The Almighty Dollar Remains Electric Cars’ Biggest Obstacle

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Nissan Leaf

Electric cars are known as many things, but “affordable” isn’t one of them. Due to a crippling lack of readily accessible infrastructure, the high cost of technology, and the resulting public apprehension to making the leap from gasoline to electric, EVs tend to be far more expensive than their more conventional counterparts. Case in point, the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Volt.

Though the Volt is not a true electric car — rather, an extended-range, plug-in hybrid — it ran nearly $40,000 upon its release. Although the vehicle has come down in cost substantially, a conventional car of the same size and stature could likely be had new and loaded with options at a significant discount to the Volt.

While it’s no secret or surprise that EVs struggle on the pricing front, a recent survey has all but confirmed that there appears to be a $25,000 threshold for EVs that most buyers have great difficulty in breaching. The Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey conducted by Navigant Research found that prices higher than $25,000 are a major turnoff for many consumers. Of 1,084 respondents to the survey, 71 percent plan to spend less than that on their next vehicle purchase. Further, 43 percent are not planning to breach the $20,000 threshold, essentially eliminating the EV industry as a whole from their menu of options.

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