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25.08.2014
A major reason for the rapid jump in EV sales is the rapid drop in the cost of their key component -– batteries. In a major 2013 analysis, “Global EV Outlook: Understanding the Electric Vehicle Landscape to 2020,” the International Energy Agency estimated that electric vehicles would achieve cost parity with internal combustion engine vehicles when battery costs hit $300 per kWh of storage capacity.
So the best manufacturers have already reached the battery price needed for cost parity with conventional cars. It may well be that $150 per kWh can be hit around 2020 without a major battery breakthrough but simply with continuing improvements in manufacturing, economies of scale, and general learning by industry. Recent reports about the declining cost of electric car batteries raise as many questions as they answer. The relatively high cost of lithium ion battery packs are often cited as the biggest obstacle to mass adoption of electric cars and plug-in hybrids. This week, the UK Committee on Climate Change issued a study (PDF) claiming that costs for lithium-ion automotive batteries currently come in at approximately $800 per kWh—translating the pack cost of a 93-mile-range EV (like the Nissan LEAF) to about $21,000.
One could assume that the cost-per-kWh will occur in a stepped fashion between now and 2030, so that by 2020, the price of a pack for a car like the Nissan LEAF or Ford Focus Electric will be somewhere between where it is now, and a one-third slash while gaining two-thirds more energy storage.
My colleagues at Pike Research target $523 per kWh as a target price at which plug-in electric vehicle take a step toward being competitive with petro-powered cars, a level that could happen by 2017. Confusion about current prices—or future costs to make EVs competitive—are exacerbated by comments from auto executives who claim they have already greatly reduced battery costs. I suspect that numbers will continue to get tossed around—low figures from automakers and high numbers from analysts.
Just like the price of Solar PV Panels went down, battery price may also go down, since Hybrids, Plugins and EVs are using Batteries.
Getting back to the article, I note mention of an anticipated battery breakthrough that might occur in 2020 or shortly thereafter. There is one more aspect to the confusing numbers - are we talking about total capacity or usable ?
The cells which will be used in the Tesla Model S will not only be specifically for the automotive sector, but also developed by Panasonic in cooperation with Tesla. Your calculation assumes that a gas car would get 100 mpg as well, which is of course not the case.
And again, of course the battery is included in the price of the car, so that calculation is only theoretical in the first place.
Or the way I would calculate it: Electric cars get about 3 miles per kWh (roughly, if not more).
I don't think your accusation of "emotional crystal ball predications" is beside the point, I'm simply referring to quite common observations about battery cost development, both about the last 10 years and from people who are insiders about current developments, as well as from recently published studies which confirm this more or less.
By reading into various cost reports and estimates, I don’t think that everyone’s Li-Ion (cell) costs are that different from each other, probably in the $450-500 range (as stated by ex-EV1 driver).
I'm swamped now and can't really join in you and Norbert's fight but you can be sure I'll start looking at this approach. There are a lot of aspects to this matter reviewed by this article and the comments, but the key is that you first must ensure an apples to apples comparison.
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two). How do you ensure that electric car owners will be happy with every visit to your charging spot? One of the big reasons that battery prices have gone up is because the cost of lead has gone up considerably in the past decade. Another reason that the price of automotive batteries has gone up is because batteries today are better than car batteries in the past. Indy Auto BlogThe Indy Auto Blog is designed to bring the top industry and local automotive news to the good folks of Indiana.
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By John Polkinghorne, on August 7th, 2014It’s been a while since the last post in this series on electric vehicles (here are parts one, two and three), but this post is number four. This post is about the cost of electric vehicles – the main reason they’ve been so slow to take off. As discussed in part two, electric motors use a lot less energy than a traditional car engine.
This gives a cost of $5 per 100 km – certainly much cheaper than a typical petrol car, which uses 10 litres of petrol to travel 100 km, costing around $22.00 at current petrol prices.
However, a big chunk of the petrol price is tax, comprising a contribution to the National Land Transport Fund, and a bit to ACC as well. As I’ve written previously, the long-term solution may be to make Road User Charges universal, although there are issues with this as well.
Diesel-electric hybrids, on the other hand, have to pay Road User Charges, so they end up paying the full whammy of costs (once the RUC-petrol tax discrepancy gets resolved in the next few years).
