One Finite Planet

EV Price-Parity: Rare, but it’s here, and it SELLS!

First Published:

Table of Contents

There are already some price-parity EVs, mostly from leading EV brands, and not traditional established automotive brands. This page has the findings from cataloging price-parity EVs as that was done as part of a study on the practicality of buying an owning an EV in Australia, as I found the results worthy of their own page.

It turns out price parity is the benchmark for 'reasonable value'. Price parity EVs sell well, and the host of other EVs sell a small trickle that could help convince their makers "there is no demand for EVs".

This is the evaluation of price parity, and the list of vehicles with price parity on the market, initially focused on the Australian market, but with inclusion of key models from other markets. The implications for established brands, and brand loyalty were surprising.

EVs won’t reach price parity in one particular year, but instead some from Telsa, BYD and others including Merecedes are already there, while most EVs are not, and a few are not at all close to price-parity.

This is an evaluation of ‘what is price-parity’, and which vehicles on the market have reached price-parity, initially focused on the Australian market, but with inclusion of key models from other markets. Given that dedicated EV brands tend to be first with price-parity, there may be interesting implications for brand loyalty to established brands.

Price-Parity EVs: Some are already here, and the clue is they sell well.

There have been many predictions about when EVs will achieve price-parity with traditional ICEVs, but in reality, the one single date for ‘EV price-parity’, would only happen there was some synchronised price change for all EVs.

In the real world, price-parity is achieved model by model, one model at a time. While the average across all EVs is not price parity, all it takes is a number of overpriced EVs to drag down the average, and overpriced vehicles don’t sell well anyway, so what matters is which vehicles do have price parity.

I suggest the only true test for price-parity between comparable vehicles is the percentage of people who choose each vehicle.

On that basis, if EVs overall had price parity, EVs would have 50% of sales. But with the Tesla Model Y a contender to take over as the words bestselling car, at it suggests that at least the Model Y has price-parity.

Earlier in my own learning curve, I also fell into this trap of imagining a year when price-parity would just happen. Perhaps something like a drop in battery prices, or new battery technology or something that would then impact all EV prices. But that is not how it works. Like children growing older, it happens progressively, and waiting for it to happen all of sudden can mean missing that it is already happening, or at least with EVs, that some price-parity EVs do already exist.

This paper reviews:

  • Determining price-parity and the arrival price-parity EVs.
  • Combining global and ‘incentive free’ Australian market data for insights.
  • Which brands are doing what and the models available.

What is Price-Parity EVs, and EV Price Parity.

Price-parity in general is subjective and depends on the weighting of criteria.

Points allocation example.

Some Car comparative reviews use a point scoring system, where each of a number of points are awarded in different categories. Even reader who agree with number of points for each category, may come to a different conclusion, because different people value the significance of the different categories differently, and may even include their own categories or criteria.

In a sense, every time someone buys a vehicle, they have decided that, for them, the vehicle they chose is seen by them as being the best choice for the money. Any vehicle that someone buys, is seen as having price-parity by someone.

Clearly there will be universal agreement on price parity, and no concrete test. However, the closest to a concrete test, would be sales.

If vehicle-A and the similar vehicle-B sell in similar numbers, then overall it could be said people see price-parity, but if vehicle-A significantly outsells vehicle-B, then it could be said most people find vehicle-A has gone beyond price parity.

Even if the split was 95% for vehicle-A, then still 5% believe vehicle-B to be better value for them. Perhaps the less popular vehicle could have a feature regarded as insignificant by most people but regarded as extremely valuable by a small minority? In that case, the small minority would see the relative value very differently.

Many early EVs were like that with only a small minority choosing them, and most likely in many cases those people felt zero emissions was an extremely important factor.

Price parity between EVs and ICEVs: eliminating ‘zero emissions’ from the criteria.

Most people felt all early EVs were too expensive when compared relative to otherwise comparable ICEVs to be considered as even close to achieving ‘price parity’.

Yet, despite most people seeing then EVs as overpriced, a minority of people still chose to buy those first EVs. They did so without being forced, and by most reports, most of those people were happy with their purchases. This means that for a minority of people, even those first wave EVs were worth the price. For these people, even these early EVs for the buyers had price-parity. Most likely because that small minority felt ‘zero emissions’ justified the higher price.

