“Even now, I still have to ride for 10 years to get the main game… What if the price of electric cars goes up?”

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◆ Electric vehicle ‘fear of raw materials’ ◆

As the price of raw materials for battery rises, electric vehicle prices are also under pressure to increase, which intensifies the concerns of automakers. Electric vehicles have a lower maintenance cost compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, but they are not easy to secure due to their relatively high price.

In addition, there are concerns that the transition to the electric vehicle era is not yet premature as charging rates will increase from July of this year and subsidies for electric vehicle purchases may be reduced in the future.

Electric vehicle charging rates are cheaper than internal combustion engines. However, as the price of electric vehicles is high, compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, it is necessary to drive for a considerably longer period of time to secure economic feasibility.

For example, assuming that the oil price is maintained as it is now (1,980 won per liter of gasoline), fuel costs about 1.46 million won when driving 10,000 km with the Kona gasoline model. When the Niro EV, an electric car of the same class, runs 10,000 km with fast charging (313.1 won per 1 kwh), the charging fee is 590,000 won. It is about 870,000 won cheaper than the Kona. However, the price of a Kona gasoline vehicle is 1,990 million won, and the Niro EV is 47.9 million won. Although there are differences in subsidies for electric vehicles by region, assuming that they receive an average of about 10 million won, the price difference between the two models is 18 million won. If you drive 10,000 km a year, you have to drive 18 years or more to offset 18 million won. Even if the price of a gasoline vehicle increases by adding several options when purchasing a Kona, it takes about 10 years to become economical.

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For the GV70 gasoline and electric vehicle models, the difference between fuel and charging costs is 1.19 million won when driving 10,000 km. The price difference between the two models is about 15 million won (including subsidies), so if you drive 10,000 km a year, it is possible to offset the price of the car in about 12 years. The G80 electric car and gasoline model are similar. An industry official said, “Electric cars have a number of benefits such as annual vehicle tax of only 130,000 won, reduction of acquisition tax, discount on highway tolls and public parking fees, but even taking these into consideration, 7-10 years are more advantageous than Taya internal combustion engine in terms of price.” .

To make matters worse, electric vehicle charging rates are expected to rise by about 10% after the sunset of the special discount system in July this year. It is certain that the subsidy for the purchase of electric vehicles, which is about 10 million won, will steadily decrease after this year. In such a situation, if the price of electric vehicles rises, the advantages of electric vehicles over internal combustion engines are bound to fade.

In addition, the initial maintenance cost of electric vehicles is high. U.S. data analysis company Wepredict said that, as a result of analyzing the average maintenance cost for new cars since 2016, the average maintenance cost for electric vehicles was $123 (about 150,000 won) and $53 (about 60,000 won) for gasoline cars for three months after purchase. . The reason is the ‘wage fee’. Electric vehicles do not accumulate much data and lack of professional manpower, so this cost is reflected in the initial maintenance cost. If an expensive battery breaks down, you can pay tens of millions of won in repair costs.

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An industry official said, “Electric vehicles are popular, but in economic terms, they are still insufficient compared to internal combustion engines.

[원호섭 기자]
[ⓒ 매일경제 & mk.co.kr, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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