When Tianjin-Qingyuan puts its entirely battery-powered Saibao midsize sedan on sale this autumn, the body will come from a sedan that normally sells for $14,600 when equipped with a gasoline engine. But the engine and gas tank will be replaced with a $14,000 battery pack and electric motor
, said Wu Zhixin, the company’s general manager.
That means the retail price will nearly double, to almost $30,000. Even if the government awards the maximum subsidy of $8,800 to buyers, that is a hefty premium.
Large-scale production could drive down the cost of the battery pack and electric motor by 30 or 40 percent, still leaving electric cars more expensive than gasoline-powered ones, Mr. Wu said.