But I suggest the term ‘price-parity’ for EVs, requires being able to ignore any ‘points’ credit for EVs having zero emissions. If having zero emissions is considered a benefit, it can be free benefit, without any price premium.

Price parity for EVs requires a competitive price without any consideration for EVs having zero emissions.

First wave EVs: Only price competitive for those willing to pay more for zero emissions.

I refer to EVs that still fit this ‘too expensive relative to ICEVs for most people‘ group as ‘first wave EVs‘, such as the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi iMiEV etc. Realistically, people who buy these ‘first wave’ EVs, are those who choose to pay the price premium in order to buy an electric vehicle, either because of the zero emissions, or for some other reason.

2nd wave EVs: price-parity for some people without needing to pay extra to get ‘zero emissions’.

The second wave of EVs, spearheaded by the Tesla Model 3, are all vehicles that are popular relative to their direct competitors.

Market data for China shows that, at least in China, price-parity EVs are not only restricted to only premium vehicles. In China, one of the best-selling vehicles is the Wuling Mini-EV, which sells for around US$5,000.

But outside of China, when the Model 3 launched, it was the lone ‘price-parity’ EV and set EV sales records, despite being a sports sedan, which is not the most popular car type, and despite being in a premium priced segment.

The Desperate Need for 3rd Wave EVs for more price-parity.

Until the release vehicles like Model Y, MG4 or the BYD Atto 3, in most countries, other than the Tesla Model 3, the only price-parity EVs were Porsches and other high end luxury cars.

This meant any buyer wanting an EV that did not want a sports sedan, head to either buy a Model 3 even if they did not value the sports sedan attributes, or an alternative EV not achieving price parity. Even many Tesla Model 3 owners were not really getting price-parity, because they had to buy a sports sedan even if that is not what thy would have otherwise chosen.

Without products in other market segments, most EV buyers are still paying a premium.

Third wave EVs are just starting to reach more international markets, finally increasing the percentage of buyers with a price-parity EV option.

EV Sales highlight the price-parity EVs.

The world EV market is dominated by Tesla and BYD because they offer some price-parity EVs.

Sales so far in 2022 (includes PHEVs).

The world market of EVs or ‘plug-in vehicles’ is dominated by Tesla and BYD and not by existing car brands. Big EV brands Tesla, who everybody has heard of, and worlds 3rd most valuable car company, BYD, who far fewer outside China are familiar with, VW group, and SAIC, and Geely Volvo are way ahead, with VW and the Volvo component of Geely-Volvo the only established mainstream traditional automotive brands even present.

Tesla is not first, in part because BYD, VW, and Geely-Volvo numbers all include not just ‘pure-EVs’ but also PHEVs or ‘plug-in hybrids’, and in part because BYD sales numbers are growing even faster than tesla sales numbers. In many respects, BYD sand Tesla are neck and neck in the leadership race, with no ‘unified belt’ title holder.

VW is closer than it looks to the top two. As the VW numbers include PHEVs, they are best compared with BYD numbers. VW sells less than half of what BYD manages, despite BYD only just starting to get serious about selling outside of China.

SIAC achieves 4th spot most due to sales numbers for the Wuling Mini-EV, as SAIC has control of the consortium, as 50.1% stakeholder.

Tesla earned its position through just two models, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. Which are both market leaders in their segments outselling comparable ICE vehicles, not just other EVs.

The world EV market outside of China, is currently dominated by Tesla. The model 3 and model Y are not just leading in EV sales, the model Y looks like being the top selling car in 2022 outselling the previous leader, the Toyota Corolla, and the model 3 is often bestselling vehicle in its class of premium sports sedans.

The 3rd EV Wave (on this site).

Of these top 5 EV companies, only Tesla has models with both global success, and segment leading sales.

BYD has only just began serious exports, and in particular their Atto 3 model has potential of volumes rivalling the Model 3 and Model Y, but such for the Atto are just that, potential.

