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Affordable electric cars ‘not viable’–Kia Boss

January 23, 2023

By Paul Homewood


The wheels are coming off the EV rollout.

Firstly, as Kia’s CEO inconveniently points out, most drivers cannot afford to buy a new EV. As a result, Kia has no immediate plans to build EVs for the mass market, instead concentrating on up-market cars:



A mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen soon because of the difficulty of producing them on a commercially viable basis, one of the largest makers of zero-emission vehicles for British drivers has warned.

Paul Philpott, UK chief executive of Kia, the fast-growing South Korean car company, said it had no immediate plans for a mass-market electric product.

Some fear there is a prospect of a society of haves and have-nots in the electric car revolution because of the sheer cost of buying or financing a zero-emission vehicle.

Philpott’s prediction also threatens to undermine the government’s ban on selling petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
With price inflation roaring ahead in the past couple of years, there are only a handful of electric cars available below £30,000, compared with the less than £20,000 that motorists would expect to pay for mass market or entry-level petrol cars. Even the smallest electric car, the zero-emission version of the Fiat 500, starts at about £30,000.
This month the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the government’s automotive electrification agency, significantly cut electric car forecasts for 2025 because “buyers are expected to stick with cheaper options for longer”.
While European and Asian manufacturers have been stepping up production of electric vehicles, they have been concentrating on more expensive models to make healthy profit margins on the cost of installing electrified systems. The battery pack is the costliest component of an electric car. The smaller the car, the larger the proportion the battery in its production cost.



The lack of interest in the EV market amongst UK carmakers is one of the major factors behind the failure of Britishvolt, who failed to get any real long term commitment for battery orders. And that lack of interest is understandable, given the billions it would cost those carmakers to design and build new electric models.

All of this was totally predictable, and the end result of the government’s ban on new petrol/diesel cars from 2030 will be the decimation of the UK car industry and a society of haves and have nots.

The Express also reports on the growing dissatisfaction in the car industry:


Online car marketplace carwow is warning that growing dissent from car manufacturers could derail politicians’ big plans for electric cars. From 2030, only EVs, and hybrids that can cover a "significant distance" in zero-emission battery mode, can be sold from new, with anything that is not a fully electric vehicle banned from 2035.

Experts at carwow consider that this planned abandonment of hybrid technology, which is popular, practicable and brings a meaningful reduction in exhaust emissions, should be reconsidered as a matter of urgency.

In December last year, the president of Toyota warned that in the car industry, the "silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option," and that we need to be "realistic" about this goal.

Earlier in the year the boss of BMW was implicitly critical of the EU’s plans for banning new petrol and diesel car sales in 2035, explaining that "an abundance of renewable energy, a seamless private and public charging infrastructure network and access to raw materials" were all "essential" for such a project to work.

Hugo Griffiths, carwow’s consumer editor, said: “Utterances such as these do not happen by accident, not least from auto-industry bosses who are traditionally conservative: such statements speak of real concerns for the feasibility of politicians’ plans for electric cars.

Mr Griffiths added: “Ministers can come up with all manner of high-minded policies from the back of an electric limousine, yet there remains a huge gulf between blue-sky political thinking, and how much cobalt and lithium can actually be dug out of the ground for EV battery packs.

Meanwhile the Telegraph reminds us once again that it is now it is now more expensive to run EVs than a petrol car:



In fact it is much more expensive than the Telegraph report, as their costings for petrol include fuel duty, which will ultimately have to be paid by EV drivers one way or another.

It is hard not to draw the conclusion that the real goal all along was to force millions to give up their cars.

  1. GeoffB permalink
    January 23, 2023 2:26 pm

    As Spike Milligan said when he did not have a punch line for a sketch…..
    What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now?
    As the net zero plan is now falling apart, just how much longer can people like Skidmore, Zac Goldsmith, Lord Debden (Gummer) get away with supporting a plan that takes our lifestyle back a 100 years, on the remote off chance that we can influence the weather.

    • William George permalink
      January 23, 2023 5:47 pm

      Excellent comment, sums it up brilliantly.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      January 23, 2023 6:38 pm

      I think you meant
      Taking our lifestyle back 1000 years
      100 years ago we had coal!

