Why Are Electric Cars so Expensive?

The rise of digital media has educated common consumers on the consequences of using gasoline-powered automobiles.

However, not everyone can switch to an electric vehicle to reduce their carbon footprint, even if they want to. The main reason behind this limited opportunity is an electric car’s high market price.

Although the running costs of an EV might be low, the purchase price makes affordability almost impossible for many people.

Why Are Electric Cars so Expensive?

The rising global popularity of electric cars has led many existing and new automobile brands to design and manufacture their own ranges of electric vehicles.

Although all the different brands offer unique distinctions and features that help their EVs stand out in the market, one thing that is common for almost all electric cars is their high market price.

Generally, a standard-sized electric car can be two to three times more expensive than a same-sized gasoline-powered vehicle as electric cars provide better features than gas cars.

Moreover, over the last decade, especially since the Covid’19 pandemic, the global prices for electric automobiles have increased by almost 80%.

According to electric car specialists, the main reason behind an electric car’s high market price is its electric engine, which is completely different from the traditional combustion engine found in gasoline-powered vehicles.

The components that go into manufacturing an electric engine are more expensive to create and source than those that go into a combustion engine.

Hence, an electric car’s price is much higher than a traditional car.

Continue reading to learn in greater detail about what an electric car is, what makes it so expensive, and whether purchasing an electric car is worth the high market price.

Moreover, the article will also shed light on some tips to decrease an electric car’s high market price to make it more affordable for the masses in the long run.

electric cars so expensive
electric cars so expensive

Let’s get started!

Also, read, Are electric cars expensive to maintain?

What is an Electric Car?

Appearance-wise, an electric car is the same four-wheeled automobile as the combustion engine vehicles the world has been traveling on for over a century.

This is because an electric car’s basic design is based on the same blueprint as a classic car.

However, an electric car’s mechanism and technology are nothing like a traditional gasoline-powered automobile. These cars are far more advanced, eco-friendly, and futuristic in almost every way.

Unlike a traditional gasoline-powered car, no fossil fuel combustion is carried out in an electric car’s engine to produce kinetic energy for mobility and speed.

Instead, as the name suggests, the electric car’s only form of fuel is the electric charge, which is then converted to kinetic energy.

This is how the mechanism works:

  • For an electric car to work, one must first charge its battery. The electric charge flowing into the battery is stored as chemical energy.
  • When a person in the electric car presses the ignition button to turn it on, there’s no combustion reaction that starts the engine. Instead, the electric motor is triggered to start performing.
  • The electric motor works by discharging the electric car’s lithium-ion battery and converting the stored chemical energy into kinetic energy.
  • The newly produced kinetic energy is then carried by the electric car’s energy transmitters and is passed onto the EV’s tires.
  • This allows the electric car to gain mobility and start moving.
  • Moreover, the more the person hits the throttle, the more kinetic energy will be produced, allowing the EV to pick up speed. This is pretty much the same as a traditional vehicle.
  • This mechanism will not be possible if the electric car does not contain an electric battery and a motor; its key components.

Continue reading to learn what makes an electric car so expensive.

Read 6 of the most expensive electric cars in the world

What Makes an Electric Car More Expensive than Same-Sized Gasoline Powered Vehicles?

An electric car’s high market price has limited its affordability and accessibility for many people and regions worldwide.

Countries populated by people with lower incomes barely have companies that manufacture or import electric cars, as no one will be able to afford them. This prices people out of these cars.

However, there are many reasons for an electric car’s high market price. Some of these reasons are as follows:

The Electric Engines are Costly to Manufacture and Maintain

As discussed above, an electric car’s electric battery and motor are its key components. Not only are these crucial to the electric car’s mobility and function, but they are also the main drivers of the EV’s price.

The Electric Battery

Nearly all modern electric cars are designed to work on lithium-ion chemical batteries. Previously, the more common battery chemistry was either lead-acid or nickel-cobalt.

However, neither could deliver an EV’s expected performance.

On the contrary, lithium-ion batteries have successfully provided a superior and highly advanced alternative to all other kinds of chemical batteries.

Their higher storage capacity allows an electric car to carry more electric charge, and offers a greater traveling range and higher top and average speeds.

Moreover, lithium-ion batteries have significantly higher expected lifespans than any other chemical battery.

However, although using lithium-ion batteries seems to fill most of the blank spaces in the global electric vehicle revolution, it still has one major flaw; its high price.

The lithium-ion battery of an electric car can be 40% to 60% of the EV’s total market price.

The extremely high market price is because the materials used in manufacturing the battery are rare earth metals (lithium, cobalt, and nickel) that are not found easily.

Instead, extensive mining activities must be carried out to source either of these metals.

Moreover, although lithium-ion batteries have been used for many decades in multiple devices such as mobile phones, laptops, flashlights, etc., the size of the battery that goes into an electric car is much bigger.

As a result, the bigger the lithium-ion battery, the pricier it will be. This is what causes electric vehicles to be priced so highly in the market.

Read How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Hold its Charge?

The Electric Motor

Although the electric motor of an electric car is not quite as expensive as the lithium-ion battery, it still does not come cheap.