VW may be dependent on EV subsidies for EV sales volumes, electing to not even enter the market in Australia due to a lack of Australian emissions standards. Emission standards require manufacturers to achieve average emission lower than a set limit across their fleet of vehicles on sale. The result is that adding an EV to the fleet can solve the problem and becomes important, even if sales of that EV do not themselves generate any profits. This suggests sales of the VW Id.3 and Id.4 are not only directly assisted by government subsidies, but also by internal subsidies from VW itself.

It is yet to be proved that the success of the very different Wuling-Mini-EV can be replicated outside China, although SAIC does now produce the MG4/Mulan, which also has the potential to become a global best-seller.

Volvo sales are very mostly all plugin hybrids (PHEVs), but other Geely brands including Polestar are worth watching.

It becomes clear that subsides and market distortions can make interpreting sales data complex, but the only proven high volume global EVs are the Telsa Model 3 and Model Y, with the BYD Atto 3 and SAIC MG4 unproven, strong new contenders.

Analysis from a subsidy free market: Australia.

Why Use Data from Australia?

Up until 2022, Australia had no EV subsidies and still has no fleet emissions standards, which means EVs gain no assistance in their battle for price-parity.

EV New Car Market Share in Australia: 2%? 5%? 10%!?

For the last complete year of data, 2021, only 2% of new car buyers in Australia chose an EV.

But using the year average from 2021 now in late 2022, is quite out of date in a rapidly changing market.

There are a range of different statistics on market share of EVs in Australia, mostly, they focus on percentage of the new car market, which brings its own distortions, but if you are buying a new car, then it is what applies. Quoted figures include:

  • In 2021: 2% of new vehicles sold were EVs.
  • The number was rising throughout 2021, so the annual average lags the current number.
  • By June 2022, the number was 5% of new sales.
  • By September 2022, EVs were 7.7% of new sales.
  • It is predicted in Australia in December 2022, EVs may reach approximately 10% of new sales in Australia.

While using year average figures in a quickly rising market makes numbers look artificially low, Tesla reports most sales in the last quarter of each month, making both September and December numbers potentially inflated.

This graph from ‘The Driven’ website illustrates the rapid growth of EVs in Australia since the release of the first ‘price-parity’ EV, the Tesla Model 3 in 2019:

  • In 2019, Australians purchases more EVs than in all previous years combined.
  • 2020 was not a normal year due to lockdowns and Covid-19.
  • In 2021, Australians again purchased more EVs than in all previous years, including, 2019 & 2020, combined.
  • Although 2022 is not yet over, Australians are again on track to purchase more EVs that in the combined number from 2021, 2020,2019 and all previous years.

This well beyond even a doubling each year. But the sales numbers are all about price-parity EVs. Despite their being around 60 EVs on the market in Australia, prior to the Tesla Model Y in August 2022 and BYD Atto 3 in September 2022, the Tesla Model 3 models accounted for over 60% of all EVs sold in Australia.

The second best selling in EV in Australia prior to Model Y and Atto 3 (which rose almost instantly to #2 and #3) was the SAIC produced MG ZS EV, which, although substantially below the price of the Model 3, and the lowest pried EV in Australia, still did not offer price parity. In fact, up until around mid-2022, arguably the only other price-parity EV available in Australia was the Porshe Taycan, which does sell very well relative to other Porsches and vehicles in its price bracket, but it is not a volume price bracket.

This is clearly why the sales boom coincided with the release of the Model 3.

The Lack of legacy brand price-parity EVs.

Without subsidies and/or emissions standards, few legacy brand EVs don’t sell.

While the above data shows that even in previously EV incentive free Australia, EVs sales grew rapidly as soon as price-parity models arrived. One vehicle, the tesla Model 3, commanding 60% of all EV sales. With close to 60 EVs on the market, sharing the remaining 40%, and the best-selling of those other EV models being a new to market MG is from Chinese SAIC, and not one of the big brands. In summary, in a market with without subsidies, EVs that do not offer price parity sell in very low numbers.

High End Luxury Model EVs do sell, but they are expensive low volume products.

Yet, luxury brands see things differently.

