Working Paper

Update on electric vehicle costs in the United States through 2030

This working paper assesses battery electric vehicle costs in the 2020–2030 time frame, using the best battery pack and electric vehicle component cost data available through 2018. The assessment analyzes the timing for price parity for representative electric cars, crossovers, and sport utility vehicles compared to their conventional gasoline counterparts in the U.S. light-duty vehicle market. The analysis leads to two high-level findings.

Electric vehicle initial cost parity is coming within 5–10 years. As battery pack costs drop to approximately $104/kWh in 2025 and $72/kWh in 2030, electric vehicle cost parity with conventional vehicles is likely to occur between 2024–2025 for shorter-range and 2026–2028 for longer-range electric vehicles. This applies to typical electric cars, crossovers, and SUVs. If battery cost breakthroughs lead to a further reduction in battery costs, for example to $89/kWh in 2025 and $56/kWh in 2030, this will bring electric vehicle initial cost parity forward by approximately one year.

Cost-competitiveness for consumers approaches even faster than initial cost parity based on fuel savings. Analysis of first-owner 5-year ownership costs indicates that an average new vehicle buyer will see an attractive proposition to choose electric vehicles in the 2022–2026 time frame. The consumer ownership parity point for each vehicle application is one to two years sooner than initial cost parity, due to the high fuel savings of electric vehicles. For example, the first owners of 200-mile electric vehicles realize fuel savings of $3,500 for cars, $3,900 for crossovers, and $4,200 for SUVs, based on electricity costs typically being much lower than conventional vehicle gasoline expenses.