Electric vehicles don't compute

Sales of electric vehicles won’t take off until automakers lower prices and demonstrate the economic benefits to consumers, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study of electric vehicle ownership.

Almost two years after automakers started selling battery-powered rechargeable cars in the U.S., the segment is an almost immeasurable portion of auto sales.

Nissan has sold less than 6,800 Leaf electric cars this year through October, and that’s down 16% from the same period last year. Honda has leased just 48 of the electric version of the Fit this year. Mitsubishi has sold less than 500 of its MiEV mini-car. Start-up electric car company Coda Automotive has refused to disclose how many cars it has sold.

Tesla Motors, which launched production of its high-end Model S electric hatchback, has delivered less than about 300, and expects to sell about 3,000 this year, depending on how quickly it can ramp up production at its factory in Fremont, Calif.
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A battery-powered all-electric vehicle will cost about $10,000 more than a similar gasoline-powered vehicle, he said. Based on annual fuel savings, it would take an average of 6.5 years to recoup that money.
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It is unlikely automakers can lower prices when they are already losing money on the vehicle even with a tax credit for purchasers.  BTW, Tesla is going to have to hustle to boost its delivery of vehicles tenfold in the few remaining weeks of this year.

The 6.5 year payback is a longer period of time than most people keep a car, and if they did they would be facing the cost of replacing some very expensive batteries pushing the payback further into the future.

Probably the biggest impediment to selling the vehicles is range anxiety for which there is no quick fix.

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