Skip to content

Electric Cars Remain A Luxury Purchase

April 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

 image

 

Projections by the Committee on Climate Change consistently assume that electric cars will soon be cheaper to buy than conventional models.

Analysis that I did six years ago showed that the mid-range Nissan Leaf, the most popular EV, cost about £10,000 more than its petrol equivalent, the Ford Focus. Fast forward to today, and little seems to have changed.

Excluding the £2500 government subsidy, the Leaf’s RRP is £32945, compared to the Focus which is £23755:

 

image

https://www.nissan.co.uk/vehicles/new-vehicles/leaf/configurator.html#configure/BAVh/AsKHfEFGI/wheels

image

https://www.ford.co.uk/cars/focus/models-specs/zetec#overlay/content/overlays/download-a-brochure/new-focus

 

Economies of scale may bring down the cost of EV’s, although higher raw material costs would offset this. It also seems likely that Nissan are selling at ultra low prices currently in order to gain market share.

Manufacturers will also have to set prices high enough in future to recoup that billions invested in new production lines for electric models.

There is also the question of depreciation costs. Parkers suggest a second hand value of around £7000 for a three year old Leaf, which would have cost about £30,000 new, which seems very poor value for money. The Focus petrol model has a similar second hand value, but of course cost much less new, about £20,000:

image

image

43 Comments
  1. April 22, 2021 3:30 pm

    EV sales will take off when you will only be able to buy EVs. That’s where governments are heading, and the auto manufacturers are following. When that happens, cities will begin to look a lot more like Havana.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 23, 2021 9:03 am

      Why? The utility of a car is finite. People won’t switch spending from other things no matter what. And the utility of an EV is far below that of an ICE so the threshold price for purchase is much lower. I need EVs to be cheaper than the ICE car I would buy as they are worse at being a car. And the perks – no congestion charge, reduced parking etc. will vanish.

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    April 22, 2021 3:33 pm

    Wow – with that sort of depreciation, you may as well PCP a different league of petrol or diesel car and drive around much more comfortably. Then, after the 3 years (or whatever the lease is), hand it back and start again.
    I’m glad that BEVs have now been around long enough that we can start to see data showing just how much they really cost to own. Actually, I’m surprised they are not worthless given that the batteries would cost way more than that depreciated price to replace. As more years of data becomes available, given battery issues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those rates plummet further.

    • Chris Ineson permalink
      April 22, 2021 3:44 pm

      Then there’s the battery pack to consider. On eBay the other day there was a second hand pack for a Jaguar I-Pace. Removed from a two-year old scrapper it was £12,000. If you want to see how shy the manufacturers are about discussing this, simply try to find out the price of a new pack from a main dealer. You will NOT get a reply.

      • Ian Magness permalink
        April 22, 2021 3:52 pm

        I know for a fact that the battery packs on reasonably large SUVs (which can be 2 metres long and weigh far too much for a man to move) have cost over £20,000 for at least a couple of years now. And, yes, whilst faulty ones can often be repaired by replacing only one of the cells (all-in cost perhaps £1,000 to £2,000) there have been examples of total failure requiring complete replacement. Imagine that if you are not under warranty…

  3. Tom Scott permalink
    April 22, 2021 3:40 pm

    I’m a big fan of electric cars because they are nice to drive, fast, clean and quiet, so make our towns and cities more pleasant. However, they are far too expensive and people should always be given the choice. Governments in free countries (which this once was) should not be banning ICE cars at all.

    It strikes me that the Plug In Hybrid is the best real world solution. A smaller battery makes them cheaper, they have no range anxiety problems as you fill them with petrol and they can be made to run electric only in towns so won’t give athsma to pedestrians.

    However, the environmental lobby are now against PHEVs.

    • ianprsy permalink
      April 22, 2021 3:47 pm

      Hardly surprising. A hybrid bought for company BIK benefits and driven like, er a company car will not achieve the advertised performance.

      • Tom Scott permalink
        April 22, 2021 3:53 pm

        Every company hybrid sold is a future 3 year old, FSH, used car that will be bought by someone who WILL plug it in.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      April 22, 2021 4:42 pm

      Tom, do you really believe that air pollution causes Asthma?
      In the 1950s when air pollution was 5 to10 times higher than it is now there was only one person in our whole school who had Asthma.
      Since 1970 all of the air pollution metrics they blame for killing people have been reduced by about 90%. How did people survive those years I wonder.
      Here is the data on the increases in Asthma

      https://thorax.bmj.com/content/62/1/85

      Versus the decrease in pollution.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/emissions-of-air-pollutants/emissions-of-air-pollutants-in-the-uk-particulate-matter-pm10-and-pm25

      https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/emissions-of-air-pollutants/emissions-of-air-pollutants-in-the-uk-nitrogen-oxides-nox

      https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/emissions-of-air-pollutants/emissions-of-air-pollutants-in-the-uk-sulphur-dioxide-so2

