The Average Price of an Electric Car (Updated Monthly)

The Average Price of an Electric Car (Updated Monthly)

Update: The average transaction price for an EV dropped in October! Details below.

Car buying is the second biggest expense most consumers will ever make, and more drivers are getting squeezed into $1,000/month car payments. With an EV, you can save hundreds of dollars per month in fuel costs, but the upfront cost of getting into an electric car is substantial. Here’s the average price of an electric car today, and how much prices have increased over the past three years.

Wondering when EVs will get cheaper? We’ll dive into that too.

The Average Price of an Electric Car Is 33% Higher

In October of 2022, the average transaction price for a new car (of any powertrain) was $48,281 according to Kelley Blue Book. At the same time, the average electric car price was $64,249 (for new cars). The average price paid for a new EV declined by 2%, compared to September, but was up by 7% compared to October 2021.

Why did the average price of an EV drop? It’s likely due to the comeback of the Chevy Bolt. After many months off the market, the Bolt is back as the most affordable EV in America.

Although the average EV sells for 33% more than gas-powered models, here’s a breakdown of the starting MSRP for the top 10 electric car models on sale right now. As you can see, not all EVs are quite this expensive:

The average starting price for the top 10 best-selling electric cars in America is $60,500, but all except the Tesla models are subject to dealer markups

This information could be interpreted in at least two different ways. You could either conclude that the most popular EVs are more affordable than the market average, or you could see these numbers through the eyes of someone who’s browsed EV listings for years. These prices DO NOT include the all-to-common dealer markups. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 starts at $40k for the base trim, but there’s not a single one available for under $45,000 in my region. The story is the same for the Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Good luck finding a used Tesla for anything less than the original sticker price. 

ev price trends, average price of an electric car
Source: Graph by CarEdge; Data via Kelley Blue Book

In January 2020, the average electric car price was $54,668, or 42% higher than the overall market average. In 2022, the average cost of a new EV is $65,291, or about 37% higher than the overall new car market. Would you call that an improvement? Certainly not. All new cars are getting more expensive, whether electric or not. Here’s how the average cost of an electric car has changed monthly since January 2020. 

1-20202-20203-20204-20205-20206-20207-20208-20209-202010-202011-202012-20201-20212-20213-20214-20215-20216-20217-20218-20219-202110-202111-202112-20211-20222-20223-20224-20225-2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022
Average EV Price$54,669$56,326$56,059$57,757$58,863$57,480$57,346$57,346$54,381$52,947$53,117$53,811$57,750$57,491$56,503$56,059$56,140$58,914$56,110$57,540$56,312$55,625$56,437$63,821$62,876$64,807$66,386$65,094$64,553$66,997$66,645$66,524$65,291$64,249
New Car Average$38,747$38,550$38,812$39,904$39,138$39,731$39,512$39,571$40,159$40,770$40,937$41,335$41,248$41,366$40,680$41,172$41,534$42,633$43,056$43,418$45,031$46,026$46,329$47,243$46,404$46,082$46,223$46,676$47,275$48,043$48,182$48,301$48,094$48,281

We track EV market share monthly. Here’s where things stand today.

When Will Electric Car Prices Go Down?

Battery price trends
EV prices are dictated by battery prices. Batteries are getting more expensive.

Sadly, right now price increases are here to stay. Why are EVs so expensive? Batteries aren’t cheap. The average price of a lithium-ion battery pack dropped 90% from 2010 to 2020. One kilowatt-hour of lithium-ion battery storage cost $1,200 in 2010, but prices had fallen to $384 per kWh in 2015, and down to $137 per kWh in 2020. The long-awaited $100/kWh milestone that would bring affordable EVs to all was just around the corner when the pandemic hit. 

2021 and 2022 have seen a sharp reversal in battery prices. Industrial grade lithium carbonate sourced from global mines has seen a 400% increase since mid-2021. All of the EV price increases we’ve seen in 2022 hadn’t factored in the most recent lithium price spike. In 2020, the average EV contained just under $4,000 worth of raw materials. 

By early 2022, that number had climbed to $8,300, and the next update will surely see that figure surpass $10,000 considering the runaway lithium markets. Could this be the final nail in the coffin for cheap electric cars? It’s possible. 

Smaller Battery Packs, More Affordability

However, I think there’s another possibility that I suspect we’ll be hearing more about. Automakers and their supply chain partners (not to mention governments) have invested nearly $1 trillion dollars in electrifying global transportation. It’s been called the second industrial revolution, and one that will largely determine the world’s ability to combat man-made climate change. Automakers don’t want the EV revolution to fail. 

But with rising production costs forcing EV prices higher, what could they do to return affordability to the consumer? I expect automakers to begin announcing lower range, more affordable electric vehicles. Less range might leave you skeptical, but remember that $7.5 billion was allocated to creating a national charging network in America.