The graph below compares the lifetime running costs of several kinds of car, under several taxation scenarios. Setting aside environmental concerns, “range anxiety”, and all the rest, consumers will be prepared to pay the higher capital cost of electric cars, if they’re going to save enough money on their running costs. Overall, if you compare these running cost savings to the extra capital cost, it looks like the financial argument for BEVs and PHEVs isn’t quite there yet.
There are ways of reducing this issue: for example, customers could lease electric vehicles, or buy the vehicles but only lease the batteries. At current price levels, BEVs have running costs that are only marginally lower than petrol-electric PHEVs, because these hybrids are only taxed on their petrol consumption.
Since the costs associated with the road network are primarily dependent on the weight and number of vehicles using the road – and not on the litres of fuel used – the Road User Charges scheme arguably provides a more equitable way of charging for road use. Wouldn’t the annual opex for cars increase as they age due to the need for ongoing repairs etc, rather than decrease as the graph suggests? There’s an argument that EVs might depreciate slower than conventional cars, excluding the battery (which you replace anyway), since there are fewer other parts of the car that are getting run down.
You do realize that even for a mildly color blind person your graphs look all the same color?
As if it needs replacing even once in its lifetime, it totally changes to economics of BEVs versus the others (making it even more uneconomic).
Right now BEVs don’t stack up financially because they are too simply expensive due to the costs of the batteries and thta assumes that the battery never needs replacing.
Of course, if for instance we had wireless energy transmission in the roadway so that for example BEVs could have small batteries that are semi-continuously charged from from the grid as they drive on the roads, that would change the economics in their favour a lot.
Then of course, there are also similar technology for trams and trains (A Battery EMU for instance), which means the EMU can use the normal overhead power where its available and its local supply where its not.
Presumably this will all be made irrelevant by the introduction of driverless cars, which will ultimately remove the whole concept of owning a car, and therefore change the economic model.
So if the cost of batteries decreases enough and the tax payer gives a generous donation these cars still dont make sense. Let me fix that for you; as the cost of batteries goes down, which they will as the supply chain ramps up, and the cost of petrol goes up, which it will, as supply and demand are clearly on a knife edge despite the Shale boomlet, then these things will become more viable. There will only be real choice when it becomes viable to be able to choose not to have to drive, at least not all the time and for all journeys.
Interestingly China is reducing pollution and reliance on fossil fuels by mandating that 30% of all State Vehicles be alternative fuels by 2016.
I’d love to hear what the actual lifetime of batteries has been in NZ for hybrids like Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. Those have been around long enough to see whether the initial 8 year estimates (that I had heard at their introduction) was pessimistic or optimistic.
I think those batteries have generally performed OK, and just as importantly they’ve been fairly cheap to replace when it does come time for that. If your car battery is done you need to get a new battery, there's just no other way to keep driving. Auto part stores and large national retail chains and most local auto repair shops carry most typical car batteries and they will also test the battery for you.
Some hybrid owners disagree, saying they were told it would cost $3,000 to $4,000, including labor, to replace dead or dying battery packs in Toyota Priuses, Honda Civic Hybrids and Honda Insights (the original two-seat version, not the current model).Replacement cost will vary by vehicle, with larger, heavier vehicles tending to be more expensive because they require more battery power. The cost of batteries is one of the major hurdles standing in the way of widespread use of electric cars and household solar batteries.
But research published recently in Nature Climate Change Letters shows battery pack costs may in some cases be as low as US$300 per kilowatt-hour today, and could reach US$200 by 2020. Falling prices will pave the way for what could be a rapid transition to a cleaner energy system.
Last year, my colleagues and I analysed the cost-benefits of household battery storage alongside rooftop solar systems.
Our analysis of ten studies published by research institutes and consultancies suggested a dramatic fall in battery cost over the next two decades, making solar power and electric vehicles more affordable.


The new research by two Swedish researchers published in Nature Climate Change Letters this month used a similar approach but found an even sharper plunge.
The core conclusion of the new paper is that the cost of full automotive Lithium ion battery packs has already reduced to around US$410 per kWh industry-wide.
The analysis also estimated that the industry as a whole is currently seeing annual battery cost reductions of 14 per cent, while for leading players with already lower costs this is closer to 8 per cent. Assuming continued electric vehicle sales growth, the authors suggest costs as low as US$200 per kWh are possible without further improvements in the cell chemistry.
