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Electric Cars For Sale In 2017

Are electric cars your thing? Good, this is a page packed full of electric car facts, including electric cars for sale in 2016 in the US and their prices. Electric car answers for any question you have should be on this page. If not, drop us a note so that we can add them. If you have some important electric car answers to common questions or interesting facts to add, also drop a note in the comments below! This page will be continually updated.

Keep up with the latest EV news here, and keep up with the latest EV sales updates here. US electric car sales are reported monthly here.

For information on electric cars available in Europe, check out this more comprehensive commercially available electric car list or our sortable electric car page.

Basic Electric Car Answers

  • Electric vehicles (EVs) run on electricity.
  • Some EVs run 100% on electricity, while others (hybrid electric vehicles) run partly on electricity and partly on some other fuel (e.g., gas or diesel). Vehicles that can at times run solely on electricity but can also use liquid fuel — and that can be plugged in to charge their batteries — are called plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
  • 100% electric vehicles and PHEVs are clearly much better for the environment (and, thus, humans) than their gasoline-powered and diesel-powered cousins. Their fuel (electricity) is also typically much cheaper.

Currently Available Electric Cars

The following are electric cars that are for sale today in the US or are supposed to be for sale at some point in 2016.

The first prices listed are base prices before the federal tax credit. In parenthesis are prices after the maximum federal tax credit ($7,500). Other tax credits and rebates potentially available in your city or state (e.g., the $3,000 California EV rebate or $6,000 Colorado EV tax credit) are not included.

Links on the car names are mostly to our story archives for these cars. Links on the prices are to the car companies’ pages for the cars. Range and MPGe/MPG data come from the EPA.

Check these electric cars out and go test drive some this weekend!

100% Electric Cars

Table Key

Combined Fuel Economy # of Seats
Range on Full Charge 0–60 MPH (0–100 km/h) Time
Price (& Price after max US Tax Credit) Link to Review Article (When Available)

BMW i3

118 MPGe 4 seats
114 miles (183 km) 7.1 seconds
$42,400 ($34,900) Several Review Articles Linked Below

The BMW i3 is BMW’s first 100% electric car built electric from the ground up — and it’s still one of the only electric cars on the market built electric from the ground up. It is part of BMW’s “born electric” i series and its price puts it somewhat in the middle of the more popular Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S. Despite looking a bit bulky, the BMW i3 is the lightest electric car on the market thanks to its carbon fiber body. It’s super fun drive — one of my favorites. Compared to BMW’s overall sales, the i3 is selling pretty well, making it clear that BMW is one of the auto-manufacturing pioneers in the electric vehicle space. Read my first BMW i3 review here and/or my second review & comparison with the LEAF & Volt here and/or my comparison with the Tesla Model S here.

Chevy Bolt

119 MPGe 5 seats
238 miles (383 km) 6.5 seconds
$37,495 ($29,995)

The Chevy Bolt is certainly a breakout fully electric model — the first “affordable” fully electric model in the US to have long range. It arrived on the market at the very end of 2016 and is expected to see strong sales in the US, and perhaps also in Europe when it is launched there as the Opel Ampera-E if GM tries to market and sell the thing. A fully autonomous version of the Bolt will be produced as well. It will initially be tested/used by Lyft drivers.

Fiat 500e
(Only Parts of the US)

Fiat 500e

112 MPGe 4 seats
84 miles (135 km) 8.7 seconds
$31,800 ($24,300) Our Fiat 500e Review

The Fiat 500e has gotten great reviews. However, the head of Fiat apparently hates electric cars and is only producing the 500e in extremely limited quantities for a couple of states (basically, because Fiat has to do so in order to sell cars in California). Hopefully this cute electric car will someday be available to a broader market, and with a significant range boost, but that seems unlikely. With its relatively low price, good reviews, and cool styling, the Fiat 500e could give some of the top-selling electric cars on the market a run for their market if Fiat actually tried — what a shame. Its 84 mile range is a bit behind the times now but Fiat is still moving cars via super-low lease deals in California. Read my full review of the Fiat 500e.

Ford Focus Electric
(Only Parts of the US)

118 MPGe 5 seats
115 miles (185 km) 10.1 seconds
$29,120 ($21,620) Our Ford Focus Electric Review

The Ford Focus Electric is Ford’s only 100% electric car. The car compares in many regards to the top-selling Nissan LEAF, but it also has some disadvantages in terms of cargo space and EV design. The Focus Electric is more broadly available than many compliance cars, but it still isn’t as easy to find as a Nissan LEAF or BMW i3. As with the LEAF, though, it seems that Ford will have to drop prices a great deal to move Focus Electrics off the lot in the age of the Chevy Bolt. Read our in-depth review of the Focus Electric here.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric
(Arriving Soon … Nationwide)

 136 MPGe 5 seats
110 miles (177 km)

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric is a pretty popular new electric offering from Hyundai that will also have a plug-in hybrid twin sibling and has a conventional hybrid twin sibling. The range is moderate — between initial fully electric offerings but quite far below the Chevy Bolt (aka Opel Ampera-E) and updated Renault Zoe. The IONIQ Electric seems to be selling okay in Europe. If it is widely offered in the US, it could have a good run there as well, but it really needs more range to compete with the Bolt or Tesla Model 3.

Kia Soul EV
(Only Parts of the US)

105 MPGe 5 seats
93 miles (150 km) 11.8 seconds
$31,950 ($24,450) Our Kia Soul EV Review

The Kia Soul EV is a snazzy electric vehicle with a bit more space on the inside than the average car, and a clear youngster appeal. The Soul EV has sold okay in the markets where it’s available, but it isn’t widely available and the driving range hasn’t increased to respond to increasingly longer range from other electric models. Its overall sales in the US are pretty sad, and I don’t see them getting better unless the vehicle gets a big range boost or Kia starts offering deep discounts. You can check out our review of the Kia Soul EV here.

Mercedes-Benz B250e
(Only Parts of the US)


84 MPGe 5 seats
84 miles (135 km) 7.9 seconds
$39,900 ($32,400) Several Review Articles Linked Below

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric (now called the B250e) has been an extremely close competitor to the BMW i3, and was the first offering from Mercedes in the EV department. It has a Tesla drivetrain at its core, and reviewers have been split between it and the BMW i3, with some preferring the i3 and some preferring the B-Class Electric. One of our top EV reporters has the B-Class Electric and reviewed it after 1 monthafter 1 year and sort of again after 2 years. Mercedes has always treated this like a compliance car and not many have been sold, but I imagine sales will drop even further with the Bolt now for sale, the i3 getting longer range, and the Tesla Model 3 coming soon.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV
(Only Parts of the US)

112 MPGe 4 seats
62 miles (100 km) 13.5 seconds
$22,995 ($15,495)

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (aka Mitsubishi i) is one of the most basic electric cars on the market, but also one of the cheapest. If you are looking for a bare-bones EV for a low price, the i-MiEV is your baby.

Nissan LEAF

114 MPGe 5 seats
107 miles (172 km) 10.2 seconds
$30,680 ($23,180) Our Long-Term Nissan LEAF Review

The Nissan LEAF is the highest-selling electric car in history. After test driving dozens of EVs myself, I have to say that the Nissan LEAF is one of my favorite models. It has great visibility, feel, comfort, space, flexibility, and acceleration (okay, 10.2 seconds isn’t spectacular, but it still feels great due to the instant torque). The 107-mile version was the top of the market for affordable electric cars until the Chevy Bolt (approx. twice the range) and updated Renault Zoe (only Europe) came along. Now it’s hard to say where the LEAF stands. Why buy a LEAF over a Bolt? It seems to be getting by on deep discounts and group buys. For a thorough look at the LEAF, check out our long-term Nissan LEAF review here.

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
(Only Parts of the US)

smart electric drive

107 MPGe 2 seats
68 miles (109 km) 9.8 seconds
$25,000, or $19,990 + $80/month battery rental ($17,500, or $12,490 + $80/month) Two Review Articles Linked Below

The smart electric drive is nearly the cheapest electric car on the US market … if you don’t own or lease it for very long. However, note that there’s an $80/month battery rental. Within about 6 years, the smart electric drive is about the same price as a 5-seat and much more plush Nissan LEAF. In my personal opinion, the smart electric drive is a hard sell — unless you really want a tiny car and/or only want it for 2 to 3 years. Read my review of the smart electric drive here or read the review of an owner who sold his Camaro for the smart electric drive.

Volkswagen e-Golf
(Only Parts of the US)

e golf

116 MPGe 5 seats
83 miles (134 km) 10.4 seconds
$28,995 ($21,495)

The Volkswagen e-Golf is VW’s second electric car model (following closely behind the Volkswagen e-Up!) and the first in the US. Clearly, it’s an electric version of VW’s extremely popular Golf model. The e-Golf has been one of the closest competitors to the world-leading Nissan LEAF, but it has been available in much more limited markets. Additionally, Volkswagen has been much slower to update the battery/range in order to compete with the updated LEAF — not to mention the fresh and exciting Chevy Bolt. A new version of the e-Golf with 124 miles of range is on the way, but it’s hard to see how that will compete now that the Bolt is on the market and the Tesla Model 3 is around the corner.

Tesla Model S

98–104 MPGe 5+2 seats
210–315 miles (338–507 km) 2.5 seconds
$68,000 ($60,500) Our Long-Term Tesla Model S Review

The Tesla Model S is widely regarded as not just the best electric car on the market but the best mass-produced car of any type in all of history (see here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples). So, for many people, if they can afford a $60,000–$120,000 car, the Model S is as good as it gets.

This car has flipped the electric car and overall auto world on its head in many respects. It is a top-selling luxury/premium-class car — well, the top-selling luxury/premium-class car in the US. It has robbed Mercedes and BMW of loyal buyers quicker than the roadrunner can dart away from a certain coyote.

Tesla Model X

86–92 MPGe 5–7 seats
237–289 miles (381–465 km) 2.9 seconds
$88,800 ($81,300) Two Review Articles Linked Below

Tesla’s 3rd model is the ridiculously cool and highly desired Model X, an SUV with similar performance and specs as the Model S. In fact, despite being a large SUV, the Model X is one of the quickest production cars in history. It’s not quite as quick as the Model S, but it’s definitely more comfy and luxurious, imho. As Elon Musk has said, the choice between the Model X and Model S is really just whether or not you want an SUV/crossover or a sedan.

The Model X is special for combining excellent performance, great utility, and hot styling. Not many vehicles can do that. Its signature feature? Its falcon-wing doors, of course — love ’em or hate ’em. I honestly think this is the best passenger vehicle on the planet, but YMMV. You can read my review of the Model X here and Kyle Field’s review of the Model X here.

Rimac Concept_One
(Super Limited)

rimac racecar

I don’t know if this one counts, so it’s not counted in the “20” in the title. The Rimac Concept_One is certainly no everyman’s car. It is an electric supercar out of Croatia that costs a fortune … as in, $1 million. Needless to say, most of us will be lucky to even see one of these, let alone touch one, let alone ride in one, let alone own one. Still, it’s a beauty worth mentioning. The Rimac Concept_One can reportedly go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and has a horsepower of 1,088 — yep, that’s a “supercar” … even though the top-line Model S is now quicker. Rimac Automobili is a Croatian company, and it’s unclear if it’ll ever grow up enough to produce >100 cars, but the Concept_One will go down in history either way.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Cars

Table Key

Combined Fuel Economy on Electricity / Fossils (EPA ratings only) # of Seats
EPA Range on Full Charge (unless otherwise noted) 0–60 MPH (0–100 km/h) Time
Price (& Price after US, UK, and German Subsidies) Link to Review Article (When Available)

Audi A3 e-Tron
(Only Parts of the US)

Audi A3 e-Tron

 83 MPGe / 34 MPG 5 seats
16 miles (26 km) 7.5 seconds
$37,900 ($33,398) Our Audi A3 e-Tron Review

The Audi A3 e-Tron is a plug-in hybrid electric car with a bit of a sporty offering. The electric-only range is not spectacular, but it’s pretty much par for the course. The A3 e-Tron can go from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 7.5 seconds. It has also landed a difficult 5 stars in Europe’s safety ratings. The A3 e-tron has a tough time competing with the Chevy Volt and Ford Energi models on value for the money, in my humble opinion, but some people clearly prefer the e-Tron’s looks and the Audi brand. Note that the A3 e-Tron is actually the same as the Volkswagen Golf GTE under the hood. The A3 e-Tron isn’t as limited in availability as the Golf GTE (which isn’t in the US), but as expected, the A3 e-tron is not available across the US, so it definitely gets the “compliance car” label. You can read my review of the A3 e-tron here.

BMW 330e

BMW 330e

71 MPGe / 30 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.9 seconds
$44,100 ($40,099)

The BMW 330e is a plug-in hybrid electric car with some spunk on the “low end” of the premium sedan market. The electric-only range is not spectacular, but should get most people to work and back or out to the shops. I’m disappointed in any PHEV that doesn’t have at least 40 miles of electric range, but this 14 miles of range isn’t even par for the course. But hey, if you want a BMW with a backup gasoline tank and engine, here’s a competitive offering.

BMW 740e

64 MPGe / 27 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.1 seconds
$89,100 ($84,432)

Similar to the BMW 330e, the BMW 740e has pitiful electric range — just 14 miles according to the EPA. It’s a plug-in hybrid electric car in the large luxury sedan class, “competing” with the Tesla Model S, but I can’t see why anyone would choose the 740e over the Model S. Well, I’m sure it includes more traditional BMW “luxury” than the Model S, but come one, really.

BMW i8

BMW i8 doors up

76 MPGe / 28 MPG 4 (really 2) seats
15 miles (24 km) 4.4 seconds
$140,700 ($136,907) Review Articles Linked Below

The BMW i8 is BMW’s second i-series car. It’s one of the most expensive cars on the market — actually, it’s the most expensive on the mass market today. It comes with a ton of style and great acceleration — its 0 to 60 mph time (4.4 seconds) only trails the Tesla Model S (2.5 seconds) and Model X (2.9 seconds) amongst electric cars currently for sale in the US. It’s hard not to covet this beauty. While it has amazing power and is a lot of fun to drive, however, it is hard to justify such a high price with the quicker and much more spacious Model S much cheaper. But if you’re chasing style, this may well be top dog.

You can read my review of the BMW i8 here and my comparison of the BMW i8, BMW i3, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, Tesla Model S 70D, Tesla Model S P85D, and Cadillac ELR here.

BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 iPerformance

56 MPGe / 24 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 6.1 seconds
$62,100 ($57,432)

The BMW X5 xDrive40e was one of the first plug-in SUVs to hit the US market, arriving in early 2016. For an SUV, its 0–60 time of 6.5 seconds is pretty awesome. Surely, the X5 also offers luxury and high-tech features that help pull in $55,000–75,000 for the vehicle. The X5 iPerformance also learns your driving habits and teaches you how to drive more efficiently. And it can avoid crashes that some drivers would fail to escape from.

However, it’s no Model X … which makes the model a really tough buy for someone looking in the luxury, high-performance, high-priced SUV category. I haven’t gotten into an X5 iPerformance yet, but I can say with confidence I’d choose a Model X over it, especially with the X5 xDrive40e only having 14 miles of electric range — pitiful, as is apparently typical for BMW’s plug-in hybrid offerings.

On the other hand, even after the tax credits, the Model X is nearly $20,000 more, so I guess the better choice depends on one’s price sensitivity to some degree. (Just note that you can save a lot of money on fuel with the Model X that could make up for the extra upfront cost.)

Chevy Volt

106 MPGe / 43 MPG 5 seats
53 miles (85 km) 8.4 seconds
$33,220 ($25,720) Review Articles Linked Below

The Chevy Volt is one of the most widely acclaimed electric cars on the market — well, one of the most widely acclaimed cars on the market period. It is the top-selling electric car in the US to date. Volt owners are known as Voltheads and were “the happiest drivers” in the US for two years running … before the Tesla Model S arrived (as per Consumer Reports owner satisfaction surveys).

Check out my comparison review of the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, and BMW i3. Also see this 2016 Chevy Volt reviewthis 2017 Volt owner review, a 2017 Volt review series from our team (article 1, article 2, article 3), and this 2017 Chevy Volt vs 2015 Nissan LEAF review.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
(Coming Soon … Nationwide?)

84 MPGe / 32 MPG 7 seats
33 miles (53 km)  ~8 seconds
$41,995 ($34,495)

The  is the first plug-in hybrid — and first hybrid — minivan on the market. It is quite attractively priced for the minivan market and could be a huge hit. It’s strange that Fiat-Chrysler Automotive — whose CEO hates EVs — went and produced what could be one of the most competitive EVs on the market. Well, that’s if Chrysler really opens it up beyond a few compliance car regions.

Ford C-Max Energi
(Nationwide … Sort of)

2013 Ford C-MAX

95 MPGe / 39 MPG 5 seats
20 miles (32 km) 8.5 seconds
$27,120 ($23,113)

One of two cars in Ford’s Energi (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) lineup, the Ford C-Max Energi has quite good specs for someone who doesn’t drive very far on most days but wants to take very long trips fairly regularly. It’s also good for larger families, as it seats up to 5 people. Despite seating 5, note that it is cheaper than the Chevy Volt … until you factor in the federal tax credit. Actually, the C-Max Energi is quite similar to the Prius Prime in many respects, and almost exactly the same price. I think choosing one over the other mostly comes down to aesthetic/brand preferences. Though, the Prius Prime is considerably more efficient as well.

Ford Fusion Energi
(Nationwide … Sort of)

ford fusion energi

97 MPGe / 42 MPG 5 seats
22 miles (35 km) 7.9 seconds
$31,120 ($27,113)

Quite similar to the Ford C-Max Energi but with a few more bells & whistles, the Ford Fusion Energi has done quite well since its introduction in February 2013. The Ford Fusion Energi certainly offers some competition to its sister, the C-Max Energi, as well as the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius PHEV/Prime. Importantly, for some people, the Fusion Energi is larger than all three of these competitors. It has a bit less electric range than the Volt, but it has enough seats for five comfortable passengers. Lastly, I’d say the Fusion Energi it is quite the looker.

Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid
(Only Parts of the US)

99 MPGe 5 seats
27 miles (43 km) 9–9.5 seconds
$34,600 ($29,681) Our Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Review

The Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is a fairly large and classy plug-in hybrid with moderate electric range. It’s basically another competitor to the Ford Energi models and the Chevy Volt. You can see our full review of the new-in-2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid here.

Mercedes-Benz C350e
(Only Parts of the US)

5 seats
11 miles (18 km) 5.9 seconds
$45,490 (~$41,490)

We don’t have much intel on the C350e yet, but it’s clearly a compliance car (11 miles of electric range?!) whereby an electric motor and battery have been added to a gasmobile. Watch the Fully Charged review of the Mercedes C350e.

Mercedes-Benz GLE550e
(Only Parts of the US)

43 MPGe / 21 MPG 5 seats
12 miles (19 km) 5.3 seconds
$66,300 ($62,215)

We don’t have much intel on the GLE550e yet, but it’s clearly a compliance car (12 miles of electric range?!) whereby an electric motor and battery have been added to a gasmobile.

Mercedes-Benz S550e
(Only Parts of the US)

Mercedes S550e plug-in hybrid

58 MPGe / 26 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (35 km) 5.2 seconds
$95,650 ($91,607)

We don’t have much intel on the S550e, but it’s clearly a compliance car whereby an electric motor and battery have been added to a gasmobile.

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

46 MPGe / 22 MPG 5 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.4 seconds
$78,700 ($73,364)

Following the successful Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (see below), Porsche launched the Cayenne S E-Hybrid at the end of 2014. The Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 151 mph. I think “wicked” is the word for that. The plug-in model sells quite well relative to the normal Cayenne, but that doesn’t compare to Model X sales.

Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid

51 MPGe / 25 MPG 4 seats
22 miles (35 km) 5.2 seconds
$93,200 ($88,428) Review Articles Linked Below

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid electric sports car that is everything you’d expect — awesome. It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in ~5 seconds. The Panamera S E-Hybrid sometimes accounts for nearly 10% of all Panamera sales. It’s a ton of fun to drive, but still a bit hard to justify for the price compared to other high-performance EVs on the market. The place where it has them beat, though, is in luxury (imho).

You can read my review of the Panamera S E-Hybrid here and my comparison of the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, Tesla Model S 70D, Tesla Model S P85D, BMW i8, BMW i3, and Cadillac ELR here.

Toyota Prius Prime

133 MPGe / 54 MPG 4 seats
25 miles (40 km) 10.6 seconds
$27,100 ($22,600)

The Toyota Prius Prime is a second-gen version of the Toyota Prius Plug-in, which was either the 2nd- or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013. The Prius Prime’s modest 25 miles of all-electric range is a letdown in my book, but the interior space and strong Prius brand sure help to sell this animal. The price is quite attractive, and the fuel economy (MPGe) on electric power is superb. The Prius Prime has about half the range of the Volt, but it does seat 5 people a bit more comfortably … if you need that.

Volvo XC90 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8

54 MPGe / 25 MPG 5–7 seats
14 miles (23 km) 5.6 seconds
$67,800 ($63,215)

The Volvo XC90 T8 is yet another plug-in hybrid electric SUV that hit the US market in 2016. With a bit more seating space and a quicker 0–60 time, the XC90 T8 also costs a bit more than the BMW X5 xDrive40e. It looks like a beautiful luxurious SUV on the inside and the outside, but yet again, if the money is available, I can’t see choosing this over a Tesla Model X. However, if Volvo wants to give me one for a week to test out, I can see if my opinion changes. 🙂

EV Battery Costs

The at-the-register price tag of EVs and PHEVs is higher than that of similarly sized and equipped gasoline-powered cars, mostly because batteries are expensive. How expensive? That’s hard to know, because car manufacturers generally won’t say what they are paying for their batteries, or what they expect to pay in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc. Here are some of the best answers we’ve got for now regarding EV battery prices for specific models:

→ Tesla’s battery packs were estimated to cost $240/kWh in 2014, while the rest of the industry was projected to be no lower than $400/kWh (that seems dubious). But the latest figure from a Tesla representative pegs its battery pack cost at under $190/kWh. (Note that CEO and Chairman Elon Musk stated in February 2012 that the cost of EV batteries would drop below $200 per kWh in the “not-too-distant future.”)

→ GM has a contract with LG Chem to get battery cells for $145/kWh, which probably translates into a battery pack cost around $190/kWh as well.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Battery Price Estimates

For some historical background, though, here’s some info from a 2012 BNEF report that found that the average price of batteries used in electric vehicles dropped 14% from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012, and 30% from 2009 to 2012 (I didn’t even realize/remember that I have been writing about EV battery prices for this long!):

“Electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Motor iMiEV, Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S require between 16 and 85kWh of storage, with a total cost of $11,200 and $34,000, or around 25% of the total cost of the vehicle,” BNEF notes. “Battery pack prices for plug-in hybrid vehicles such as GM’s Volt are on average 67% higher in terms of $/kWh, than those for electric-only vehicles like Nissan’s Leaf. This higher price is mainly due to the greater power-to-energy performance required for plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

A more recent BNEF study found that EV battery prices fell 35% in 2015. It stated that prices fell 65% since 2010. But it estimated battery pack prices at $350/kWh, which is considerably higher than the Tesla/Panasonic & GM/LG Chem estimates.

US Department of Energy Aims & Estimates

For another broad view, here’s a statement from US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, from back in January 2012, on battery costs (emphasis mine):

“Overall, the Department of Energy is partnering with industry to reduce the manufacturing cost of advanced batteries. While a typical battery for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a 40-mile electric range cost $12,000 in 2008, we’re on track to demonstrate technology by 2015 that would reduce the cost to $3,600. And last year, we set a goal of demonstrating technology by 2020 that would further reduce the cost to $1,500 – an accomplishment that could help spur the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.”

It’s 2016, and by almost all measures, EV battery prices have fallen faster than projected. The DOE at that time was targeting $300 per kWh in 2015 (the $3,600 packs) and $125 per kWh by 2022.

Battery Price Projections Consistently Too High

Lastly, a 2014 study found that EV battery prices were falling much faster than most forecasts anticipated. Here’s a chart from that report:

Nature-EV-Battery-Prices-Cheaper-than-2020-ProjectionsCost estimates and future projections for electric vehicle battery packs, measured in $US per kilowatt hour of capacity. Each mark on the chart represents a documented estimate reviewed by the study. Source: Nykvist et al. (2015).

Looking at that chart, it seems that Tesla/Panasonic and GM/LG Chem battery costs are already (in 2016) down to the lowest projections for 2020. Will we achieve $100/kWh by 2020? We’ll be sure to let you know!

Overall, we have been seeing something I’ve presented about in Mumbai, India; Vancouver, Canada; Cocoa, Florida, USA; and  Berlin, Germany: once a technology is ripe, it takes over the market quicker than anticipated and costs come down faster than most people anticipated. Check out these three presentations for more on that (if you haven’t already done so):

UCS Study on Environmental Benefits & Fuel Savings of EVs

The Union of Concerned Scientists in April 2012 completed what was then the most comprehensive study to date on the fuel and environmental costs (or, more appropriately, savings) of electric vehicles. It was updated in 2014 and again in 2015. Factoring in lifecycle emissions, electric cars still crush gasmobiles on environmental performance.

Clearly, as we move more and more to clean, renewable energy in the US, electric vehicles will only become greener and greener to drive.

Furthermore, electric vehicle purchases encourage people to go solar and to cut their overall energy use, factors which have not been adequately studied or quantified yet. If one were to install solar panels on their home, the “fuel” for their EV would be clean, renewable solar power (sunlight) that would make their EV much cleaner than in any state in the UCS study above.

Got more car answers to contribute? Or questions you’d like us to answer?

Beyond the info above and below, the following posts may interest you:

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