      • alexei permalink
        April 23, 2021 2:54 am

        re. Asthma, all allergies are up, including skin problems like eczema, so logically little to do with air pollution.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        April 23, 2021 9:00 am

        Lots of research shows that at least half of asthma has been misdiagnosed. But yes, levels of air pollution in the UK are around 20-30% of what they were in 1970 – so where’s all the deaths that have been avoided? If we now have 60,000, we should have saved perhaps 4-6 times that number, as it’s unlikely to be a wholly linear problem. So where’s the 250,000 fewer deaths? We can track the increase in longevity to other things. There’s no gap to be filled by air pollution. Its wholly fake science.

      • Vernon E permalink
        April 23, 2021 11:27 am

        A C Osborn: Have you noticed that the TV weather forecasters are now reporting “Pollution Levels” that used to be Pollen Counts. In my book pollen is not pollution – it is a naturally occurring nuisance that unfortunately affects asthma sufferers unduly. But this a nother example of the creeping brain-washing that we are being subjected to as if we are infants.

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      April 22, 2021 5:34 pm

      I’d say self-charging hybrid is the single best solution. All the benefits of both electric and ICE with zero charging issues.

      The problem with this assessment is it’s clearly too simple for government to grasp.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 23, 2021 9:05 am

      Amazing how asthma correlates negatively with air pollution but apparently pollution causes asthma.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 23, 2021 1:53 pm

      My neighbour has just bought a used Mitsubishi SUV PHEV to replace a small Suzuki so he will do more damage to the roads now with the extra weight. He wasn’t happy when I suggested he park it away from the house when charging in case it ignites. He was concerned about the mileage but surely battery charging cycles is more important given the cost of a replacement.

      The problem with all hybrids is that they can’t be classed as ‘zero emission’ since there is no way of knowing if the engine is running when they are in a ‘zero emission zone’ which our moronic councils are champing at the bit to introduce. The only zero vehicles have to be powered either by hydrogen fuel cell or electric as determined by the log book. TfL had to allow hybrids in their ‘zero’ zone or the new taxis they were forcing on drivers would be banned as well. I was forced to change the rules to allow them in the UK’s first ‘zero’ street.

      The increase in asthma has nothing to do with pollution as both here and in the US the air has never been so clean and yet cases are rising for reasons they have yet to understand. If you have asthma then pollution levels may cause you a problem. I spent a year in 1990/91 driving as a courier in and out of central London and on those hot still days when a brown smog could be seen over London I suffered from chest tightness and was glad when I got out of the City. I have worked in Victoria and the City for over a decade and not had any problems. A look at the graphs Paul posts shows how much pollution has dropped since 1990.

  4. ianprsy permalink
    April 22, 2021 3:44 pm

    My council hasn’t got the memo. They already have electric vans, etc,and are in the process of buying dozens more, plus charging facilities, all to save the planet. Of course, taxpayers won’t notice the exitra cost, they’ll be so grateful. I’ve FOI’d them, asking what fire safety and training they have in place, following the recent report of the hard-to-extinguish Tesla car fire.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 23, 2021 1:42 pm

      Don’t you mean impossible to extinguish given that after 30000 odd gallons of water and 4 hours they stopped bothering and let it burn itself out.

  5. April 22, 2021 4:29 pm

    EVs are all bad, except to those making money from them.

  6. jazznick permalink
    April 22, 2021 4:33 pm

    I agree that the ‘premium ?’ to go electric is at least £10k – don’t forget the wallbox on top of that. My Volvo was a shade under £40k 2 years ago and a direct replacement electric version starts at £49,950.

    My booked trip around Scotland this year would not be possible in the timescale and certainly out of the question if a guaranteed working charge point was not available at each of the 5 hotels on my tour. All hotels will need to make one available to book with the room and in larger establishments a sub-station would need to be installed to take the extra load as more guests ‘go electric’ and want to plug in overnight.

    Are all hotels preparing for this ?

    Just looked at the Premier Inn site and ‘no’ would seem to be the answer. I’ve no doubt a few chargers are available on a ‘pot-luck’ basis but it’s not much good if you have meetings lined up next day.

    • ianprsy permalink
      April 22, 2021 4:45 pm

      Not just hotels. Holiday cottage owners could be in for a running costs shock if some of their customers hook up to their power supply every evening, even at 13A. Last time I looked, letting agencies hadn’t a clue what was coming fown the road, and cared even less.

