Will electric cars become more affordable?

MG ZS EV parked outside shops

Electric cars are more expensive upfront than their diesel, petrol or hybrid counterparts. This is due to their technology being more advanced than a ‘regular’ car which often comes at a higher price tag. However, there are signs the cost of electric vehicles may be coming down, and in some cases they’re already cheaper to buy.

Here we look at the factors which could affect the price of an electric car.

1. Electric car batteries, while expensive now, may become cheaper with time

Battery packs are quite expensive because they're made out of rare earth metals like cobalt and lithium. While these metals can be mined fairly cheaply from the ground — at least compared to oil — there isn't enough supply to meet demand for electric vehicle batteries which pushes prices up further.

However, lithium-ion battery pack prices fell 89% from 2010 to 2020, and are expected to continue to decline. This is due to developments in how these batteries are manufactured and designed, helping to keep costs low. As batteries are one of the main reasons why electric cars are so expensive, the cheaper they get, the cheaper the overall electric vehicle will be to purchase.

2. Electric motors are simpler than internal combustion engines

Electric motors are much simpler than internal combustion engines. There are fewer moving parts, they’re lighter, and they require little maintenance. They also have fewer parts that wear out over time, so they can last longer and run more efficiently.

Electric cars are also easier to make. Electric vehicles don’t need to be as complex as their internal combustion counterparts — there are no pistons, valves, camshafts or transmission systems. This means that production costs will continue to fall as electric cars become more popular. Even if electric cars don't fall in price overnight, their cost will likely drop as manufacturers learn how to build them more efficiently.

3. The cost of charging an electric car is less than the cost of petrol

With the cost of electricity and petrol rising it's important to make your pound stretch as far as possible. An electric car can be cheaper to charge than the cost of filling your car with petrol due to special prices aimed at electric vehicle owners.

For example, Octopus Go offers their customers ‘super cheap electricity for 7.5p / kWh between 00:30 - 04:30 every night, so they can charge up their EV for a tenth of the price of a traditional car’. This can help make electric cars more affordable to run compared to diesel and petrol cars in the long run.

4. Used electric cars will become more common

Buying a used car is one of the most affordable ways of purchasing the car of your dreams. As electric cars are relatively new there are fewer used electric cars on the market. Low supply equals high demand, meaning affordable, pre-owned electric cars are currently hard to come by.

However, electric cars are only going to become more common in the future - especially after the planned petrol ban in 2030. The more new electric cars on the road, the more used cars will start to infiltrate the market, which will help to increase the affordability of used electric cars by making them widely available. This will help to make electric cars more accessible to a greater range of budgets.

In conclusion, electric vehicles may become more cost-efficient over time. So, if you're looking to buy a new car and reduce your carbon footprint, then it might be a good idea to consider an electric one.

Browse our MG electric and hybrid range or book a test drive today.