Tech elevator prices have spiked after an industry consortium concluded that the technology could be cheaper than its predecessors.
In a letter published Tuesday by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the alliance of seven major elevator manufacturers said the cost of a new tech elevator could be as much 10 times higher than its predecessor.
The alliance also suggested that new tech elevators would likely not be used in existing buildings, unless they were retrofitted to be wheelchair accessible, as well as replacing older technology.
The letter from the Alliance for Accessible Elevators of America, which represents companies like GE, American Apparel and GE Capital, said a new elevator could cost as much $12,000.
That figure was a higher than the $10,000 price tag that GE announced in August for a new version of its Elevate 1 elevator, which is about 2 feet shorter than the current model.
The new elevators will be used to make more advanced elevator systems and will also be used for the future of the industry, the letter said.
The Alliance for Automated Elevators, which includes major manufacturers like IBM and General Electric, said that it would work with the consortium to determine the costs.
The consortium is chaired by elevator manufacturer General Electric.
The letter did not specify how much the consortium expects to spend to retrofit existing elevators and to replace older elevators.
GE Capital has also raised questions about whether it would be able to afford to retrograde its new elevator models if the cost were to double.
In an interview, GE Capital said it has been working with the Alliance to make sure that the cost for a retrofitted elevator is not more than 10 times the cost to retrofitted elevators for older elevations.
It has also made changes to its elevators, said company spokesman David W. Koppel.
The new elevations would be designed to be more efficient, he said.
“It will be cheaper to retrofitting,” he said, “and we will be investing in those improvements.”
The company is also considering retrofitting older elevator models to help them meet new standards that require them to be accessible.
GE Capital has already retrofitted two older elevates and is in the process of retrofitting two more, Koppels said.
“We’re working on retrofitting some of the older elevating models and we’re also thinking about making some of those improvements,” he added.
The Alliance for Autoated Elevator Manufacturers also said that GE Capital should be paying the same amount as the other companies that are retrofitting elevators to meet the new standards.
GE has said that its new elevates could be used on more than 1 million elevators worldwide.
GE says that its current elevator models, which are about 1 foot longer than the ones it will be using for retrofitting, would cost $6,000 to retropair.