Aside from federal money, Tesla, Electrify America, EVgo and even automakers themselves are also quickly installing fast chargers throughout the country. In 5 years’ time, range won’t matter nearly as much because chargers will be commonplace. 

Chattanooga ID4 range
The U.S.-built Volkswagen ID.4 now offers a cheaper option.

How might this play out? We’re already starting to see it happen. Volkswagen announced a new version of the ID.4 electric crossover that starts at just $37,495 with 208 miles of range. Plus, it’s made in America and qualifies for the new EV tax credits! That’s well below the longer-range option with 275 miles of range, but it costs at least $4,000 less. Hyundai says it will soon offer a standard range version of the IONIQ 5 with less range at a lower price. I expect General Motors and Ford will soon do the same, especially with future electric crossovers like the impressive Equinox EV

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The Best Electric Cars for Families in 2023

The Best Electric Cars for Families in 2023

Rivian R1S size

If you’re thinking about hauling the kids off to school with zero emissions, today’s EVs offer more range, faster charging and greater fuel savings. The best electric cars and SUVs for families are available in a wide range of options to meet your needs, and an even wider range of price points. These are the best electric crossovers and SUVs on sale in 2023, and the ones we’re looking forward to in 2024. 

Electric Crossover SUVs for Families

These electric crossover SUVs and full-size SUVs are the highest-rated, most-loved EVs for families today. Spaciousness, pricing, range and charging speeds vary from one electric model to another. We’ve also included NHTSA safety ratings if they’re available. Let us know which EVs you have your eye on!

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Tesla Model Y

Model Y pricing and range

The Model Y is the best-selling electric vehicle in America, however prices have increased over 20% since 2020. Although it’s known for autonomous driving, the full capability (known as FSD) is a $15,000 package.

Price: $65,990 to $84,990

Range: 303 to 330 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): can add 200 miles in 15 minutes

Passenger volume: 106 cubic feet

Cargo volume behind second row: 26.6 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 72 cubic feet

NHTSA safety rating: 5 stars

See Model Y new and used listings.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E pricing

Ford’s first serious EV is very popular among small families and speed freaks alike. If the Mustang brand has a special place in your heart, this just might be the EV for you. 

Price: $46,895 to $77,000+

Range: 211 to 314 miles of range

Charging (Public fast charger): can add 120 miles in 20 minutes

Passenger volume: 104.5 cubic feet

Cargo volume behind second row: 29.7 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 59.7 cubic feet

Safety rating: IIHS Top Safety Pick

See Mustang Mach-E new and used listings.

Hyundai IONIQ 5

electric cars for families IONIQ 5
I was thrilled to drive this IONIQ 5 Limited AWD home. I can confirm that this electric car is great for families.

I can confidently say that the IONIQ 5 is a great family car, and that’s because my wife and I haul our own kiddo around in this segment-bending electric crossover with hot hatch flavors. The IONIQ 5 has won many awards, including Car and Driver’s 2022 EV of the Year.

Price: $40,925 to $57,400+

Range: 256 to 303 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): Adds 200 to 240 miles of range in 20 minutes

Passenger volume: 106.5 cubic feet

Cargo volume behind second row: 27.2 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 59.3 cubic feet

Safety rating: Top Safety Pick Plus from IIHS

See Hyundai IONIQ 5 new and used listings.

Kia EV6

2023 Kia EV6 pricing and range

The spaceship-styled EV6 is Kia’s version of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, which shares the e-GMP electric powertrain. The Kia EV6 has slightly less passenger and cargo space than the Hyundai, but it’s better range and equally fast charging make it an obvious feature on this list of best electric cars for families. 

Price: $41,400 to $55,000+

Range: 274 to 310 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): Adds 200 to 240 miles of range in 20 minutes

Passenger volume: 103 cubic feet

Cargo volume behind second row: 24.4 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 50.2 cubic feet

Safety ratingIn Europe, the EV6 earned 5 stars

See Kia EV6 new and used listings.

Volkswagen ID.4

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Pricing and Range

Starting in late 2022, the ID.4 is now made in Tennessee. The newest American-made EV is equipped with decent range, okay charging, and a comfortable interior that’s designed for families. However, don’t expect Tesla-level infotainment. The ID.4 is best for those who are content with the simpler things in life.

Price: $38,790 to $55,000

Range: 208 to 275 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): Adds up to 190 miles of range in 30 minutes

Passenger volume: 99.9 cubic feet

Cargo volume behind second row: 30.3 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 64.2 cubic feet

Safety ratingTop Safety Pick Plus

See Volkswagen ID.4 new and used listings.

