Life Auto How cheap does an electric car need to be to go mainstream? Price tipping point revealed

How cheap does an electric car need to be to go mainstream? Price tipping point revealed

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A new survey of 10,000 people across eight significant markets has established tipping points for mainstream adoption of electric vehicles.

The survey conducted by lubricants company Castrol surveyed consumers, fleet managers and industry experts in the US, the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, India, China and Japan.

And the key numbers the survey comes up with for the Yanks are:

  • The price at which an EV becomes affordable is US$36,000 (AU$49,000 approx);
  • The acceptable range between recharges is 519km (or 320 miles);
  • And the acceptable charging time is 30 minutes.

Research results that also emerged from survey suggested the EV market could be worth US$108 billion (AU$148 billion) in the US alone by 2025.

“Castrol’s research shows that there is an appetite amongst consumers to make the switch to electric,” said David Bouet, president of BP Lubricants.

“Vehicle manufacturers have an opportunity to do more to translate this into buying decisions, especially at a time when consumer behaviour is bound to be more cautious.”

Savvy or stingy? Most people won’t pay more than AU$49,000 for an EV. Photo: Getty

There were some significant discrepancies between different countries in terms of the results.

Japanese consumers were prepared to pay as much as US$43,000 (AU$59,000), they were far more stingy in the UK at US$30,000 (AU$41,000).

Price was the number one priority for US respondents, with 57 per cent of those surveyed saying they were currently too expensive. Sixty-five per cent said they were worried about maintenance costs, despite research showing EVs were cheaper than ICE vehicles over their lifetime in terms of cost of ownership.

Charge time was nominated as the number two priority for US consumers, while range was number three. Their expected average was well above the global average of 469km, equivalent to a drive from Paris to London.

Consumers have a growing appetite to switch electric vehicles. Photo: Getty

The fourth concern listed by respondents to the survey was the availability of charging infrastructure, while vehicle choice was the number five priority.

Intriguingly, about half of fleet managers and consumer surveyed said they would be more inclined to shift to an EV were there an equivalent to their favourite ICE vehicle.

Bruce Newton is an Australian motoring journalist and co-founder of electric vehicles website EV CentralThis article is republished with permission from EV Central.