One clear price-parity EV in Australia that was not from Tesla prior to 2022, was the Porsche Taycan. This has been now joined by others such as the Mercedes EQS and the BMW prio

“Step by step, we see the market turning,” Kallenius said in an interview as part of CNBC’s ESG Impact conference on Thursday. “I really believe that in this decade, we will flip from being based upon high tech internal combustion engines to going dominant electric, if not all electric, in the luxury segment.”……
The company has said that it will have fully electric versions of all of its models by 2025, and that all of the new vehicle architectures it develops after that date will be electric-only……
“As long as you give the customer a superior product to what they had before, they’re open minded for a switch” to electric models, he said. “The experience for the customer in terms of the torque, the performance, everything is fantastic.”

Mercedes-Benz CEO says luxury drivers will help spur the transition to electric vehicles

Less luxury brands suggest Customers are not ready for EVs.

Either the customers are very different, or other brands are applying different confirmation bias.

Toyota has a consistent message that consumers are not ready for EVs, and rising sales from Tesla are not seen as any indication that consumers are moving to wanting EVs:

Pratt said that regions like Norway and other parts of Europe have enough green energy and charging infrastructure to support EVs, but this simply isn’t the case everywhere else. In summary, Pratt views a “diversity of options as a strength, rather than a weakness. CO2 is the enemy, not a particular drivetrain type.” That diversity is reflected in Toyota’s continued development of hydrogen power for vehicles like the Mirai.

Toyota Chief Scientist Gill Pratt, in article: “Toyota’s Chief Scientist Says The World Isn’t Ready For EVs”

BEVs cost too much, and the infrastructure isn’t sufficient to charge vehicles away from home, Hollis reported in a recent Automotive Press Association webinar. “I don’t think the market is ready. I don’t think the infrastructure is ready. And even if you were ready to purchase one, and if you could afford it … they’re still too high,” Hollis told listeners………

Hollis noted Toyota and other automakers have offered hybrid vehicles for nearly 25 years, but U.S. market share remains less 10%.

Toyota USA CEO. August 2022: Market Not Ready for EVs

With all of that said, Toyota’s VP of Sales and Marketing in Australia, Sean Hanley, recently debuted the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. According to Electrek, after his speech, the VP fielded questions from the media. Of course, he was asked about the automaker’s EV plans and overall progress in reducing its carbon footprint. Electrek reported that the executive appeared to get somewhat defensive.

Hanley said Toyota isn’t opposed to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), but that carbon neutrality requires “taking everyone on the journey.” He added that carbon is the enemy in this situation, not a car’s powertrain. He said Toyota agrees that carbon is a problem and that we need to take steps to become neutral, but that the automaker doesn’t necessarily agree with others about precisely “how and when you get there.”

Toyota Suggests Its Hybrids May Help Reduce Emissions More Than EVs

As the current market leader, the question is whether Toyota knows something, or is applying confirmation to what they see because they fear something. Either way, Toyota is going to be lobbying to affect what happens in future and has the biggest lobbying budget of all car companies, despite no longer being the richest car maker and having substantial debt.

It is not just Toyota, with Mitsubishi also repeating the same claim.

There are some ‘new-vehicle-type’ EVs that will never attempt price-parity.

Japanese brands can be strange with EVs that are not intended to be real ‘cars’, and some others seek to redefine transport. The end result is that not everything called an ‘EV’ is even intended as a direct alternative to current vehicles.

Some of the ‘out there’ EVs are brilliant in their own way, like the Arcimoto or Aptera, but simply not a viable replacement for the conventional car. Then there is the ‘city car’. The Microlino may even make the city car idea work, but Japanese attempts like the Honda-e, Mazda MX-30 EV, and even the Lexus UX 300e which all have insufficient range for general purpose use but are priced uncompetitively with real EVs that you can use as normal cars.

The Mazda MX-30 EV and Honda-e and Lexus UX 300e all cost more than a Tesla in the subsidy free market of Australia, despite that the Honda and Mazda have a range of less than 160km in the real world even in the city. The over $80,000 dollar Lexus does have a range of 300 km in theory for the city, but at freeway speeds expect more like 240km, and by the time some range is considered reserve, that means even on the 80-minute recharge using the CHAdeMO plug that almost everyone else has abandoned, is not going to deliver even 2 hours of freeway driving!

