Electric Cars Must Wait (For Lower Battery Costs)

A new study from the Boston Consulting Group concludes that gasoline powered-vehicles will predominate till at least 2020; doubtful of their ability to attract customers, contradicting brighter industry forecasts predominantly due to battery costs.
January 13, 2010, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Many all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be coming into the market soon, but this new study doubts their ability to capture much of the market despite industry claims to the contrary.

"The Boston Consulting Group study forecasts that most gasoline-powered cars will remain most popular for many years. It forecasts that they will represent 62 percent of sales in the United States and 58 percent of sales worldwide in 2020.

The main factor, the study says, is price. It predicts that the cost of a battery pack about the size of the Volt's will fall by $10,000, or 64 percent, from 2009 to 2020. But even then it would take about 15 years for the cost of owning an electric vehicle to equal that of a gas-powered car.

He said a three-year time frame would require significant government incentives or a drastic change in one or more factors, like oil prices of about $375 a barrel, more than quadruple today's price.

Thanks to Kenyon Karl

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Published on Thursday, January 7, 2010 in The New York Times - Energy & Environment
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