Oil prices would have to skyrocket above $350 per barrel for electric vehicle makers to make a dent in the auto market, according to a study done by researchers at the University of Chicago.
The batteries for electric vehicles cost, on average, about $325 per kWh, which means the price of oil would need to pitch upward by nearly 1,000 percent before Tesla’s auto fleet and the Nissan Leaf would be cheaper than gas-powered vehicles, researchers at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute noted in February.
The number are not likely to change much over the next few years, as oil traded at an average of $49 per barrel during 2015 and is currently trading at a paltry $39.51 a barrel.
“While alternative sources of energy and energy storage technologies have vastly improved, lowering costs, they still have a long way to go before they are cost competitive with fossil fuels,” Chris Knittel, co-author of the study and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, said in a press statement announcing the study’s findings in February.
The problems will no doubt be compounded by the fact that consumers are buying fewer electric vehicles and hybrids.
Registrations in California for Land Rover, for instance, were up nearly 40 percent last year compared to 2014, and Jeep saw a 29.8 percent surge in the Golden State, according to IHS Automotive.