None of these are “real cars”. Lexus does recognise the car is limited and proves a solution:

But if you need to travel long distances and don’t want to regularly stop to charge, Lexus Australia offers petrol- or hybrid-powered loan cars for four trips up to eight days in duration over the first three years of ownership, so at least you have that option, too.

Lexus UX 300e 2022 review

Sort of like an admission of the vehicle’s failings. Yes, the BMW Mini Electric is neither much better, nor much cheaper, but at least BMW also has some real EVs you can buy.

Japanese makers, the mighty Toyota included, seem on very shaky ground with respect to EVs.

List of EVs available in the Australian market 2022 and 2023.

While I am adding specific comments on major brands, there are website with complete lists, so here are some links.

Tesla.

Model 3 and Model Y: Benchmarks and world bestsellers in their segments.

The best-selling EV models in the world as of late 2022, plus the best-selling of all, petrol/gasoline vehicles included, ‘premium sedan’ and ‘premium midsize SUV’. From around A$65,000 for the base model 3, over A$80 thousand for the long range and over $90 for the performance model, with the model Y in two versions as of October 2022: Rear wheel driver for A$72,300 and All wheel drive for A$96,700, with both prices “before on-road costs”.

They are expensive or “premium” and many while many do question build quality for their price, the cars in Australia are all built in China and have better build quality than typically associated with Tesla. Given sales numbers, it is clear these vehicles have a lot going for them.

Model S, X and lower cost Tesla?

The model S and X are not really promoted in Australia right now, and both are quite fringe vehicles. While pricing may have become more competitive as the cars have improved, these were both initially 1st wave vehicles: priced higher than an equivalent , and were always .

BYD?

Atto 3: Is it possible it could become the world’s best-selling passenger vehicle?

Yes, you read it right. I’d buy this EV. … You’d be bonkers to spend another $30k on a base Tesla Model 3.

Imagine how well an SUV EV would sell with the value proposition of the Tesla Model Y, but at a price point of around 2/3 the price?

There are reviews from various countries:

The best reviews so far are those from NZ, as the Atto 3 has been in that market just a little longer. At least Australia reviews do not seem to be full of faint praise, but they do tend to have errors as far as specifications go, likely due to the cars being new in the market.

So, could this become the world best-selling car? Really? Perhaps it is more likely than any other EV so far, but there are still many reasons why it may not.

First, on the plus side:

  • BYD has the production capacity.
  • The value equation is extremely strong.
  • Build quality is high.

BYD is already making more EVs than anyone either everyone but Tesla, or everyone including Tesla, depending on which vehicles are to be included. Either way, BYD have been ramping up production faster than Tesla, and on current trends are likely to be undisputed highest volume producer by early 2023.

The things against the BYD Atto 3:

  • The name is unknown and distribution channels internationally are new.
  • An AWD version, as well as some minor tweaks would definitely help.
  • Who knows what other cars will hit the market in the at least two years the Atto 3 needs to ramp up global volumes.
  • To remain sufficiently competitive, updates will be required.
  • Being a Chinese car, so far only made in China, brings risks.

The MG4 is already a potential rival, but so far, there is no market with both cars on sale for price comparison. Plus the MG4 is between the size of the BYD Dolphin and BYD Atto 3.

BYD Dolphin, Seal, Sea Lion and Seagull.

The BYD Dolphin is as smaller lower cost hatch, and the BYD seal is a performance sedan positioned as a direct Tesla Model 3 rival. Both are already in sale in China, but not now expected to reach customers in Australia until mid-2023.

The Sea-Lion is Tesla Model Y rival, and the Seagull a ‘sub-compact’ EV, and neither is yet available in China or has any schedule for Australia. It has been said a ‘ute’ (pickup), will also be offered, but seems unlikely prior to 2024.

The Dolphin, Seagull and unnamed ‘ute’ will do most to change the market, although there are also many people looking forward to the Seal, which will be another premium sports sedan, although at a slightly lower price point than the Tesla Model 3.

Other BYD Vehicles? Tang? Han?

It seems unlikely BYD launched prior to the Dolphin with ever by available in RHD.

China: SAIC (MG), GWM, LDV, Geely (Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, Zeekr etc).