Moreover, the electric motor is one of the integral components as the entire electric car’s efficiency depends on it.

The more refined and technologically advanced an electric car’s motor will be, the faster it can discharge the EV’s battery and convert the stored chemical energy to kinetic energy.

Hence, to keep the EV’s energy efficiency, range, and overall performance high, only a high-quality motor is used, contributing to the EV’s high price.

Electric Cars Are Designed to Be Modern and Luxurious

Over the recent decade, much research has gone into making lithium-ion batteries better and cheaper. As a matter of fact, some companies have been able to reduce a new lithium-ion battery’s price by nearly 80%.

However, despite the availability of cheaper chemical batteries, the price of modern electric cars continues to go up. Why is this the case?

The average electric car price would have gone down had most EV manufacturing companies been targeting the middle or lower class of society.

Instead, over the years, electric vehicles have stepped into the world of luxury and modern automobiles.

Hence, electric cars have the finest quality exterior bodies, the most premium kinds of interior, and every other equally luxurious component.

These materials cost a lot to manufacture and implement in the car. As a result, the price of an electric car continues to increase much faster than an average gasoline-powered vehicle.

Read Electric Car or Gas Car: Which is a Better Option?

Electric Car Demand is Much Higher than Its Supply

The common consumer of today’s world is far more aware than ever before in the history of the world. Hence, a majority of the people across the globe are well-informed regarding the consequences of using gasoline-powered vehicles.

Moreover, with more public figures and influential people speaking up against the global GHS emission crisis, more consumers are encouraged to switch to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint.

However, despite the high demand, there simply are not enough EV manufacturing companies to meet the supply of electric vehicles.

Hence, according to the law of economics, the high market demand and the limited supply results in a high market price.

Why Are Electric Cars so Expensive
Why Are Electric Cars so Expensive

The Covid’19 Pandemic’s Economic Crisis

Since Tesla successfully introduced its range of electric cars into the market, many other automobile brands have followed to benefit from the global EV industrial boom.

However, due to the Covid’19 pandemic, the world’s economic conditions have set back many new emerging businesses and unstable companies.

Due to this, many electric vehicle manufacturing factories have been shut down, and there is a global shortage of semiconductors for batteries.

As a result, the supply of electric cars has been further limited, resulting in the market price going further up.

Electric Cars Are Futuristic and More Technologically Advanced

Electric cars are generally designed to be more futuristic and technologically advanced than most gasoline-powered vehicles.

For instance, Audi and Tesla’s electric cars have a cabin heating system that is 99% energy efficient.

Moreover, Tesla has many additional features, such as the sentry mode, the camping mode, autopilot, etc., that make Tesla EVs one of the most advanced automobiles of our time.

Hence, it only makes sense for such superior technology to come with a higher price tag.

Read Why you should not buy an electric car

Is Buying an Electric Car Worth its High Market Price?

So, with all that said, are EVs worth their purchase price? Especially considering the features you get and how much money you save by not having to fill gas in your car?

While some argue that EVs are unfairly expensive even after cheaper batteries have been produced, many continue to vouch for electricity-powered automobiles.

Some reasons that attract people to investing in EVs despite the high price are as follows:

  • Above everything else, electric vehicles are designed to have eco-friendly green engines that significantly contribute to reducing annual emissions and addressing global warming.
  • Unlike traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, electric cars run on electricity, which can be produced using renewable energy sources such as hydro, thermal, and wind.
    • As a result, the global demand for fossil fuel mining and combustion is reduced.
  • Globally, electricity prices are much lower than gasoline or diesel. Hence, the running costs of an electric car are much lesser than that of a fossil-fuel-powered car.
  • With more people shifting to EV technology, the reduced annual emissions will improve the air quality and eradicate many lung diseases.
  • Moreover, creating lithium-ion batteries is eco-friendly and does not lead to many emissions.
  • On the contrary, fossil fuel mining is an extremely environmentally hazardous process that damages natural landscapes and negatively affects the miner’s health.

Read 15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Electric Cars

How to Make an Electric Car’s Purchase More Affordable

Suppose you are enthusiastic about playing your role for the environment and wish to shift to EV technology.

In that case, you can always find ways to reduce an electric car’s purchase price to increase its affordability.

Some tips for making electric cars more affordable are as follows:

  • Try to find and purchase relatively inexpensive second-hand or used electric vehicles still in great condition.
  • If battery replacement services are available in your city, buy an electric car without its battery. Doing so will bring down its price by 40% to 60%.
  • Try to apply for a bank loan to finance the electric car.
  • Try to buy the electric car on lease.

Read Useful Tips for Buying a Used Electric Car

Final Thoughts

The electric engine of an electric vehicle may be the greatest contributor to the car’s high price; however, without it, the automobile would be nothing.

Although most common electric cars are extremely expensive, their eco-friendly technologies, unmatched ranges, technologically superior features, and futuristic design make them worth the high market price.

If you cannot buy a brand-new electric car, you can still contribute to the environment by purchasing a second-hand EV or buying the electric car through a bank loan.

With more people buying electric cars through these routes, the global GHG emission crisis may finally come under control.

You may like the following electric car articles: