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EV price parity with regular cars by 2024: Nissan

Fifty large: The second-generation Leaf small hatch is Nissan’s latest attempt at a full-electric vehicle, but at $49,990 plus on-road costs it remains out of reach for many buyers.

Nissan says price parity between battery and petrol/diesel vehicles to arrive soon

12 Jul 2019

NISSAN Motor Corporation believes price parity between full-electric and internal-combustion vehicles could come as soon as 2024 in some markets due to the rapid decrease and increase of battery and engine costs respectively.


Speaking to journalists this week at the Leaf national media launch in Melbourne, Nissan Motor Corporation global director of electric vehicles Nic Thomas referred to data released in 2018 by an independent research company that indicates price parity is only five or six years away.


“It varies by country, depending on the regulations of the country,” he said. “(Morgan Stanley) estimates by 2024/2025 that there will be that cross over in Europe where the emissions are very strict … so that cross over is coming remarkably soon.


“This is not my graph, this is Morgan Stanley’s graph, but I can assure you we’ve got internal ones which are very similar.”


Mr Thomas explained that price parity is inevitable due to the increasing investment that car-makers have to make to produce cleaner internal-combustion engines that satisfy carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NOx) regulations which are becoming stricter as the years go on.


“The cost of traditional petrol and diesel powertrains – because of all of those standards – … is going up very rapidly,” he said.


“The costs to us as a car company are going (up for) traditional engines … (so) we’re going to have to pass those costs on to consumers. It’s not just us, but every other car company.


“At the same time … the cost of batteries is coming down very fast because we’re investing them, because the mobile-phone companies are investing in them, because the world needs batteries.


“There is a huge investment in battery technology, so those costs are falling very rapidly – that’s what enables us around the world to launch this fantastic (new Leaf) with a 40kWh battery at the same price we used to sell (the old model) with a 24kWh battery.”


The second-generation Leaf small hatch is priced from $49,990 plus on-road costs, which is $12,000 more than an equivalently specified combustion-engined Mazda3, but Mr Thomas stressed that “what we’re going to see very soon is a cross over … where a battery car is going to cost less than a petrol or diesel car”.


“The cost of batteries is rapidly falling to $US100 per kilowatt-hour, which is roughly when that cross-over point is going to happen,” he said.


“The cars being developed today to be released in three or four years’ time will be at that level.”


While Mr Thomas did not confirm exactly what type of full-electric vehicle will follow Leaf and when it will be available, it appears that the eight models Nissan is promising by 2022 will at the very least be competitively priced.


He added that the cost of the original Leaf’s battery was “well above $US500 per kilowatt-hour” when it went on sale globally in late 2010, with Morgan Stanley’s research indicating it could have been as high as $US1000/kWh. As it stands in 2019, the cost per kilowatt-hour is about $US210-230.


However, batteries currently use raw materials, such as nickel and lithium, which are subject to market fluctuations that could see their prices trend in the wrong direction and subsequently delay price parity.

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