Price of Electric Vehicles Shows "Disconnect," Study Says


  • 2012 Toyota Prius Rear 3/4

    2012 Toyota Prius Rear 3/4

    Consumers still aren't sold on the economic benefits of electric vehicles, a study finds. | November 09, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • There is a "disconnect" between the reality of the cost of an electric vehicle and the cost savings that consumers want to achieve, according to J.D. Power and Associates in a new study.
  • It takes an average 6.5 years for consumers to recoup the $10,000 EV price premium and 11 years to recoup the $16,000 plug-in hybrid price premium, the study said.
  • "The payback period is longer than most consumers keep their vehicle," said Neal Oddes, J.D. Power and Associates senior director of the green practice. "The bottom line is that the price has to come down, which requires a technological quantum leap to reduce the battery price."

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California — There is a "disconnect" between the reality of the cost of an electric vehicle and the cost savings that consumers want to achieve, according to J.D. Power and Associates in a new study.

It takes an average 6.5 years for consumers to recoup the $10,000 EV price premium and 11 years to recoup the $16,000 plug-in hybrid price premium, the study said.

"The payback period is longer than most consumers keep their vehicle," said Neal Oddes, J.D. Power and Associates senior director of the green practice. "The bottom line is that the price has to come down, which requires a technological quantum leap to reduce the battery price."

The market research firm's first Electric Vehicle Ownership Experience Study is based on online responses from 7,600 people who own an EV, are considering buying an EV or shopped for an EV but ultimately decided not to purchase one.

Driving range and the availability of charging stations are the top concerns among consumers considering an EV, the study found.

"Electric vehicles will remain a very small part of the U.S. market unless automakers can lower prices and demonstrate the economic benefits to consumers," the study said.

The base 2013 Toyota Prius Two hybrid starts at $24,960, including a $760 destination charge. The base 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid starts at $32,760, including shipping.

The 2012 Nissan Leaf starts at $36,050, including an $850 destination charge. Pricing for the 2013 Leaf has not been announced.

Edmunds says: A new study finds what consumers know intuitively — that electric vehicle prices must drop for sales to soar.

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