SAIC :MG4, MGZS EV

The MG4 will most likely the 2nd 3rd wave EV to arrive in Australia, and as such, is likely to be highly competitive. This car is a step up from the MG ZS EV, as can been seen from reactions (Carwow: best EV I’ve driven all year, Elecrifying: game changing, Fully Charged: Bargain of the Century), Electroheads: too good to be true) in the UK where MG4 has just arrived and is getting a much bigger reaction than the ZS which has been on sale for some time.

The MG ZS is a highly price competitive budget SUV, and the MG ZS EV did break new ground for price of an EV in Australia, but in the end, it is a 1st wave EV that is a far more expensive version of an ICEV. Currently priced similar to the BYD Atto 3, but needs the larger battery for Australia, and for most people, the Atto3 is seen as the better choice (Wheels comparison). MG has far better brand recognition, then BYD, but in the end it is just a Chinese state-owned company (SAIC owns the MG brand now), vs BYD, a privately owned Chinese company.

GMW (Great Wall Motors, Haval, Ora, Wey, Tank): Ora Cat, Ora Funky Cat.

GMW (Great Wall Motors) is known in Australia only for ‘Utes’ and large 4wds, but they also have the electric brand Ora (Cat and Funky Cat) and a plugin hybrid brand Wey (Coffee 01/Mocha Latte and Macchiato).

Although Ora does not make top-seller lists in China, it could become significant in Australia, depending on pricing, which is not yet available.

Geely: Volvo XC40, Polestar 2.

The current Volvo offering in Australia is clearly ‘1st wave’ with a petrol engine version at substantially lower price. The versions of the Polestar 2 have a quite similar value equation, and while most critics find it slightly behind the Tesla Model 3, it is also sufficiently different that it provides an alternative for those want something different from a Tesla. It offers choice, but no real breakthroughs yet.

Germany: VW (Audi, Cupra, Porsche, Skoda) Mercedes, BMW (Mini).

VW Group: Porsche Taycan, but little else with price-parity so far.

The Porsche Taycan may be expensive, but there is a reason it is one of the best-selling Porsche models in Australia: it is a fully price competitive 2nd wave EV.

Other offering from VW so far in Australia have been 1st wave: pay a premium just to get an EV.

Neither VW ID.3 nor ID.4 is yet offered in Australia, which itself is interesting. For me all other available VW group vehicles beyond the Porsche are still 1st wave.

Mercedes: EQS, EQE, EBA, EQB, EQC.

The EQS is a follow 2nd wave EV, that in comparisons with a similarly priced Mercedes S Class, is usually seen as the better choice, and can even offer better range. Most of this seems to also apply to the EQE. Mercedes seems to be managing the transition to EVs as well as any other legacy automotive brand.

The EQA, EQB, and EQC however, are far more expensive than their petrol equivalent GLA, GLB and GLC, making them 1st wave vehicles and a harder sell.

BMW: iX, i4, iX3, iX1, Mini.

The iX and i4 are full 2nd wave EVs, while the iX3 and iX1 require a substantial spend over and above their internal combustion counterparts, and the Mini is designed to be a 2nd or ‘city’ car only. The iX3 costs substantially more expensive than even the plugin hybrid X3, and the BMW iX1 is priced from A$82,900 while the X1 starts from A$53,900.

Let me preface this by saying that typical M3 customers won’t cross-shop the i4 M50 and typical EV buyers won’t cross-shop the M3 Competition. However, they both should. True car enthusiasts go into any purchase with an open mind and any open-minded enthusiasts will look at the fact that both cars are priced incredibly similarly, have very similar power figures, similar performance metrics, the same amount of doors and seats, closer overall ranges than you might think, and handling dynamics that aren’t too far off each other’s. So while customers likely won’t cross-shop the two, they absolutely should.

Which to Buy: BMW i4 M50 or BMW M3 Competition?

The X5 is listed as $126,900 – $164,900 and the iX as $140,000$169,900 which does give a slightly lower entry price for the X5, but the base iX is better equipped and faster.

USA: Ford, GM(Holden), Rivian.

Ford: Mustang Mach E, F150 Lightning. (Nothing yet on sale in Australia.)

These products are only available in the North America, or more specifically the USA at this time.

