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Speaking at a symposium on electric vehicles (EVs) in Toronto, the vice president of Magna E-Car Systems, Dave Pascoe, admitted that even though numerous automakers have committed to producing EVs, the likelihood that these vehicles will have broad appeal depends almost entirely on the price of gasoline. Pascoe believes that high up-front costs will restrict sales of battery-powered vehicles unless the cost of gasoline tops C$1.36 per liter ($5 a gallon U.S. at the current exchange rate.)

E-Car System is a spin-off company formed by Magna International, the world's third-largest automotive parts producer and this at least partially explains Pascoe's reasoning. You see, Pascoe believes that higher production volumes will drive down the costs of EVs and he's probably right. But Pascoe also hopes that multiple automakers will turn to Magna for common EV-related parts that will be used on a wide range of vehicles. The commonality of parts should help automakers boost volume and quickly introduce additional battery-powered vehicles. Increased volume should make EVs more wallet-friendly and their shared components, supplied by Magna, should help the parts producer pocket a ton of cash. Well, at least that's how Magna sees it.

[Source: CTV News]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Welcome to Finland. Here the Gasoline costs around 1,4 Euros / Litre.

      That's 7 USD / gallon.

      And my opinion is, it should cost twice that - all around the globe.
      People shoud think of their traveling habbits.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I disagree!

      They will appeal to consumers when they have much quicker charge times, a 300 mile range and maybe added bonus features such as solar panel roof, hood and trunk.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here in New Zealand we are already paying about $5.10US per gallon. compared with about $3.20US per gallon in the US at the moment. Our electricity network is mostly renewable energy so electric cars make a lot of sense. As soon as I have a garage and enough money I plan on converting a car to electric as it will be another 5 years before any big companies start selling EV's down here.

      Ryan
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just buy electric!

      With the help of the Lionbat EV power trailer all EV's can travel unlimited. Get rid of foreign oil!

      For more info go to Lionbat on the web.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Macro Polo is right.

      The plain fact is we are about one battery generation cycle from having truly competitive EVs. And have come a long way relatively quickly in less than 100 years and certainly in the last 20. Charlatans are ready to milk the gullible customers however, trying to get prices down enough by putting in insufficient battery sizes.

      The price of gas has next to nothing to do with it, or the EU with $8 -$10 dollar a gallon gas would be driving nothing but EVs. They aren't. Nor apparently, are the Kiwis.

      We are close and some early adopters will adopt but I am thinking we're not at the edge of widespread adoption and satisfaction; but rather at the bleeding edge of non-satisfaction. I fear the backlash which is coming and hope it doesn't taint receptivity to the EV when they do become truly practical and competitive, within the latter part of the decade.

      It seems impossible to have the true believers question the Doom they apparently so eagerly wish. The price of Oil is not going up. Except as temporary Oil Price Spikes that then recede. OPEC no longer has the power, and loses more every day. It hasn't been able to make a Price Spike stick for going on 15 years. OPEC is clearly going the way of all monopolistic Cartels as economic theory predicts.

      Nor are we in danger of running out for three or four hundred years of consumption at our present rate. But our present rate is declining and has been for a full decade and the rest of the industrialized world demand is now following US consumption patterns.

      I do wish the Oil Peakist worshipers would actually read what their sainted Prophet was saying. I have. He was complaining about lack of Refining capacity to handle more than just one form of oil, the sweet, low viscosity oil, that was becoming scarcer. Sour crudes are now easily processed by virtually all the world's refineries and he thought it was an impossibility to do so. Why? Because no one would make the economic investment to upgrade them to do so. He was wrong; the Refineries already have been upgraded, virtually everywhere. So his Peak Oil prophecies are already proven in error.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Magna VP doesn't know what he's talking about. people are interested now despite massive overpricing. if/when you got in gear and built EVs at fair prices you would see plenty of interest. people are bying the leaf at more than 3 times the price of the equivalent gas version.

      I would word your error in judgment stronger Mr Magna but freedom of speech isn't allowed here in Sebastian's see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil world.
        • 4 Years Ago
        EVsuperhero, I don't know but it can't be good :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        EVsuperhero, no I've been warned by Sebastian by email. or I contacted him after he deleted some of my posts. I think the real reason is that I criticized ABG by pointing out some grave errors that they refused to correct (mainly the 750-1200$/kWh battery price claim article Sam wrote, and not long after that Eberhard made his 255$/kWh statement but still no admission of error) but whatever the true reason I'm not allowed to be too frank about the people and companies who betray our world by keeping EVs away and making wasteful cars. I'm not allowed to use neatly descriptive terms like for instance some sort of colon rinse container : ) I thought that was a quite soft and PC swear word but apparently not.

