If you buy a BMW 5 Series, you’re buying performance with comfort and a lot of style points. The engine is superbly engineered – for power and lifetime. My 525 has almost 200K miles and still puts out 195HP. But being older and less efficient it also costs about 24¢/mile at today’s pump prices. Newer 5 Series produce more power and lower driving costs to 16¢/mile (and the style points are higher).
The recently announced Tesla S
is priced equivalent to a 5 series BMW or the equivalent Audi. Assuming the drive train component of the cost is about the same, you’re paying $20K for a battery pack + motor that costs about 4¢
/mile to drive. The basic range is 160miles and additional range is priced at $10,000 per 70 miles.
Will today’s electric cars still be efficient after 200K miles? Dunno, but the technology is only going to get better. The battery packs are only going to get cheaper, driving the cost of the much simpler electric engine well under the cost of the ultimate driving machine.
See Is there a Future for Electric Cars for a detailed analysis.