High Prices Will Limit Sales of Electric Vehicles in 2012
potential buyers will hold off on purchases of electric vehicles
(EVs) during 2012 due to the premium pricing of the vehicles,
according to a new white paper from Pike
Nissan raised the price of the Leaf for 2012, and
while the 2012 Chevrolet Volt will sell for $1,000 less, the car
comes without several features that were previously standard but
are now options.
According to data from Pike Research’s annual
Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey, the optimal price for a plug-in
electric vehicle (PEV) to engage consumers is $23,750. With
the 2012 Toyota Prius PHEV ($32,000), the Honda Fit BEV ($36,625),
and the Ford Focus EV ($39,995) all north of $30,000 (before
federal incentives), consumers hoping for an affordable EV ride
have been left wanting.
These relatively high selling prices will constrain
the market for PEVs in 2012. The white paper, which includes
10 predictions about the EV market in 2012, is available for free
download on Pike Research’s website.
“Vehicles on sale in 2012 will not benefit from recent cost
reductions in batteries,” says research director John
“The batteries in these vehicles were ordered before
2012, so any flexibility in reducing vehicle pricing will not occur
until 2013 or 2014 at the earliest.
Nevertheless, the global market for plug-in electric
vehicles will grow to more than a quarter million vehicles in 2012
- a number sufficient to put an end to the ‘are they for real?’
speculation that has surrounded this market.”
Pike Research believes in 2012, plug-in electric
vehicles (PEVs) will take major strides toward becoming a mature if
small component of the overall vehicle fleet. The number of battery
electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold and the variety of
options for consumers will expand rapidly.
The fruits of the multi-billion dollar investments
in recent years in lithium ion battery manufacturing facilities
will provide abundance in capacity that could outpace demand, but
any oversupply will not impact vehicle pricing.
In order to analyze the impacts of these and other
key issues facing the EV industry, Pike Research has prepared a
white paper that makes ten predictions about the continuing
evolution of the market in 2012 and beyond.