More quickly than seemed possible a few months ago, sticker prices for electric vehicles are falling closer to the point where they could soon be on a par with gasoline cars.
Increased competition, government incentives and falling prices for lithium and other battery materials are making electric vehicles noticeably more affordable. The tipping point when electric vehicles become as cheap as or cheaper than cars with internal combustion engines could arrive this year for some mass market models and is already the case for some luxury vehicles.
According to the New York Times, prices are likely to continue trending lower as Tesla, General Motors, Ford Motor and their battery suppliers ramp up new factories, reaping the cost savings that come from mass production. New electric vehicles from companies like Volkswagen, Nissan and Hyundai will add to competitive pressure.
Major impetus for the price cuts came from the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation passed by Democrats in Congress last year that provides tax credits of up to $7,500 for electric car buyers. To qualify, battery-powered or plug-in hybrid sedans have to sell for less than $55,000, while pickups and sport utility vehicles qualify only if the retail price is below $80,000. By cutting prices, Ford and Tesla increased the number of models that could benefit from the tax credits.
Potentially more significant are subsidies paid to companies that manufacture batteries in the United States, part of a drive by the Biden administration to establish a domestic supply chain and reduce dependence on China. The subsidies, which were also part of the Inflation Reduction Act, could cut the cost of making electric vehicles by as much as $9,000. That break and the tax credits for buyers of electric cars could allow battery-powered vehicles to achieve price parity with gasoline cars as soon as this year.
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