Audi e-tron (Q4 and original e-tron)

Audi e-tron pricing and range

When the e-tron first debuted in 2019, it was ahead of its time. Today, the e-tron remains a solid choice for families with a large interior, acceptable range and average charging capabilities. The premium styling and interior comforts make up for what it might lack. The original larger e-tron has recently been joined by the Q4 e-tron crossover.

Price: $53,000 to $94,000

Range: 218 to 244 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): can add 135 miles in 35 minutes

Passenger volume: N/A (two rows)

Cargo volume behind second row: 28.5 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 56.6 cubic feet

Safety ratingIIHS Top Safety Pick Plus

See Audi e-tron new and used listings.

Full-Size Electric SUVs in 2023

Where are all of the suburban-sized electric SUVs at? Unfortunately for larger families, large SUVs and minivans are not very aerodynamic, and therefore require larger battery packs to travel the same number of miles. As traditional and startup automakers ramp up their EV production, they’re increasingly left with no choice but to ration their batteries. The vast majority of EV automakers rely on battery manufacturers like Panasonic, LG and CATL to produce the batteries they need for their electric vehicles. If an automaker like Ford has signed supply contracts for X number of batteries, does it make sense for them to make 100,000 compact crossovers, or 20,000 full-size SUVs? 

However, it looks like electric full-size SUVs are coming due to popular demand. There are just two quite expensive options now, but others are nearing production soon.

If you’re open to plug-in hybrids, the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV is a great vehicle, if you can find one at a fair price.

Tesla Model X

2023 Tesla Model X

It’s not cheap, but the Model X is the most popular fully-electric three-row SUV today. With gull-wing doors and a massive glass roof, there’s no hiding the fact that the Tesla Model X is a luxury SUV.

Price: $120,990 to $150,000+

Range: 351 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): can add 200 miles in 15 minutes

Passenger volume: N/A (three rows)

Cargo volume behind second row: 42.5 cubic feet

Total cargo volume: 92.3 cubic feet

Safety rating: 5 stars from Euro NCAP

See Tesla Model X new and used listings.

Rivian R1S

Rivian R1S pricing and range

Rivian is just beginning to ramp up production and sales of the Rivian R1S, the full-size electric SUV companion to the R1T electric truck. The R1S is a blend of luxury and off-road capability. 

Price: Starting at $91,000

Range: 316 miles

Charging (Public fast charger): can add 140 miles in 20 minutes

Passenger volume: N/A (three-row SUV)

Cargo volume behind second row: N/A

Total cargo volume: 88.2 cubic feet

Safety rating: N/A

Learn more about the Rivian R1S.

VinFast VF9 (Beginning US sales in 2023)

vinfast vf9

This three-row SUV has a starting price nearly $30,000 below the electric competition in this segment. VinFast is building a massive factory to build EVs in North Carolina. There’s a catch: Batteries are sold separately. VinFast offers two battery subscription plans. The VF9 also has a smaller sibling, the VF8.

Price: Starting at $55,500 + battery subscription

Range: 262 to 369 miles

Charging (Public fast charger):

Passenger volume: N/A (three-row SUV)

Cargo volume behind second row:  N/A

Total cargo volume: N/A

NHTSA safety rating: N/A

Learn more about the VinFast VF9.

Coming in 2024

Kia EV9 update
Kia EV9 in testing

The Hyundai IONIQ 7 will be Hyundai’s first three-row electric SUV. It will be joined by Kia’s version, the Kia EV9 electric SUV. Both of these should bring somewhat more affordable electric full-size SUVs to the American market. The IONIQ 7 and EV9 remain concept cars for now, with production details to be released this year.

NIO is a Chinese automaker very likely on a path to North American auto sales. With a corporate headquarters already open in California and US-market job postings, it’s all but certain. The NIO ES8 is a three-row electric SUV likely to make an American debut in 2024.

Electric Crossovers That Didn’t Make the List

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

These EVs are great around town, but not recommended for family road trips.

Toyota bZ4X

With disappointing fast-charging capabilities, the bZ4X would be a real hassle on a road trip. The most capable all-wheel drive variant is rated at just 228 miles on a charge. That would be a non-issue if it wasn’t restricted to 100 kW at a DC fast charger. In the real world, the bZ4X and its sibling the Subaru Solterra would require 45 minute to hour-long charging stops every 175 miles or so on the interstate. That’s a lot of waiting around with a family! 

Weeks after deliveries began, all bZ4X electric crossovers were recalled due to the risk of the wheels literally falling off. See our full breakdown of the Toyota bZ4X here. With faster charging, it would be a much better option!

Subaru Solterra

The Solterra is the Subaru-branded sibling to the Toyota bZ4X. It’s essentially an electric Crosstrek. While standard all-wheel drive stays true to its Subaru roots, once again it’s the pitifully outdated charging capabilities that keep the Solterra off of our recommendations. Range is below average at 222 to 228 miles of range. It could be worth a look if you never hit the highway. Learn more about the Subaru Solterra.

