Why Are Electric Cars Getting More Expensive if Batteries Are Getting Cheaper?

Electric cars are geared towards specific drivers so even though battery costs are going down, that should be kept in mind.
Written by Serena Aburahma
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 20, 2022
Electric cars
are all the rage in the automotive industry. They're cool, cheaper to power, and eco-conscious. EVs have so much buzz, that
Tesla thinks advertising
would be a waste of money. 
The only problem is that most EVs aren't cheap. And higher price tags often mean higher
insurance rates
. The sticker shock from EVs has led to frustration from many who want to trade in their old combustion engine vehicle. After all, EV batteries have gotten cheaper, so why haven't EVs followed suit? 

The battery paradox explained

Battery prices have fallen nearly 80% since 2012, according to
Quartz
. Yet, the average cost customers paid for a new electrical car has risen about 80% over the same time. There are a few things at play that are contributing to this paradox. The first is a statistical quirk. 
10 years ago, the Nissan Leaf dominated the EV market. Staying true to Nissan's reputation, the Leaf was an affordable economy car. Since then, Tesla has come to dominate the EV marketplace. Tesla, as you are probably aware, is a luxury brand. As such, their cars will have luxury features that come with a luxury price tag. 
Since Teslas greatly are outselling the Nissan Leaf to a large degree, it naturally drives up the average paid cost for an EV.  But the rise of Tesla's popularity isn't the only thing at play. 

Electric cars are geared toward a Pacific type of driver

As legacy carmakers like Ford and GM are expanding into the EV space, they are employing a pricing strategy that is consistent with other new technologies. That is, they are pairing EV power trains with their luxury-branded models. This inherently makes EVs more expensive. 
This isn't a new concept. Other new technologies were paired with luxury models before becoming available to the masses. Airbags, anti-lock brakes, and infotainment systems were first only available on Cadillacs before they became available on Chevy models. After EVs become successful on luxury models, they will then become more available on economy cars. 

What are some affordable electric cars?

The good news is there are plenty of affordable EVs available right now. Instead of waiting on legacy carmakers to deliver economic EVs, you can buy one now from a different brand. 
The Nissan Leaf is still in production, and you can buy a brand new 2022 year-end model for around $27,400. Mini has also gotten into the EV market space and offers the 2022 Mini Cooper SE for $29,900. If you need an EV with more space, the Hyundai Kona Electric starts at $34,000. 
While the average cost of an EV has risen, and will probably continue to rise in the near future, there are still plenty of economic options currently available. 

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Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
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Nationwide
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State Auto
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Travelers
Metlife
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