GM has the Bolt and Bolt EUV which, while not a price parity like an Atto 3, can be reasonably close. The Bolt EUV in base trim is only just above the price of an Atto 3, but even the significantly more expensive versions of are lower spec, in equipment, charging times and battery. Still without true 3rd wave competitors on the US market, these are as close as it gets. Sadly, the choice of LG Chem batteries has not helped.

The volume model for Ford has been the Mach E, and I will add more specific sales numbers, but think around 10%. This suggests it is not seen as price parity, even with subsidies.

Then there is the F150 Lightning, the EV version of the best-selling vehicle in the USA. There too much content on this vehicle to do it justice, but is it price-parity?

Some versions maybe, but again it is complicated. More than sedans and SUVs, an EV ‘pickup’ or ‘Ute’ becomes such a different vehicle that to judge ‘equivalence’ by other means than looking at the percentage of people choosing each version is most likely flawed. there is insufficient data at this time.

Japan: Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan.

This is the shock. How can the market leading Japanese no have competitive EVs? But they don’t.

So far, if you really want an EV, then don’t bother with anything from Japan. This will probably change at some point, but as of 2022 with Toyota still seeming to feel the transition to EVs is impossible for them, EVs from Japan are a best a gamble. More to be added.

Korea: Hyundai – Kia.

Kia E-Niro, Hyundai Kona EV: Both vehicles are clearly 1st wave in that the same car is available for a much lower price as a HEV standard hybrid.

Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5: These should qualify as 2nd wave EVs that completely directly with Tesla. In fact, in some markets, some variants even undercut Tesla in price, although by too small an amount as to really trigger a 3rd wave, still enough to in theory to be able sell at Tesla numbers.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 was even world car of the year, yet sales numbers are low, not because the market does not want these cars, but because Hyundai is not producing them in volume. In Australia, Hyundai dealers cannot take orders for the Ioniq 5, and instead, potential customers signup for email notifications of when the next batch will be released for sale, and then must be one of the few who get to place an order from that batch which so far all allocated in minutes. The way these two models are sold, suggests they are loss making compliance cars, or halo cars for the brands, where having them on the market help each brand sell other cars. More realistically, it seems like Hyundai/Kia working to optimise and scale production to be able to produce these cars profitably in the near future, and meantime sell only enough to generate market interest.

Misc: Jaguar, Renault, Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Maserati).

Renault had the Oe 1st wave car which dominated the early EV niche in Europe and particulalry France.

The Jaguar iPace was unveiled in 2016 and won world car of the year in 2019, but although groundbreaking in many ways, it never lived up to the promise. Still one of the most off-road capable ‘crossovers’ available today, it is let down by poor efficiency which makes it charging times to add a given distance too slow, and the technology experience is old.

Renault as some promising ideas, but nothing beyond 1st wave on the market, and the same applies to Stellantis.

Conclusion: Three Perspectives of the EV Future.

The future of the world as seen by makers of price-parity EVs such as Tesla and BYD, is one where everybody wants EVs, and the challenge is ramping up production to meet orders.

At least some high-end or luxury brands, such as Mercedes, picture a future transition to EVs is moving along fine and the new car market could all be converted to EVs by 2030.

But that leaves other EV makers with a third view of the future world. For this group a future with EVs is a challenge and ideally one that can be delayed as long as possible. EVs are only 10% the total car market, and with Tesla and BYD and perhaps SAIC taking around 8 of those 10%, and everyone else fighting over the remaining 2%, it is hard to make a proft form EVs at this time, and EVs for now are a cost of preparing for the future.

Car makers with this view include:

  • VW, GM, Ford and perhaps Stellantis, who have all claimed they can catch Tesla.
  • Others who feel that Norway has proven with enough incentives all EVs can be price-parity and that is the future.
  • Toyota and followers who feel EVs are a nightmare that the world will wake from and realise burning fossil fuels is still ok done slightly more efficiently in a hybrid.

For consumers who want an EV and not in the luxury market, one from Tesla, BYD or maybe another Chinese brand like SAIC (MG) is the easy choice. But if you do not like Elon Musk, or China, then it is about gambling with someone from the 3rd group, and, unless incentives make up the difference, paying extra as a result.

Update Log.

  • 2022 Oct 19: First Version.

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