Chevrolet Bolt

You’re probably starting to see what makes or breaks an EVs suitability for families. Range, safety, interior room and charging speed are all important. If you travel, range and charging speed matter a lot. If you plan to stick around home, you have many more affordable electric vehicles to consider. The Bolt really only fails in one of these categories, but it fails in a big way. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt has the same 55 kW DC fast charging limitation as the original Bolt did way back in 2017. With 259 miles of range (that’s not bad!), that means you’d be stopping to charge for 45 minutes to an hour every 180 to 200 miles on a road trip. About 90% of EV charging is done at home on average, but the Bolt requires a lot of patience on road trips. We covered the 2023 Chevy Bolt in detail here.

Nissan Leaf

The Leaf was the first mainstream EV to go on sale in North America. It’s been a much-appreciated affordable option since 2011, but Nissan has failed to update the Leaf as competitors entered the scene. A top-of-the-line 2023 Nissan Leaf is rated for 212 miles on a charge, but the peak charging speed is outdated. In a best case scenario, it takes 40 minutes to add  175 miles of range. Plus, the Leaf has an outdated charge port style known as CHAdeMO. You’ll have to haul an adapter around with you to charge in public.

Will Electric Vehicles Get Cheaper in 2023?

It would be a welcome surprise if electric car prices dropped in 2023. Right now, EV prices are headed in the opposite direction. It seems like every week automakers from Tesla to Ford are announcing price increases for their electric models. In 2022, the average transaction price for an electric vehicle was $66,000, more than $11,000 higher than traditional vehicles. Fuel savings add up, but higher prices can bite into fuel and maintenance savings for years. See break even times for today’s most popular EVs.

Simply put, the more you drive, the quicker you will reach a break-even point with your EV purchase. If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, going electric just doesn’t make sense right now when it comes to cost. However, it sure is great eliminating tailpipe emissions.

A new analysis by iSeeCars finds that used electric car prices are rising much faster than their combustion counterparts. The report finds that EV prices are up 54% year-over-year. ICE vehicles were up 10.1% during that same period. There are more signs that used car prices are beginning to drop, but it’s within the realm of possibility that EV and PHEV prices will remain elevated even as the overall used car market softens. People are scrambling to buy EVs, and demand continues to exceed supply.

The New EV Tax Credit Helps Some, But Not All

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 eliminated the original EV tax credit and replaced it with a completely revised tax credit. For vehicles that qualify, up to $7,500 in tax credits are available. However, the incentive is based on battery sourcing, which will be determined by the automakers. Income limits restrict buyer eligibility, too. See the full details on qualifying models here

There’s also a used EV tax credit for the first time, but a price cap of $25,000 eliminates every single family EV on this list. See what does qualify.

Generous state and local incentives may make the switch to an EV much more affordable, depending on where you live. See the most generous state-level EV incentives, and check with the DSIRE clean energy incentive database to find more incentives for your specific location.

Which family-size electric car are you considering? Let us know in the comments, or better yet join the conversation at our CarEdge Community forum.

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Electric Car Prices Are Rising Faster Than ICE Cars

Electric Car Prices Are Rising Faster Than ICE Cars

In 2019, market analysis and research firm Deloitte predicted that electric vehicles would reach price parity with combustion-powered counterparts in 2022. One year later, General Motors Chief Technology Officer Matt Tsien shared his optimism about EV prices. Cost parity between EVs and conventionally powered vehicles “will come sooner than many people think,” he said during a keynote speech at a Society of Automotive Analysts event. Skip forward to the second half of 2022, and EV prices are running away from ICE cars. The latest analysis from iSeeCars.com reveals just how much more expensive used EVs are, and recent MSRP hikes are driving new EV prices even higher. 

Used Electric Car Prices Up 54.3% In One Year

Used car prices are dropping rapidly at the wholesale level, however buyers have yet to see any significant price drops at the retail level. Over the past eight weeks, used car prices have dropped nearly 5 percent at dealer auctions. Could the car price bubble be finally coming to an end? If you’re in the market for an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, we’re far from it. 

According to data from iSeeCars, used electric car prices saw an increase of 54.3% from July of 2021 to July 2022. Over the same period, gas-powered cars were up just 10.1%. Number crunchers at iSeeCars analyzed the prices of over 13.8 million 1-5 year old used cars sold between January and July of 2021 and 2022 to determine the price growth of electric cars compared to ICE vehicles.

Source: iSeeCars.com

As gas prices reached new records this spring, the demand for EVs rose in parallel. However, a closer look at the data reveals that the few affordable electric cars on the market saw the greatest price increases, and by a long shot. 

