Many potential buyers will hold off on purchases of electric cars during 2012 due to the premium pricing of the cars, according to a new report from Pike Research.
Nissan raised the price of the Leaf for 2012, and while the Chevrolet Volt will sell for $1,000 less in 2012, the car comes without several features that were previously standard but are now options.
According to data from Pike Research’s annual Electric Car Consumer Survey, the optimal price for a plug-in electric car 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 plug-in electric car in 2012.
“Cars on sale in 2012 will not benefit from recent cost reductions in batteries,” says research director John Gartner. “The batteries in these cars were ordered before 2012, so any flexibility in reducing car pricing will not occur until 2013 or 2014 at the earliest. Nevertheless, the global market for plug-in electric cars will grow to more than a quarter million cars in 2012 – a number sufficient to put an end to the ‘are they for real?’ speculation that has surrounded this market.”
Pike Research’s industry predictions for 2012 include the following:
– Car-sharing services will expand the market for electric cars and hybrids.
– Battery production will outstrip car production.
– The Asia-Pacific region will become the early leader in car-to-grid (V2G) systems.
– Third-party EV charging companies will dominate public charging sales.
– Employers will begin to purchase EV chargers in large numbers.
– Electric Cars will begin to function as home appliances.