The race for electric vehicles is intensifying every day, with multiple announcements coming from legacy automakers as well as young entrants and technology groups.
The recent spike in gasoline prices has revived interest in battery-powered vehicles. That in turn has prompted carmakers, who face rising prices for raw materials such as nickel, to boost EV prices.
Nickel is a key metal in the development of the battery, which is the heart of an electric vehicle because it determines the car’s range and performance. The battery also factors into the safety and the longevity of the car as well.
All these factors, together with the shortage of microchips and the disruptions in supply chains, put electric vehicles beyond the financial reach of average consumers.
As TheStreet’s Kirk O’Neil recently wrote, based on the median salary of $51,480 before taxes for 2021 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the current prices of EVs, not many people can afford the monthly payments.
No entry-level electric vehicle is base-priced under $30,000. The Chevrolet Bolt is the most affordable electric vehicle, with a base price of $31,995.
At Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report, the Mustang Mach-E starts at a base price of $43,895. Prices are even higher at Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report: The price of the Model 3, which is aimed at the mass EV market, is $46,990. (Tesla in 2006 had promised to produce an entry-level vehicle within the reach of a large number of people, according to CEO Elon Musk’s master plan.)
Finally: An Affordable EV?
GM promises to introduce a game-changing electric car: the Chevy Equinox electric SUV. This vehicle will be base-priced at $30,000, GM assured. The carmaker hopes to appeal to many consumers who are interested in going electric but simply cannot because of current prices.
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“Providing an affordable EV option in the industry’s highest volume segment proves Chevy is going to make EVs available to everyone,” Steve Hill, Chevrolet vice president, said in January.
The Detroit group has just released a teaser of this SUV. In this almost 30-second video, the company shows the exterior, front and the rear of the Chevrolet Equinox electric SUV/crossover. The lines are smooth and the design is somewhat reminiscent of the 2022 Chevy Bolt.
The famous Gold Bow Tie cannot go unnoticed. One of the interesting points is the roof, which is white and a sharp contrast to the blue of the rest of the vehicle. The charging port is on the driver’s side. The taillights are horizontal.
How Far Will It Go on a Charge?
GM plans to market the Chevy Equinox in fall 2023. The range-per-charge is expected to be at least 300 miles.
The Chevy Equinox will use GM’s Ultium platform, which is a modular setup that will underpin all kinds of vehicles in the GM family. Ultium includes battery packs ranging from 50 kwh to about 200 kwh, with motor combinations ranging from 235 horsepower to 1,000 hp. GM has said that applications such as this would offer front or all-wheel drive.
The Chevy Equinox EV could soon become the cheapest electric vehicle on the market. Its main rival is going to be the Pear, an EV that automaker Fisker (FSR) – Get Fisker Inc Class A Report promised in comments during its fourth-quarter earnings.
Project Pear has a starting price of $29,900. Pear, which stands for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, will be built in Ohio with a production rate of at least 250,000 vehicles a year., Fisker said.
The Pear is slated to go on sale in 2024, but details about the vehicle have been scant so far.