      • jazznick permalink
        April 22, 2021 4:56 pm

        You can just imagine the “extras” bill for using the metered charge point following the substantial outlay for the infrastructure. Someone has to pay; and that will be us.

        It would have been better if Johnson had a plan (I know, bear with me) to introduce more nuclear (maybe smaller installations) to re-assure us plebs that in the even of dull/still weather there will still be power to run people’s livelihoods.

        Maybe if we saw that happening it would encourage more of an uptake, but for the moment – no thanks.

  7. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 22, 2021 4:47 pm

    The used market in ICE vehicles is going to be around for a long time. That’s just a fact.

    • Mack permalink
      April 22, 2021 5:19 pm

      Until the government decides to ban them entirely or tax them out of existence, of course. With the current vein of deluded ‘climate emergency’ thinking having infected the entire political class, the only way the transformation they aspire to can be realised is through dictatorship. Gummer and his chums have already hinted that, should the great unwashed not willingly accept the green medicine on offer, then some force feeding might be required. No doubt emboldened by the ‘successes’ of the Covid police state apparatus, who’s to say Boris and his successors won’t start initiating much more draconian policies in the years to come to enforce compliance. Go green, or else folks!

    • jazznick permalink
      April 22, 2021 5:55 pm

      I expect that the green gods will have plans for that. A baseline date will be set and old ICE’s will be banned from being re-sold progressively by date of first registration until they are all gone.

      You will eventually either have to pay the ever increasing “ICE polluting *astard tax” or be obliged to send it for scrap.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        April 23, 2021 2:05 pm

        There will come a time when we find a new way of recycling glass bottles, petrol and small parts of clothing into one neat package. There will be nothing to lose.

  8. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 22, 2021 5:45 pm

    My novelist daughter has a Leaf – marvellous engineering. Checking used prices I see that it depreciates £5000 a year linearly for three years. At some point battery replacement cost kicks in – value falls to zero?

  9. April 22, 2021 5:50 pm

    Why would an EV price depreciated more? There’s far less moving parts and they should last longer than petrol car, where dozens of things can go wrong

    • April 22, 2021 6:23 pm

      Probably because very few drivers want one!

    • jazznick permalink
      April 22, 2021 6:38 pm

      LJ
      I suspect that the warranty period on the battery running out would be part of the cause of severe depreciation, especially if driven and charged incorrectly a used EV is a BIG unknown. At least with an ICE you can usually hear if something is falling apart or a competent engineer can provide an assessment.

      A battery ? Who knows !?

      This is a bit of an eye opener too –
      https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-i-regret-buying-an-electric-car

    • April 23, 2021 3:14 am

      “…few drivers want one!” – Paul Homewood

      And even fewer want a used one?

  10. April 22, 2021 6:07 pm

    China’s latest ultra-cheapo no-frills EV plugs into a domestic socket, selling like hot cakes…

    Will US & European car industry survive super-cheap Chinese EVs?
    Date: 21/04/21

    https://www.thegwpf.com/will-us-european-car-industry-survive-super-cheap-chinese-evs/

    • April 22, 2021 10:32 pm

      The new car costs less than a year’s depreciation on a Nissan Leaf.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        April 23, 2021 2:08 pm

        No frills souped up golf carts for town use is likely the only battery car you could sell but there is always the rapidly escalating materials cost that you can’t escape especially if trying to use huge battery banks to cover for unreliable wind and solar is still in vogue.

  11. April 22, 2021 6:31 pm

    Many people lease rather than buy new cars, and the lease prices paint a more favourable picture for EVs, on top of lower fuel and other costs for EVs. Here are sample lease prices:

    https://www.selectcarleasing.co.uk/car-leasing/ford/focus/hatchback

    https://www.selectcarleasing.co.uk/car-leasing/nissan/leaf/hatchback

  12. Peter S permalink
    April 22, 2021 7:05 pm

    Most years I drive the length of the country in 6-8 hours in order to visit the Highlands where you can often drive for about fifty miles without seeing a petrol station. An EV is simply unfit for that type of trip. They might be ok for short journeys around town for someone with a property that can provide convenient off street parking with a charging point but for anything else an EV is waste of time and money and a source of anxiety and frustration.

    I doubt if the transition to EVs will be successful or acceptable. That is before taking into account the environmental and possible safety issues with the batteries, the waste problem and the neglibible effect of the whole idea on climate chage. Massive regressive steps are luckily rarely vote winners.

    • jazznick permalink
      April 22, 2021 8:37 pm

      Quite agree Peter,

      I’m looking, as instructed by constant propaganda, at an EV to replace my ICE at the end of my PCP deal. Although the EV equivalents do around the same mileage per ‘fill-up’
      I have to spend 40min/1hr at a charger (if I can find one and it works and I’m not in a queue) to replenish the EV.

