The Cost of Electric Cars Could Soon Become Cheaper Than Petrol Vehicles

According to a recent report by researchers at the University of Exeter, electric cars are already cheaper to run than petrol vehicles and are expected to become more affordable to buy than fossil fuel equivalents in the near future. The study predicts that price parity for battery-electric vehicles could be achieved within the next three years. In Europe, electric cars could reach equal pricing within one year, while China and the US may see this happen within two and three years, respectively. These timelines could be accelerated if governments provide subsidies to potential buyers.

The research has raised concerns for Australian drivers as the NSW government recently announced plans to scrap a $3000 subsidy on electric vehicles, following a similar move by the Victorian government earlier this year. In contrast, the analysis suggests that electric cars have already become cheaper to own and operate than petrol and diesel cars in Europe and China, with the US likely to follow suit by 2024 or 2025. The study further predicts that by 2026, electric vehicle prices will be on par with petrol and diesel cars in all three regions for small and medium-sized vehicles.

The forecasts take into account the adoption of electric vehicles in Europe, the US, China, India, and Japan. However, they do not consider electric vehicle subsidies, which could further accelerate price parity. The report highlights the importance of government support in promoting low-emission transport, including the introduction of deadlines for petrol car sales, road taxes, and increased charging infrastructure. By implementing strong policies, governments can ensure the benefits of low-cost, zero-emission, sustainable road transport are enjoyed by consumers sooner.

In Australia, the removal of state-based rebates for electric vehicle purchases has been met with criticism. Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, warns that reducing incentives for electric cars will result in dirtier air, continued reliance on imported oil, higher carbon emissions, and increased financial pressure on households. Several other Australian states and territories, including Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory, continue to offer incentives for electric vehicles.

– University of Exeter’s report by Rocky Mountain Institute and Bezos Earth Fund