At a time when the average EV transaction price is over $66,000, the future of electric mobility is riding on the success of more affordable options. The number of sub-$40,000 EVs seems to be shrinking by the day. 

Are Affordable EVs Going Extinct? It Appears So

iSeeCars found that America’s two most affordable electric cars saw prices increase the most. Used Chevrolet Bolt prices were up 29.3% since 2021, and used Nissan Leaf prices were up 45%. For the Leaf (which starts at $27,800 new), this massive price spike translates to an average sale price of $28,787 in July 2022. The average used Chevy Bolt sold for $28,291 last month. Considering the specs of the Bolt (notably charging capabilities), that’s a lot of money for a used EV.

With DC fast charging times typically around 45 minutes to one hour to add 200 miles of range, both of these electric models are likely to see drastic depreciation as much faster charging EVs become more commonplace. This is especially true for the Leaf, which lacks the decent range of the Bolt.

Source: iSeeCars.com

The Kia Niro EV seems to be the outlier here. With 239 miles of EPA-rated range and 77 kilowatt DC fast charging capability, it almost seems like a good deal with used Niro EV prices ‘only’ increasing 15.7% year-over-year. At the time of writing, used Kia Niro EVs are priced between $35,000 and $43,000.

Another Day, Another EV Price Hike

New electric vehicles are seeing price hikes, too. Just last week, Ford announced that the 2023 Mustang Mach-E was getting a massive price increase. The base Select trim now starts at $48,195 (up $3,200). The rear-wheel drive option was eliminated, effectively canceling the most affordable Mustang Mach-E. The most popular trim, the Premium AWD Mustang Mach-E, now starts at $56,175 before the $1,300 destination fee. That’s a $6,075 increase from earlier in 2022.

When Ford reopened F-150 Lightning orders in August, the news was accompanied by a $6,000 to $8,500 price increase. The most affordable F-150 Lightning now starts at $46,974. Most buyers will want the XLT with extended range, and that option now starts at $80,974. Will Ford lower the price by $1,000 to qualify for the new EV tax credit? We’ll find out soon enough. 

Tesla prices are up over 20% since early 2021. The Model 3 is now 27% more expensive, and the most popular EV in America, the Model Y, now costs 30% more with a starting price of $65,990. Rivian made headlines when they canceled the most affordable configuration of the Rivian R1T electric truck. Anyone with basic math skills (or a calculator) can see that new and used EVs alike are becoming more expensive.

When Will EV Prices Go Down?

This right here is the question we’re all doing our best to answer. Still, it’s hard to tell. Here’s what needs to happen before EV prices will go down:

  • EV production and inventory must increase
  • For that to happen, supply chain constraints must ease
  • Battery suppliers must continue to meet demand
  • Automakers need to commit to affordable models rather than luxury EVs
  • More EV competition may drive prices down

Is there any good news? It depends on which EVs you’re interested in, and your buying timeline. The new EV tax credit is the first to ever offer a used EV tax credit and future rebate, however strict eligibility requirements for both are causing an uproar. For some, buying an EV may soon be thousands of dollars cheaper. For others, federal EV incentives vanished when President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. See which new EVs and used EVs qualify for the revised incentives. 

Want to stay informed about the latest EV pricing, ownership and development news? Join the CarEdge Community for free. Our Electric Vehicle forum is the place to be for EV discussion, advice and expert consultation!

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Electric Vehicles Will FAIL Unless We Make These 5 Changes….Fast

Electric Vehicles Will FAIL Unless We Make These 5 Changes….Fast

After four months of electric vehicle ownership, my perspectives about the mass transition to electric vehicles have evolved. I no longer think that everyone should run out and buy an EV right now (besides, that’s not possible). I have a greater understanding of the skepticism that accompanies the push to EVs. All-in-all, I feel that I now understand the arguments from both sides: electric vehicles are amazing, better for the planet (in the long run) and fun to drive, however EVs are not even close to being ready for mass adoption. 

Automakers have committed well over half a trillion dollars to electric vehicle research and development, marketing and most importantly, charging infrastructure buildout. But the grid isn’t ready, charging providers aren’t ready, and the American public has a LOT to learn before making the switch. EVs could still fail, and bring down the automotive industry with them. We’d hate to see that. These are 5 things that must happen in this decade to prepare the world for electric mobility.

EV Cost Parity: Electric Cars Are Much Too Expensive

The average price paid for an EV surpassed $66,000, on par with the overall luxury segment.

For years and years, I touted the coming cost parity that would finally make EVs just as affordable as any other car. Industry experts always told us that EV price parity would come when battery costs dropped below $100 per kilowatt-hour. Just as that milestone arrived, the world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Global factory shutdowns disrupted the supply chains that all automakers rely on, and most notably those related to semiconductor chip production. Without the parts to make the cars, electric vehicle growth was held back just as the public warmed up to them. Raw materials used in both vehicle and battery manufacturing increased in cost by over 100%, and many automakers have passed the premiums on to consumers.

Today, electric vehicles cost more, and inventory is slim. Kelley Blue Book’s June 2022 car price data shows that the average EV transaction was $66,000, $18,000 over the overall car market average of $48,000. One year ago, the average EV transaction was $52,486, or 10.8% less than it was in June of 2020. In short, EV prices are headed in the wrong direction just as automakers are getting serious about making them. 

Monthly Payments Are ALREADY Out of Control

In the age of record smashing, here’s one that will give pause: In June, the estimated average monthly payment increased to $730, which is a new record high. A new car monthly payment now costs as much as rent in many parts of the country. We’re seeing more and more car payments over $1,000 a month. The insane records don’t end there

More cars are being repossessed as more auto payments are going past-due. With the way things stand today, either EVs will have to become more affordable, or their luxury pricing will soon risk worsening the auto loan crisis.

Avoid the Next Shortage: Batteries Will Be the New Oil

Earlier this year, Rivian CEO and Founder RJ Scaringe predicted that battery shortages would be the next disruption that the automotive industry would face. In fact, automakers are already rationing the batteries they have, and those they have lined up. Ever wondered why there are so few electric full-sized SUVs? Building those at scale would require a lot more batteries. 

The average EV contains $8,255 of raw materials according to CNBC. That’s more than double the amount in combustion-powered counterparts. President Biden has even authorized use of the Defense Production Act to aid the situation by increasing domestic EV production and related supply chains. 

For the most part, automakers don’t make their own batteries. They rely on contracts with battery manufacturers like Panasonic, LG Chem, and CATL to supply what their lofty plans for electric vehicles will need. That’s changing little by little. Tesla has started to produce small quantities of its new 4680 battery cells next to Giga Austin. 

General Motors just received a $2.5 BILLION dollar loan from the U.S. Department of Energy for manufacturing the Ultium battery in Tennessee. Slowly but surely, some OEMs are taking control of their own battery supply chains. This will be key to avoiding battery shortages. 

EV market share SOARS in America. See the latest numbers.

Build Out Charging Infrastructure the Right Way

Tesla supercharger map
Tesla Supercharger locations

Over 62% of Americans support building out a nationwide charging network, and 39% of American drivers are considering buying an electric vehicle next time they’re in the market for a car. Frugal drivers are welcoming the fuel savings, albeit at a higher upfront cost. At current residential electricity rates, charging up is equivalent to spending about $1.00 per gallon of gas. The most expensive public chargers may approach $2.50 per gallon equivalent. 

However, many Americans live in a charging desert. What good is the EV revolution if there’s nowhere to charge? Most EV drivers plug in at home, but not everyone can do that. From apartment dwellers to rural residents, owning an EV simply isn’t viable if there aren’t chargers for road trips, family visits and work transportation needs. When it makes sense for consumers, electric vehicles offer plenty of benefits. Cheaper fuel, less maintenance, sporty performance and no tailpipe emissions to name a few. But EVs risk remaining a symbol of luxury and impracticality if it doesn’t get a lot easier to charge up in America. 

2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act included $7.5 billion for the build-out of a national charging network. In summary, federal funding is supposed to get the ball rolling, and the private sector will take it from there. EV charging stations, particularly DC fast chargers, are really expensive to install. On top of upfront costs, America’s electrical grid is not ready for the demand that would be generated by mass adoption of EVs. 

The deadline is nearing for states to submit their plans for how they will spend their allocated funding for EV charging. Will they use the funding to install reliable, standardized fast charging stations along major transportation corridors and rural areas alike? We’ll soon find out.

Public Education: Tell the World What It’s Like to Drive Electric

The following are all things I’ve encountered at Electrify America charging stations: 

  • A brand-new Kia EV6 arriving at 0% without A/C on
  • A driver standing in pouring rain for five minutes trying to charge
  • Using the wrong connector type on a $60k car
  • Many, many Chevy Bolts, Audi e-trons and VW ID.4s using the 350 kilowatt stations, despite their cars only accepting half of that. 

We need to do better to educate EV buyers and prospective EV buyers about how to drive electric without the hassles. We can’t blame the consumer, EVs bring a very different ownership experience. But whose responsibility is it to educate drivers? The dealership? The automaker? The driver themself? Guys like me?

In reality, it will need to be all of the above. General Motors is leaning heavily on the success of what they call affordable EVs to dominate sales by the end of this decade. In the first real sign that OEMs might be taking their newfound responsibility seriously, Chevrolet just launched a great live chat and immersive experience on their website that is entirely devoted to educating the public about their EVs, with an emphasis on the ownership experience. We need more of that, and soon.