        as for the double posts in my case no that's most certainly not human error. this comment system is less than ideal. I've complained many times and Sebastian says the webdevelopers are busy as bees on it but years go by and nothing at all improves. often times I can't comment on autoblog. it just says 'you did it, an email..' but no email ever comes. not even deterministic, happens on and off. trying to change the avatar doesn't work either. for some it seems to work but not mine. maybe it depends on which site you registered on first, I don't know. I could certainly do without having to enter my password every single bleeping time. would also be nice if when I press reply it actually replies and not just adds a new post at the end. sigh
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dan, they don't sensor the crap around here! All my obnoxious post have been published. I suggest, rather than a censorship conspiracy you learn how to use your interface to your computer better. Human error is the reason posts don't get posted here, in truth.

        That goes for you double posters also. Human error.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd say the real reason is that people get tired of reading about how some blog post from 6 months ago is wrong, etc. etc. You have a habit of continually "calling out" the staff instead of just responding to the merits of the article. This post chain is a perfect example... "Boo Hoo, that mean old Sebastian doesn't allow any dissent." Its bad enough reading how how believe that every electric car should only be made of fiberglass, weigh 1000 pounds or less and be offered for sale for 1/3 of the price of the LEAF, because, again, boo hoo, Nissan and the electric car makers formed an evil conspiracy to try to, *gasp*, make money from their vehicles. If you think it costs too much, stop whining and just don't buy it. Personally, I'm more miffed about the "add on" fees than I am about the LEAF price itself. $2200 to install a $700 charging device, $700 for a fast charge port which should have been included in the base price, $??? for the "cold weather package" with the heated seats which they talked up like it was going to be standard, etc.

        Regardless of all that Dan, just let your hostility toward the staff at ABG go. It only takes away from whatever point you are attempting to make. In this case, your point seems to be that if the car cost half as much, more people would be interested in buying one... pure genius! Their point is, if gas cost more, more people would be interested in buying one at the current price.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Poterboy, I don't hear you complaining about Nissan pricing do I? : ) try to have a consistent standpoint. greatly increases the chances of being right.
        I never said the Leaf should be 1/3 the price. some day probably but not now. my guess is 22-23k would be fair for the Leaf meaning profitable for them if willing to produce as many as are sold. then the tax rebate would really serve it's purpose and speed things along. but Nissan decided they would rather have that tax money so they took it.

        and I didn't say all cars should be fiber glass. some can be carbon : )
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow Dan, you are a trouble causer. I hope I never receive any emails from ABG management. You can have your browser remember your password. Use FireFox, the first time you use it it will ask you to remember it.

        If Nissan/Renault new they could sell millions of Leafs they could start out at a lower price, if things go well they could lower price rapidly. I think they should be able to do better on price as well. Actually I wish they would take some of the crap off it. That whole nav screen can go as far as I am concerned. Back up camera, not needed. Token solar panel, not needed. Make a strip down version of the Leaf for 10k less. Cell phone interface, not needed. To others these may be great selling points but I don't need them.

        What is a Poterboy?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. You can count me with the early adopters here but they are not going to become mainstream until gas prices are higher.

      However . . . . Magna says that yet they keep investing in EVs. What does that tell you? The answer is pretty simple . . . they see $5/gallon gas in the not too distant future.

      I'd say it is still years away . . . but not many. Maybe 3. Maybe 5. No more than 10.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think they pulled this number out of a place where the sun don't shine. Last year when oil prices were spiking and car sales plummeting, I read that an analysis showed that $3.50/gal was the threshold where behavior changes in the USA, and this seems consistent with observed behavior and pricing. $5 a gallon would (will) be a huge game changer here, where commutes and infrastructure do not favor high fuel prices.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well good luck with that assessment. We will check you out on the other side.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It appeals to me right now too. To whatever extent I can, I'm done with oil!
      • 4 Years Ago
      What he meant to say was *ONLY* EVs will appeal to consumers when gas exceeds $5...though I'm sure there's room for a few hybrids and such..

      • 4 Years Ago
      @letstakeawalk.... I'm not a mechanic type so more adventurous alternatives were just not my cup of tea. I would be driving CNG but we have no infrastructure here in Florida.

      My answer has been to drive about 5K per year, use electric yard maintenance equipment and wish that I had the money to install a solar array.
        • 4 Years Ago
        letstakeawalk doesn't own a car. He has a bicycle. I don't know if he wears sandals and eats tofu.

        I believe his message is to sell your car and buy a bicycle to cut back on your fossil fuel usage. If you're too far away from amenities to bike to, then move closer. Just takes a little change in lifestyle. Not the sort of lifestyle I prefer, but his energy use is probably much lower than the average American.
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