When they are worthwhile – and when not

The production of an electric car is still significantly more expensive for car companies compared to the classic combustion engine. Buyers also still have to dig deeper into their pockets. But there are exceptions.

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Electric cars are likely to continue to burden the profit margins of automakers for the foreseeable future. According to a study by the management consultancy PwC, the production of an electric car with a range of 300 kilometers currently costs around 4,500 euros more than that of a classic combustion engine. A comparable one Plug-in-Hybrid with 100 kilowatts of power, the car manufacturer would cost 3,600 euros more. However, they could only partially pass on the additional costs to the car buyers.

In order to meet the requirements of the EU and avoid fines, car manufacturers would still have to increase the proportion of electrified cars to 35 to 45 percent by 2030. Buyers would get a new driving experience, comfort and access to zero-emission zones in cities, said PwC strategy & industry expert Jörn Neuhausen – and for small electric cars with a range of 150 kilometers, the total costs are even lower than with one Diesel or Gasoline engine.

Cost advantage for consumers even without funding

In the case of compact and mid-range cars with an electric range of 300 kilometers, PwC expects a cost advantage for consumers from 2024 even without subsidies. On the other hand, it is not in sight that high-performance battery cars with a range of over 600 kilometers will offer buyers an operating cost advantage.

PwC expects that the cost of battery cells could fall from 90 euros per kilowatt hour today to 68 euros in ten years. Materials with a low cob content, the increased use of silicon or new coating processes could all contribute to this. The additional costs for plug-in hybrids could fall to 2,500 euros by 2030, for e-cars to 1,500 euros and for Fuel cell cars to 3,000 euros.

“For automobile manufacturers, high production and raw material costs are currently still lowering margins, so investments in technological progress are the greatest lever for future cost reductions while increasing performance at the same time,” said Neuhausen.


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