GM EV support

The woman I met who arrived at a charging station with 0% state of charge and no A/C should, in my opinion, be upset with her Kia dealer. She loved the car, but no one had explained to her how to plan for interstate travel in an EV. Dealers sell most vehicles in America, but the dealership sales model is under serious threat from the rising popularity of direct-to-consumer sales. Everyone wants to be Tesla. If legacy automakers are to stand a chance in the EV race, more OEMs need to prepare their dealer networks for the public education that comes along with selling EVs. 

Don’t Forget the Power of Innovation

Does the lack of affordability, charging infrastructure and public awareness mean the electrification of the auto industry is doomed for failure? No, not at all. That’s because there’s still time to right wrongs, and to build out the nation’s charging infrastructure the right way. EVs are still under 6% market share in the U.S. (See the latest EV market share numbers here.) If these same problems persist when we exceed 15%, that will be real cause for concern. 

It’s true that the electrical grid isn’t ready for mass adoption of EVs, but it’s getting there. Grid-scale battery megapacks (also pioneered by Tesla) are already being deployed to provide grid stability in times when the supply of electricity is not keeping up with demand. The sun only shines in the day, the wind is intermittent, but grid-scale batteries store and supply power from these renewable sources whenever they are most needed. Now, it’s like the sun is shining at night. These changes take time. Plus, the push for grid-scale battery storage could throw a wrench in EV battery supply chains. Nothing is certain, but things are moving in the right direction.

5 Innovations On the Way

These are some innovations that have the potential to make electric vehicles more affordable with longer ranges, faster charging and improved safety. These innovations also make EV supply chains less damaging to the environment and less harmful to vulnerable communities worldwide.

  • Solid-state batteries are expected to enter mass production in just a few years. They promise higher energy density, lighter weight, and less rare earth metals for production. 
  • Cobalt-free batteries are entering production now, reducing the need for this element that is too often associated with child labor and environmental degradation
  • Newer battery technologies are more energy-dense, meaning that more range is powered from the same-sized battery. In reality, automakers are likely to keep range figures around 250-350 miles, but they’ll require fewer batteries to get there. 
  • EVs burn through tires quickly. Michelin, Goodyear and others are designing EV-specific tires that will have longer lives on the road. 
  • Battery recycling and reuse efforts have recently received more attention as automakers and environmental health agencies work to avoid batteries ending up in landfills.

How can the nation as a whole get to where it needs to be by, say, 2025? I’ll leave you with my own suggestion for legacy automakers and policymakers: don’t be afraid to learn from Tesla. A seamless, almost hassle-free EV ownership experience already exists in America, from plug-and-charge, reliable fast charging to the peace of mind that comes with the vast Supercharger network. I encourage all policymakers and engineers to learn from Tesla’s successful growth strategies. Will automakers and politicians have the courage to consult Elon Musk’s Tesla, or will they try to figure it all out on their own? What do you think?

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Electric Vehicle Recalls in 2022: The Latest Updates

Electric Vehicle Recalls in 2022: The Latest Updates

As drivers warm up to the idea of going electric, every electric vehicle recall is sure to turn heads, regardless of severity. 2022 is a huge year for automakers unveiling their next generation of electric vehicles. With over half a trillion dollars invested in EVs, there’s a lot riding on the success of these new arrivals. Several electric vehicle models have already been subjected to recalls. Fortunately, most of them do not directly involve electric powertrains. These are the EVs facing recalls in 2022. We’ll update this page as future recalls are inevitably announced.

Rivian Recalls

rivian recall

October 2022 – Rivian recalled every vehicle it has produced, including all R1T electric trucks, R1S electric SUVs, and EDVs produced for Amazon. The vehicles were recalled because of concerns that a bolt in steering assemblies wasn’t sufficiently tightened.

No accidents have been reported, but the recall is still causing massive headaches for the young automaker. The recall fix is already available, it’s as simple as tightening a (very important) screw. However, the challenge lies in the limited locations of Rivian Service Centers. For example, the state of Texas has one service center in Houston. There are just 5 Rivian service centers on the entire East Coast. Most locations are in California. See the full list of locations.

Fortunately, Rivian has mobile service technicians, but they’ll surely have their hands full. See additional details on the Rivian recall here.

Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra Recalls

June 23, 2022 – The Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra are EV siblings co-developed by the two Japanese automakers. Just a month into deliveries, the two models have been recalled globally due to an issue with their wheel hub bolts that could in fact cause the wheels to fall off. Fortunately, the issue does not involve Toyota and Subaru’s brand-new electric powertrain. 