  2. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 23, 2023 2:27 pm

    Yes. Force many of us to their will. At least this Philpott is not a crackpot.
    Unfortunately demanding that car users all go for battery vehicles is not their only attack. We have to fight for gas and convince our crooked leaders that renewables are not the miracle their salesmen claim them to be.
    Best stick to petrol/diesel and keep improving the technology as we have always done.
    Next up Bilderberg.

    • peakoil permalink
      January 25, 2023 3:37 pm

      what happens when world`s oil extraction rate begins dropping? Do you think oil will last forever?

      • catweazle666 permalink
        January 25, 2023 8:14 pm

        Using modern prospecting and extraction techniques there are hundreds – perhaps thousands of years’ worth of available petroleum resources left as yet untouched.

        Then, using the steerable drilling techniques used for shale extraction and in situ gasification which produces synthesis gas, feedstock for the Fischer-Tropsch coal to oil process, there are billions – perhaps trillions – of tons of coal accessible in the UK alone.

        And then there is the vast amount of methane available as hydrate on the ocean bed and in the arctic permafrost which is even now being investigated with a view to commercial exploitation, see here:
        “At the same time, new technologies are being developed in Germany that may be useful for exploring and extracting the hydrates.
        The basic idea is very simple: the methane (CH4) is harvested from the hydrates by replacing it with CO2. Laboratory studies show that this is possible in theory because liquid carbon dioxide reacts spontaneously with methane hydrate.
        If this concept could become economically viable, it would be a win-win situation, because the gas exchange in the hydrates would be attractive both from a financial and a climate perspective.”

        So don’t worry, we won’t have to worry about energy for centuries – perhaps millennia, by which time we’ll have much more efficient energy technology.

  3. John Palmer permalink
    January 23, 2023 2:49 pm

    Ho, ho, effing ho! Who’d a thunk it?

  4. Gamecock permalink
    January 23, 2023 2:55 pm

    “It’s worse than we thought!”

    Gamecock did a price comparison this weekend of 2023 Ford F-150 crew-cab pickups, “Lightning (EV)” vs ICE. The electric model was $US17,000 more!

    The price spread is growing rapidly! Perpetual claims that increased production would lower EV cost are proving absolutely wrong!

    More: The Lightning was $93,000 (!).

    Mr More-Money-Than-Brains is the only person who would pay that kind of money for a pickup, and what is essentially an experimental pickup. I’m sure Ford will make it good, but paying serious money for an introductory model is asking for trouble.

    More (2): Can their service department even handle an electric vehicle ?!?!

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 23, 2023 4:29 pm


      Chinese £3,200 budget electric car takes on Tesla

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 23, 2023 4:49 pm

        “Takes on Tesla”

        Ha ha ha ha! I’m sure Tesla is skeert.

        “Budget” and “electric car” should never be in the same sentence.

      • T Walker permalink
        January 23, 2023 5:55 pm

        Oh! come Gamecock – I heard the Chinese budget car was running on AA batteries!!!

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        January 23, 2023 6:43 pm

        It’s a Citroen Ami clone.
        TOTAL INCL. VAT £8,095

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        January 23, 2023 6:52 pm

        Probably uses a USB charging cable…

      • Realist permalink
        January 24, 2023 8:18 am

        Despite also being an expensive city runabout, Teslas are almost normal size. That Chinese budget car would be competing for example with a Smart or Fiat 500
        >>Chinese £3,200 budget electric car takes on Tesla

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 24, 2023 10:19 am

        You can’t get a golf cart for £3,200.

  5. sean2829 permalink
    January 23, 2023 3:04 pm

    I think it’s also instructive to look at the used car market size vs. the new car market size. In the US, 17 million new cars sold in 2019 vs. 42 million used cars. The price of the new cars (~$38K) are also 70% higher than the used cars (~$22K). With ICE vehicles lasting on average 20 years, people will be filling up their gas or diesel tanks for a long time. I suspect that used ICE vehicle’s prices will also increase when new car sale is no longer legal.

  6. Derrick Byford permalink
    January 23, 2023 3:17 pm

    They may try to ban the sale of new ICE cars from 2030, but if EV’s are not affordable, have too few charging points, are not generally available, overwhelm a grid powered by windmills and cause fires difficult to control, then people will keep their older and aging petrol and diesel cars until these are also banned or priced off the road.

    • Realist permalink
      January 23, 2023 4:15 pm

      Banning products that have _already_ been manufactured and sold (maybe still even being paid for) looks like attempts at retrospective laws which is banned by many international treaties.

    • Tim Gettins permalink
      January 24, 2023 7:42 am

      I’m looking forward to the London Dorking veteran EV car run…

  7. Keith permalink
    January 23, 2023 3:33 pm

    Manufacturers are increasingly ditching the reliable sub £10k runabout petrol models. The VW Up for example. People haven’t noticed yet because they only ever buy used. But at some point they’ll be looking and wondering why the “newest” models are 5 years old… then 7.. then…10…

  8. Realist permalink
    January 23, 2023 3:46 pm

    Quite apart from the price, there is no “mass market” for _only_ city runabouts.
    People need normal size vehicles without range problems and long recharging times. Both of these should have been fixed before putting any EV on sale.

  9. Realist permalink
    January 23, 2023 3:48 pm

    Could it be that the manufacturers are actually listening to what the market wants and needs rather than what politicians want to impose?
    >>dissent from car manufacturers

  10. Stonyground permalink
    January 23, 2023 3:54 pm

    I’ve often wondered about the power structures that actually enable the government to tell people what to do. I suspect that they would be powerless in the face of mass resistance. If the government bans the selling of ICE cars after a certain date, what happens if manufacturers and dealers just carry on selling them anyway?

    • Realist permalink
      January 23, 2023 4:11 pm

      If they want to stay in the business of selling cars, those manufacturers and dealers would be foolish to ignore what the actual market needs and wants to buy. Admittedly the manufacturers could just be spare parts manufacturers, but a lot of dealers would go out of business if they don’t sell what the market wants.

      >>If the government bans the selling of ICE cars after a certain date, what happens if manufacturers and dealers just carry on selling them anyway?

      • Mikehig permalink
        January 24, 2023 11:34 am

        The needs and wants of the market come a poor second to regulatory pressure. Conventional manufacturers in Europe face monster fines if they don’t meet targets for the “carbon-intensity” of the vehicles they sell.

      • Realist permalink
        January 24, 2023 4:40 pm

        Perhaps the manufacturers in Europe need to start closing factories or even threatening to do so. But then again European politicians don’t seem to care about the unemployment their obsession with “climate” and “green” causes. Whatever else you might think about trade unions, they don’t seem to care about unemployment either given their lack of protest

      • catweazle666 permalink
        January 24, 2023 8:39 pm

        “Perhaps the manufacturers in Europe need to start closing factories”

        They already have.

  11. Mike Marks permalink
    January 23, 2023 4:09 pm

    Only the ignorant couldn’t see this.

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 23, 2023 7:11 pm

      It’s a zero stakes parlor game for the elite. When there are no consequences for your actions, you can follow whims. And go to Davos and tell them how much you have screwed over your people.

      Britain should win a top prize.

  12. 2hmp permalink
    January 23, 2023 4:16 pm

    The main concern about EVs remains, the current state of battery design is inadequate in terms of storage (range) and rate of recharge. Not surprising that someone has called their EV a Trike (Presumably from the Greek Trich =Anxiety)

  13. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 23, 2023 7:03 pm

    This is a classic example of why politicians and their advisers should never, ever be allowed near complex industries like car manufacturing and sales. They haven’t a clue about how to turn a profit (legally) and should never be let near a brewery with a party to organise.

  14. philip moran permalink
    January 23, 2023 7:03 pm

    no private cars from 2050 is already signed up at the UN. This is the goal. When did the public agree to this?

  15. liardetg permalink
    January 23, 2023 9:05 pm

    What about the thousands of huge diesel powered artics? We need to electrify them too.

  16. johnbillscott permalink
    January 23, 2023 11:57 pm

    Given the initial cost and the life of batteries of EV’s there will never be a second hand affordable market for the poor people. An 8 year old EV will need new batteries and because of cost, even rich EV owners will walk away and get a new EV or ICE vehicle. An 8 year old ICE vehicle is generally good for another 10 years when it is sold as a banger.

  17. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 24, 2023 6:48 am

    In the drive to bring about the extinction of ice vehicles –
    will the king and government not regulate then strictly licence the purchase and use of liquid fuels ?
    The utterly deplorable flamming mayor here has already introduced a crooked scheme known as the Clean Air Zone.
    At the moment,, unless you have the newest of cars, the charge is £9 a day to enter the zone. More for vans and lorries.
    This is killing small business and making expensive to visit hospitals for example.
    Be that for work, appointments or visits. The mayor don’t care.
    Drivers of vehicles deemed non appropriate, basically deemed 2nd class citizens, obviously attempt to navigate around this small, strategically placed zone.
    Should anyone want to look it up this controlled destruction of a once fine, engineering proud city – it is named Bristol.
    I fear if they pull it of here it will be rolled, or rather pushed, out to other unsuspecting areas.
    Not only an additional tax but a server attack on the freedom of movement.

  18. Brian permalink
    January 24, 2023 7:42 am

    Children as young as 7 mining cobalt in DR Congo, reports Amnesty International, The Guardian and UN. The mineral is needed for the production of batteries for EVs. Don’t believe, then do your research and weep.

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 24, 2023 10:30 am

      Weep? Colonialism is not an appropriate challenge to EVs.

  19. K Lee permalink
    January 24, 2023 11:12 am

    Once people realize that it costs $10-20,000 to replace a lithium battery, the EV industry will plummet.

  20. January 24, 2023 2:23 pm

    Affordable electric cars ‘not viable’
    . . .
    Owners of older multi-storey car parks should be relieved to hear that…

    Chris Whapples, structural engineer and member of the BPA: “When you see the weight of electric cars coming out of the factory, you begin to wonder if the existing standards are adequate. We haven’t had an incident yet, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time. We encourage owners of older parking garages to check.”

  21. Cheshire Red permalink
    January 24, 2023 2:33 pm

    Just about all contributors on this blog have been saying this about the Net Zero and vehicle ban timeframes ever since they were announced.

    We have political pygmies who’ve mandated in law targets that they have no chance of meeting! How insane is that?

    Net Zero must be deferred to 2075 at the earliest.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 24, 2023 3:11 pm

      Net Zero will come when it is feasible due to the technology making it so, and not until.

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 25, 2023 11:52 am

        . . . and economically desirable. Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it will be done.

  22. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 31, 2023 6:51 pm

    People are have clean air zones, 15 minute neighborhoods and electronic vehicles forced on them. All at great expense even though government targets can not be met.
    “Thérèse Coffey admits UK can’t achieve air pollution target advised by experts | Pollution | The Guardian”
    Thérèse Coffey said on Tuesday: “Now, I would have loved to have made our target to achieve 10 micrograms [of fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, per cubic metre of air] by 2030, not 2040.”

    • Micky R permalink
      February 1, 2023 7:33 am

      For many Londoners, the greatest risk from fine particulate matter is when using the Underground.

      ” PM2.5 concentrations in London Underground train carriages 18 times higher than street level. ”

      Report dated 2019

      • Realist permalink
        February 1, 2023 4:25 pm

        If there were any risk, how come there are so many people who have reached retirement age AND been drawing their pensions for several years?
        >>risk from fine particulate matter

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 1, 2023 8:10 pm

        The PM2.5 scare is due to a specious, thoroughly debunked piece of statistical sophistry called Linear No-Threshold theory, beloved of scaremongers and their ilk because it justifies control of just about everything.

  23. Gamecock permalink
    February 1, 2023 11:31 am

    ‘For many Londoners, the greatest risk from fine particulate matter is when using the Underground.’

    There is NO risk from “fine particulate matter.”

    It is a hoax.

    • Micky R permalink
      February 1, 2023 10:02 pm

      The point to be made is that – once again – our glorious leaders are seeking to control ( = tax/fine) outdoor air quality when air quality in enclosed spaces e.g. London Underground can be much poorer.

      Are PM2.5 particles dangerous? I don’t know with certainty, but I’m old enough to have worked on construction sites when asbestos wasn’t regarded as a problem, so my preference is for low concentrations of particles that can travel deep into my lungs.

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