Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shocking Price of Electric Cars

Even with the generous subsidies, conventional similarly sized gasoline-powered vehicles are available for half the price of an electric Nissan Leaf. Thus, drivers of conventional vehicles can buy a lot of gasoline before reaching a breakeven point with this electric car.

However, the batteries in electric cars eventually need replacement. At this point it appears the battery packs will function for about five years. How much will it cost to replace a battery pack? About $15,000. At current prices for gasoline, that battery costs as much as 5,000 gallons of gas. With lots of vehicles traveling 30 miles on a gallon of gas, a battery pack is equal to 150,000 miles.

Thus, the true cost of owning and operating an electric car is high. Higher than owning and operating a conventional gas-powered vehicle. Meanwhile, if electric vehicles do take sales from conventional vehicles, the sellers of gas-powered vehicles will drop their prices.

Meanwhile, it is easier to increase oil production than it is to increase the production of batteries. The batteries require lithium, and most lithium is found in Bolivia, a country that expects to become the world's leader in lithium sales. That means Bolivia will charge as much as possible for this export.

Bolivia is a corrupt socialist nation. That means lithium production will suffer, and, by extension, the buyers of lithium will suffer. Corruption and general bureaucratic bungling will lead to tight supplies and high prices while oil remains plentiful.

Sales of electric cars will slump when people drive them in winter and discover that using the headlights, the heater, the stereo, the windshield wipers and the motor simultaneously will drain the battery in a hurry.

Nissan's electric car to cost less than $32K in US

Nissan to sell Leaf electric car for $32K in US; could drive down prices on similar cars

Nissan said Tuesday its new electric car will start at 3.76 million yen ($40,000) in Japan, aiming to put zero-emission cars within reach of drivers around the world. Deliveries of the car will start in December and customers in Japan will be able to place orders starting April 1, Japan's No. 3 automaker said.

Tuesday March 30, 2010, 11:10 am EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nissan Motor Co. says its Leaf electric car will cost $32,780 when it goes on sale in the U.S. at the end of the year, an amount that could drive down prices on similar cars made by competitors.

The price of the four-door hatchback falls to $25,280 after a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles.

The rival Chevrolet Volt is expected to cost around $35,000 when it comes out around the same time. It's also eligible for the tax credit.

Nissan says the Leaf will cost 3.76 million yen ($40,000) in Japan. Nissan will price the car for less in the U.S. because it wants to sell more of them in that market and is confident it can still make money at that price.

Orders in the U.S. start April 20 and Nissan is aiming for 25,000 orders by December.

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