerns. This is about to change with the Bolt & the Model III. Wide spread adoption will follow, once a few good and affordable EVs appear on the street.
 

Trev Page

Member
Sep 21, 2012
619
197
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
The future seems obvious to us (the ev informed) but the vast majority of car buyers are oblivious the the progress being made in the EV space. Even family and friends who know I've been driving an electric car for years, don't fully get it. Also, most of those buying new 2016 ICEs do not have any alternative at this particular moment due to cost or range concerns. This is about to change with the Bolt & the Model III. Wide spread adoption will follow, once a few good and affordable EVs appear on the street.

Very true, I talk about cars to all sorts of people but the consensus is that the vast majority are completely ignorant to the shifting sands under the feet of the whole industry. Sure, most are aware of hybrids but very very few are aware of the presence of BEVs.

Car makers have had decades of massaging the costs down on ICEs to the point where they're basically making the engine and body and doing final assembly. They can't get the costs down on the engines much lower as that's where a lot of the R&D is going with emission standards tightening up all the time.

BEVs on the other hand are going to enjoy tremendous drops in price on the batteries and drivetrains and eventually, once they reach cost parity with ICE drivetrains, perhaps even lower, then the industry will start to see a lot of movement.

Right now we're in creep mode: Tesla and GM are going to enter the market in the next 12-24 months with cars that are much more affordable and be positioned into the higher-end of the mass market. In another 3-4 years and we will see the fruits of today's announcements from all the other players.

Irrespective of the cost of gas, to me it's the drivetrain costs that will the catalyst that will cause the eventual shift.
 

sandpiper

Active Member
Sep 25, 2014
2,833
2,322
Ontario, Canada
I disagree with point #3. EVs will be the new standard and companies will compete intensely in that space to differentiate themselves. Just like they have done in the ICE space in the past. The education of EV-naive consumers will continue to be viral such that ICE will be the inferior and archaic mode of transportation. Think tape deck vs MP3 player, etc.

One question: how much mineable lithium does Earth have? I know we can recycle it, but is there any chance that future battery pricing can be affected by supply, certainly if/when it is the standard?

There will, of course, be competition and differentiation and so-on. But I think that the average cost of the vehicles is going to end up being substantially lower. The drive units are still being worked out, but they will end up being commoditized and built by the bazillions at some sweat-shop in China. The same is true of the battery packs and chargers. The steering & braking systems are already outsourced and I half expect that they're already made in China. I'm sure that the vehicle computers will end up being standardized, running Apple, Google or MSFT operating systems. So the hardware will all come from Foxconn or somebody like that. So... what's left? The shell, suspension and interior. There's not a lot of meat there for a lot of folks in Detroit or Germany to chew on.

Much as I love my EV and as much as it's inevitably the future, I fear that we're going to see another CRT/flatscreen, film/digital transition where many of the legacy manufacturers simply vanish - no longer having the key competencies needed to compete. And with that will go a LOT of jobs and a lot of our industrial infrastructure.

What Elon is doing is really commendable. It's as though somebody committed to building the world's largest flatscreen plant in the US, while the industry was just about to shift. It's no guarantee of success but it's hope.

- - - Updated - - -

Irrespective of the cost of gas, to me it's the drivetrain costs that will the catalyst that will cause the eventual shift.

Yes. I 100% agree.
 

flankspeed8

Member
Dec 19, 2014
693
157
Vermillion, MN
The future seems obvious to us (the ev informed) but the vast majority of car buyers are oblivious the the progress being made in the EV space.

I would say this is because the progress is largely invisible with the exception of the ultra-premium priced product that Tesla offers. There really is no exposure out there to mainstream EV's. You really do have to go looking for them. Maybe this would be a semi-altruistic reason for Tesla to start an ad campaign in the style of 1984? Sure they get exposure, but they can really start telling the story of the electric car.
 

Ed Hart

Member
Nov 5, 2014
313
289
Yorba Linda, CA
Yes, Battery Electric Cars Will Be Cheaper

As other have noted, I believe that as long as we keep the pressure on industry to build cleaner and more efficient cars, battery-electric power will emerge as the key to creating the lowest cost vehicles. The complexity of ICE vehicles is increasing dramatically, and cost-affordable technical options for meeting future requirements are diminishing. While a "Moores Law-Like" trend does not likely apply to energy storage density, such a law will almost surely apply to battery cost, meaning something like a 250 mile car will soon be quite inexpensive. The Gigafactory concept and commitment is a turning point for all BEVs.
I have included a few views of modern vehicles that help understand the complexity.
 

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peteyswift

Member
May 29, 2015
300
126
VA
As other have noted, I believe that as long as we keep the pressure on industry to build cleaner and more efficient cars, battery-electric power will emerge as the key to creating the lowest cost vehicles. The complexity of ICE vehicles is increasing dramatically, and cost-affordable technical options for meeting future requirements are diminishing. While a "Moores Law-Like" trend does not likely apply to energy storage density, such a law will almost surely apply to battery cost, meaning something like a 250 mile car will soon be quite inexpensive. The Gigafactory concept and commitment is a turning point for all BEVs.
I have included a few views of modern vehicles that help understand the complexity.

Very nice presentation!
 

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