Enlarge / IEA’s findings in graphical form (credit: EIA)

Around the world, the average price of electric vehicles (EVs) rose in 2016, but that’s not necessarily cause for alarm according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). When the agency divided the list price of EVs with their range, it found a downward trend in how much bang an EV buyer is getting for their buck.

The average price of EVs sold around the world was at its lowest in 2012, according to data from the annually compiled World Energy Investment 2017 report. In the following five years, that number has been growing steadily—a trend you’d expect to worry advocates who think electrifying a significant part of the auto industry is one of the most important ways to make a dent in CO2 emissions. While higher prices reflect “faster growth in more expensive models,” they don’t “take account of increases in driving range through battery improvements,” the IEA wrote.

Dividing the list price of EVs on the market by their maximum stated driving range shows a different story. In 2012, EVs cost on average $400 per kilometer of range, whereas in 2016 that number was closer to $250 per kilometer of range. If EVs are getting more expensive, they’re also becoming more functional. “For now, reductions in battery costs are translating into longer ranges rather than lower vehicle prices,” the EIA wrote. “The average price per kilometer of driving range declined by six percent in 2016.”

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