Electric cars are getting more and more expensive

While France has started its transition to the 100% electric car, some models have seen a sharp increase in prices since the beginning of the year, as a result of the inflation of raw materials and energy.

It is one of the best-selling electric cars in France and its price has just increased by more than 11,000 euros in just a few months. This is the Tesla Model 3, long shown at a price of 43,800 euros, for its entry-level version launched last year.

Price increase and bonus reduction

A price below the ceiling of 45,000 euros, which entitles France to the maximum ecological bonus. A subsidy that was originally €7,000 has increased to €6,000 since July 1, 2021. Result: a fee, including aid (not counting local aid or conversion premium), has dropped to €36,800.

But today the star sedan of the American brand is displayed at a minimum price of 49,990 euros. An increase of 6190 euros since the beginning of March that causes another, with the reduction of the bonus granted for this model. Indeed, upon exceeding the threshold of 45,000 euros, a vehicle sees its aid reduced to 2,000 euros. And there is no more help for a vehicle costing more than 60,000 euros, excluding hydrogen-powered electric cars.

We thus have an increase of 11,190 euros between a Model 3 purchased on June 30, 2021 and today, that is, an increase in the final bill for the consumer of almost 36% in just over 9 months.

Other applicable models

If Tesla does not provide an explanation for this increase, it is not an isolated case. Ford, for example, has just raised the price of its Mustang Mach-E. The SUV still saw its price start at 50,450 euros in January and has just reached a minimum of 56,400 euros in France (+11%).

Price adjustments on some versions “to deal with the significant increase in manufacturing and material costs”, explains Ford France. Semiconductor shortages in 2021 continue to disrupt production this year, and the war in Ukraine is also pushing up commodity and energy prices.

A phenomenon that particularly affects electric cars with specific components currently under voltage in the batteries.

“For the first time since 2010, the cost of batteries is expected to increase in 2022 with the increase in raw materials, in particular lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese”, explains Nicolas Meilhan, industry expert and consultant for the EV Volumes website. Raw materials accounted for 40% of the battery cost a few years ago and are now 80%.

In this context, Luc Chatel, president of Plataforma Automotiva, was concerned last week to see the price difference between thermal and electric vehicles widen even further:

“We have a difference of about 40% in the sale price of an electric vehicle in relation to a thermal vehicle. This difference will increase even more”, he said in the air. BFMBusiness.

a strong demand

Another explanation for this price increase: strong demand for electric vehicles, spurred on by record fuel price levels and a bonus that would normally be reduced by €1,000 from 1 July to €5,000. In the event of Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire had meanwhile explained on March 15 that this aid would remain at its current level of 6,000 euros, a priori and at least until the end of the year. ‘year.

“This extension of the current bonus would be a logical decision with delivery times that have lengthened considerably since the beginning of the year, which would make it possible to compensate for the increase in the price of raw materials and the gradual disappearance of discounts on concessions”, underlines Solal Botbol , co-founder and president of BEEV, a seller of 100% electric cars for long-term rental.

Faced with today’s strong demand, available inventories of new electric vehicles are at their lowest level and lead times are constantly increasing.

If Fiat has not increased the price of its electric 500, which always starts at 24,500 euros, you must be patient if you do not find what you are looking for among the available models, with a wait of three months after the order is placed . Count on another month for a Renault Zoé, another star of the French market.

“While there can be strong variations depending on the model, we’ve gone from an average delivery time of 3 months at the beginning of the year to 6-8 months, or even a year today, an issue that finally passes before prices for many customers,” says Solal. Botbol. However, if you want to switch to electric in the short term, this is still the right time to gear up to anticipate future price increases. And manufacturers can’t raise electric prices too much while thermal model sales are falling. .”

On the diamond brand side, there are still potential price reductions on the new Mégane, sold only in electric. Renault would reduce the prices of certain versions below 45,000 euros to enter precisely the nails of the maximum bonus, understands the specialized website automotive clean. But the suspension of production from April 14th to 25th, due to lack of components, once again brings back the availability of the model, not its price.

Hyundai, in turn, guarantees that it has not increased the price of its Ioniq 5 since the beginning of the year.

On the other hand, at Dacia, the Spring, the cheapest electric car on the market and the best-selling model in January, is no exception to the phenomenon. Its price increased by 1000 euros a week ago. Since its launch a year ago, the price without bonuses for the Comfort version has gone from 16,990 euros to 18,690 euros and the Comfort Plus version from 18,400 euros to 20,190 euros.

Logically, it is therefore necessary to turn to the second-hand market with two advantages: more affordable prices and immediate availability. Assets that contributed to the sales boom last year, but in a market that is also saturating. With the increase in demand, the average price is rising, especially for thermal plants, which still represent the bulk of sales.

In fact, if used electric vehicle sales more than doubled last month in France, they still account for less than 2% of transactions, points out automotive data expert AAA Data.

Second-hand supply is lacking, fueled by the shortage of new vehicles for two years. The website Aramisauto saw the number of searches for hybrid and electric vehicles double between February and March, but it is struggling to satisfy all interested buyers. Very popular models: in March, 77% of electric cars posted on the site found buyers in less than 7 days, while this rate is only 35% for gasoline cars.

In addition to 100% electric models, all recent cars, between 0 and 2 years old, are affected by price increases, underlines Olivier Flavier, vice president of automotive at the Leboncoin group. On the platform, the average price of these vehicles increased from 26,755 euros in February 2021 to 30,327 euros in February 2022, an increase of 13.5% in this category.

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