One of the biggest barriers to electric vehicle adoption is price. The Hyundai Kona Electric is $20,000 more expensive than the range-topping petrol model, while the Nissan Leaf is $49,990 before on-road costs – but, according to a Volkswagen executive, the days of expensive electric vehicles are numbered.
Speaking with Automotive News, a senior vice president for Volkswagen Group said the company's big push into electrification will help drag the price of plug-in vehicles down to internal-combustion levels.
"We strongly believe that the tipping point is near, and that tipping point will be price equity," Reinhard Fischer said.
"Once you overcome the fear of something new, the EV is the better choice for you," he went on.
Volkswagen isn't alone in suggesting petrol-powered and electric vehicles will reach price parity soon. Quoting figures from Morgan Stanley, Nissan says plummeting battery costs will see price parity as soon as 2024.
“They estimate in 2024, in Europe, so where you have European emission regulations, you’ll get a crossover where batteries will come down below US$100 per kilowatt hour, and the price of NOX and CO2 and these things which is driving up the price of petrol and diesel engines will crossover,” Nic Thomas, global head of electric vehicles at Nissan, told CarAdvice at the Nissan Future seminar.
“We’re actually more confident than that. We see in the products we’re developing for the early 2020s, we would expect to see that crossover. There are many different factors involved in that. What that means is that the product we might be able to launch in the early 2020s will be a beneficiary of that lower price.”
But while the future for cheaper electric vehicles may look rosy, with lower battery prices potentially pushing the price down and to parity with ICE vehicles, market analysts have urged caution.
Batteries use a lot of natural resources, raw materials such as nickel and lithium, that are prey to market fluctuations.