      All this on a car 25% more expensive than the ICE !

      It’s going to be cheaper to pay all the fines, duties and taxes as they come along.

  13. Lorde Late permalink
    April 22, 2021 11:22 pm

    Aside from the green issues one thing is being overlooked here.
    I posted elsewhere the other day that where we currently (no pun intended) are with ICE vehicles is the result of around 135 years of experience and development. With the latest crop of EV’s we are trying to run before we can crawl. But what do I know, Ive only been in the motor repair business since 1975.

  14. Gamecock permalink
    April 22, 2021 11:57 pm

    The Camelopardalis in the room is all that fuel cost saving EVs have is TAXES. The extreme high cost of fuel in Europe is due to TAXES. You might give up petrol, but government isn’t going to give up its taxes. IF EVs ever make significant penetration of the market (unlikely), government will change the tax system such that they still get their money. EVs currently get a free ride, with subsidies and no road taxes.

    Just as wind/solar get free backup today from gas/coal/nuclear. We get pronouncements that “renewables are cheaper than coal,” while they rely on coal for backup. And not paying for it.

  15. JBW permalink
    April 23, 2021 10:32 am

    Driving up north this morning on the M40 / M1 a lot of the overhead gantries has signs with the distracting missive of “Minimise Travel” or words to that effect. So the propaganda war is spreading. (Never mind the safety issue of putting irrelevant junk on the signs that should be used only for relevant travel information and safety issues).

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 23, 2021 3:39 pm

      10-4. Covid has long since become ubiquitous here.

      My hair cutter used to have me sign a form declaring, among other things, that I hadn’t been out of the US in 28 days. The ironing being that there is more Covid HERE than anywhere else outside I could go to.

      “Minimise travel,” presumably to not spread Covid, when, in fact, it’s already there where you are going, and it’s already there where you will go back to.

  16. A McKay permalink
    April 23, 2021 12:29 pm

    Letter in today’s DT Electric vehicles will drive up emissions abroad
    SIR – Electric vehicle charger ratings are typically 3.5 kilowatts or more, and with 20 million electric vehicles the peak charger load would be 70,000 megawatts, which alone exceeds current maximum demand on the national grid. That assumes only one electric vehicle per household. To that must be added the load applied by heat pumps (Letters, April 22).

    On some winter days, the total solar and wind capacity is little more than 1 per cent of maximum demand, suggesting that we will need more than 23 new 3,000 megawatt power stations, plus an upgrade of the transmission system, to cater for the potential electric vehicle charger load.

    It has also been reported that the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle doesn’t fall below that of a petrol or diesel vehicle until it has travelled 50,000 miles (average annual UK vehicle mileage is around 10,000 miles). But what cost-benefit analysis is the policy based on, when the UK is responsible for only about 1 per cent of global hydrocarbon emissions?

    The programme will not only put more into fuel poverty but it will also drive energy-intensive businesses abroad to countries such as India and China, where they will cause even more emissions than before.

  17. donteachin permalink
    April 23, 2021 12:33 pm

    Letter in today’s DT Electric vehicles will drive up emissions abroad
    SIR – Electric vehicle charger ratings are typically 3.5 kilowatts or more, and with 20 million electric vehicles the peak charger load would be 70,000 megawatts, which alone exceeds current maximum demand on the national grid. That assumes only one electric vehicle per household. To that must be added the load applied by heat pumps (Letters, April 22).

    On some winter days, the total solar and wind capacity is little more than 1 per cent of maximum demand, suggesting that we will need more than 23 new 3,000 megawatt power stations, plus an upgrade of the transmission system, to cater for the potential electric vehicle charger load.

    It has also been reported that the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle doesn’t fall below that of a petrol or diesel vehicle until it has travelled 50,000 miles (average annual UK vehicle mileage is around 10,000 miles). But what cost-benefit analysis is the policy based on, when the UK is responsible for only about 1 per cent of global hydrocarbon emissions?

    The programme will not only put more into fuel poverty but it will also drive energy-intensive businesses abroad to countries such as India and China, where they will cause even more emissions than before.

  18. Robert Christopher permalink
    April 23, 2021 7:22 pm

    Evidence of total ignorance!

    ‘Even if we get to net zero, we still need to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,’ [John] Kerry said. ‘This is a bigger challenge than a lot of people have really grabbed on to yet.’
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9501805/John-Kerry-says-need-CO2-atmosphere.html

    Not ‘lower the concentration’, but get rid of it!

    It’s more than astonishing! But then Boris is following the same Agenda!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: