When will gas cars become as cheap and easy to maintain as electric cars are?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 15, 2020 04:56 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 15, 2020 04:56 AM

They won’t. In order to meet ever increasing fuel efficiency, environmental, and safety requirements, internal combustion engines are becoming ever more complex. We hear about 9 speed transmissions and variable compression engines and what-not. And even then manufacturers are having trouble staying legal and resort to cheating on emissions tests to pass.

As a result, ICE vehicles are becoming MORE expensive and MORE difficult to maintain, not less.

EVs, on the other hand, are already very simple machines. Their drivetrains have only a few simple parts and mostly do not require any maintenance at all. The primary thing that makes EVs expensive is the battery. EV batteries represent a large portion of the total cost of the EV. Back in 2010, EV batteries were about $1000/kWh, meaning a 24kWh battery pack cost about $24,000. By next year we may be at $100/kWh at the pack level. So in 10 years, the price of a battery pack has dropped by a factor of 10.

Now to date, those cost savings have not materialized as cheaper EVs. Instead, EV makers have focused on making EVs more capable (i.e. more range) by putting in larger batteries. But once we hit EVs that can travel 350 miles on a charge, there will be less reason to just keep putting bigger batteries in, and then the cost savings will be passed along to customers.

The net is, EVs will continue to get cheaper, while ICE vehicles continue to get more expensive. I predict that in 2023 we will start to see EVs that are cheaper than equivalent ICE vehicles, and once that happens, it will be the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine passenger vehicle.

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