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The company has explained that aside from motorists wishing to purchase cars with greener credentials, the reason for the drop in demand for petrol cars will be due to battery-powered cars becoming much cheaper to buy.
According to JB Straubel, the CTO of Tesla, the cost of batteries used to power electric cars is continuing to fall meaning that in a few years battery-powered cars could become cheaper to buy than traditional petrol-driven vehicles.
The lithium-ion battery found in electric cars is now able to double a car’s performance thanks to its lower weight, making electric cars more attractive to the mass market.
Straubel said: “Suddenly an electric vehicle wasn’t a golf cart. It was something that was fun to drive. It could handle, because the battery pack didn’t weigh 1,500 pounds.”
According to a 2013 report by American company, Navigant Research, the manufacturing cost of battery packs has fallen 14 per cent between 2007 and 2014, with the estimated cost last year worked out at $400 per kWh as opposed to $300 this year. It is predicted that the price could fall to a further $180 per kWh by 2020.
So what does this mean for motorists?
If battery prices continue to fall, manufacturers will be able to reduce the cost of their cars significantly. For example, Tesla predicts it may be able to reduce the costs of its Model S by several thousand dollars. This could have an impact on its Model 3 car aimed at the mass market and expected in 2018 – its reduced cost could attract a lot more motorists keen to abort their gas guzzling petrol motors.
Straubel continued; “It’s soon going to be cheaper to drive a car on electricity – a pure EV [electric vehicle] on electricity – than it is to drive a gasoline car. And as soon as we see that kind of shift in the actual cost of operation in a car that you can use for your daily driver, you know, from all manufacturers I believe we’re going to see electric vehicles come to dominate the whole transportation fleet.”
Would you buy a battery-powered car over a petrol one if it was cheaper in price? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.