2023 Subaru Solterra 2023 first look
2023 Subaru Solterra

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall notice warns owners not to drive their vehicles until they are repaired. This isn’t a good look considering the significance of Toyota’s first all-electric vehicle. A bZ4X and Solterra recall remedy is currently under development according to the US NHTSA.

“The cause of the issue and the driving patterns under which this issue could occur are still under investigation,” the notice says.

The recall affects 2,700 bZ4x models and 2,600 Solterras globally. See if your Toyota bZ4X VIN number is subject to the recall at Toyota’s official recall page. You can check if your Subaru Solterra is impacted at Subaru’s official recall site.

Ford F-150 Lightning Recalls

June 27, 2022 – The electric F-150 Lightning is the most-anticipated new model making a debut this year. Ford Motor is recalling 2,906 F-150 Lightnings because of a software issue that could result in a failure to provide low tire pressure warnings. The 200,000 F-150 Lightning reservation holders are certainly relieved to find that this recall is not related to Ford’s all-new electric powertrain. 

In this particular recall, simple human error is at fault. Ford says that the recommended tire cold inflation pressure was incorrectly set to 35 psi instead of 42 psi. No accidents have resulted from this F-150 Lightning recall, but it’s the fix that’s noteworthy. The recall gives Ford a publicized opportunity to show the world that the F-150 Lightning is OTA capable. Over-the-air updates, first implemented on a large scale by Tesla, are no easy feat. Plenty of automakers can update navigation and infotainment via OTA update, but few are capable of firmware OTA updates that tinker with the powertrain. 

Learn more about how over-the-air updates are changing how cars get serviced.

F-150 Lightning Recall Fix: Those who wish to receive the recall fix immediately may head to a Ford dealership service center immediately. Otherwise, Ford says the over-the-air update will be available to download via home WiFi within a few weeks. Check to see if your F-150 Lighting VIN number is impacted by the recall at Ford’s official recall page.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 Recalls

Hyundai IONIQ 5
Hyundai IONIQ 5

May 13, 2022 – As an IONIQ 5 owner myself, I was not thrilled to see the first manufacturer recall coming in one month into ownership. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Hyundai and Kia have announced a recall for select VIN numbers of the 2022 model year Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6.

The IONIQ 5 and EV6 share Hyundai Motor Group’s new e-GMP electric platform. The recall is for the potential for disruptions to the vehicle’s parking actuator system when the vehicle is off. Sudden voltage fluctuations may occur while the vehicle is off, potentially causing the parked vehicle to disengage from ‘Park’ momentarily. If this occurs while the vehicle is parked on uneven terrain, vehicle rollaway is possible. 

IONIQ 5 and EV6 recall fix: A fix is already available, but you’ll have to visit your Hyundai or Kia dealership service center. I just got the recall fix done at my local Hyundai dealer. They had never seen an IONIQ 5 before, and one employee asked if I was coming in for an oil change. Nevertheless, I was in and out of the dealership in about 30 minutes. 

Check to see if your Hyundai IONIQ 5 is involved in this recall at Hyundai’s official recall page. You can see if your Kia EV6 is impacted at Kia’s official recall page.

Learn more about the IONIQ 5 recall here. Unfazed by the recall and looking to buy an IONIQ 5? Here’s how I found a Limited AWD IONIQ 5 at MSRP. It wasn’t easy.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Recalls

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

June 14, 2022 – Ford is recalling all 50,000 Mustang Mach-E electric crossovers because of the risk of power loss. The possible power loss could occur while the vehicle is in motion or parked. 

The recall is due to problems with the Mustang Mach-E’s battery contactor, which is a switch that determines which vehicle components the battery sends power to. Interestingly, the power loss is more likely to occur when putting the pedal to the metal for maximum acceleration, according to Ford. If power loss occurs, a powertrain malfunction warning light will illuminate on the dashboard, and the vehicle will display “Stop Safely Now’ in the gauge cluster behind the steering wheel. Clearly, it’s time to pull over immediately with a message like that. 

Ford Mustang Mach-E recall fix: Ford has pursued Tesla in more ways than one. In addition to ending EV lease buyouts and going for direct-to-consumer sales via Ford Model e, Ford has brought over-the-air updates to its lineup. Ford says that Mustang Mach-E owners will receive an over-the-air update sometime in July to install a software remedy for the recall. Until then, a stop-sale is in place. 

Learn more about the Ford Mustang Mach-E recall at Ford’s official recall page.

CarEdge’s Take

Several hundred automotive recalls happen every year across vehicle classes and powertrains. There will surely be more to come. What we’ll be keeping an eye on is how the latest electric powertrains are performing. Luckily, most of the EV recalls to date have been for components other than the electric powertrain. However, we all remember how the Chevrolet Bolt recall and fire hazard tarnished GM’s reputation. Check back for the latest updates!