As battery costs decrease, technologies such as electric vehicles and household energy storage are likely to undergo a transition, from niche products in the hands of early adopters to standard acquisitions by pragmatic consumers. Increased opportunities naturally attract commercial competition, which has the potential to further accelerate the technological improvements. The findings published this month suggest that the transition from niche to mainstream product may well occur far sooner than people believe. Valentin Muenzel is PhD Candidate in electric vehicles and the electricity grid at University of Melbourne. The best Eco-Business stories, jobs and events delivered to your inbox – daily or weekly.
The average life of a battery is 3-5 years, but driving conditions, climate, and lack of care and maintenance can shorten a battery’s lifespan.
Android and iPhone users can download AAA Mobile, AAA’s mobile smartphone app that provides select AAA services for all motorists, such as obtaining a battery replacement quote, mapping and gas price comparison.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. This is the official newsroom of AAA, a not-for-profit organization that provides its members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive services and information. In his recent interview with Barron's, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk hung up on the reporter who was interviewing him.
He said he had "no interest in an article that debates what we consider to be an obvious point -- which is that there is a dramatic reduction in battery costs," then went on to tell the reporter, "You clearly do not understand the business," before apologizing and ending the interview.
The resulting Barron's story argued that Tesla's stock price was overvalued, because the lithium-ion cells used to power Tesla's vehicles cost a great deal. Reading the story, it becomes clear that the author believes Tesla has to spend $400 per kilowatt-hour to build the battery pack for its Model S electric luxury sport sedan. The figure is widely cited by journalists who write about Tesla--The New York Times last year, for instance. To test that notion, I contacted one wholesaler and offered to purchase a small number of the '18650' lithium-ion cells Tesla uses in its packs. Considering the small number of cells, and the free offer of attached (or unattached, my choice) circuit boards, it seems clear Tesla's price in great volume could be much lower. Nevertheless, the $400-per-kWh "price" seems to have been widely accepted without further inquiry--perhaps because it is still much less than what competing automakers appear to be paying. In contrast to every other automaker, which use specialized large format Li-Ion cells, Tesla's battery pack is made up of thousands of inexpensive commodity cells similar to those found in laptops. Unlike automotive cells, these cells are produced in the billions, subject to the fierce competitive pressures that are a signature characteristic of the computer and consumer electronics industries.
Even including the overhead of the pack enclosure, connections between cells in modules (and modules in the pack), sensors, and circuitry, Tesla likely has lower pack costs than any other maker of plug-in electric cars.
In this case, the company's cell design eliminates the relatively complicated battery cap of the commercial cell, and replaces it with a simple aluminum disk.
When exposed to heat, a chemical reaction occurs in the goo that helps cool the heat source, while simultaneously forming a fireproof barrier to protect the rest of the pack. In testing by Tesla, this material often cooled cells experiencing a runaway reaction--to the point that many failed to ignite at all--and provided a fireproof barrier surrounding those that ignited.
The potential safety advantages of Tesla's small-cell approach were highlighted during the Boeing Dreamliner battery-fire fracas.
As Elon Musk pointed out, it can be quite difficult to cool large-format cells efficiently, and even harder to contain them once they do ignite. Panasonic is an investor in Tesla Motors, so there could be an incentive to work hard on lowering the price for specially-developed cells to a company it partially owns. And for years now, people associated with Tesla have said its battery packs would cost under $200 per kWh--it's a figure that's hardly news.
Yet that's the price that prestigious consulting firm McKinsey suggests will be reached in 2020 by the industry at large. The battery study from last month found that prices would need to drop under $250 per kWh for EVs to become competitive. The study projects that costs will fall to some $230 per kilowatt hour in the 2017 to 2018 timeframe. While the tone of the report is cautionary, stating that there are no big battery breakthroughs anticipated before 2020, the UK study says that by 2030, prices are predicted to drop to $6,400 for an electric range of about 155 miles. Almost no normal consumers want a battery only car, they already have enouph problems with their cellphones and portable computers.
He simply plants himself on these threads with the idea that his fantastic claims will draw our ire. I spent this past Saturday talking with engineers from GoE3, an Arizona-based company involved in setting up a nationwide network of Level 3 chargers, and scientists at Biosphere 2, where some fascinating research is going on in regards to related photovotaic research. While we don't have something approaching a Moore's law in regards to batteries just yet, it's obvious that what we have available today is better than what was here a decade ago. However the fact that they use the common 18650 format means that the mass production facilities for producing 18650 cells can be used, reducing cost. Compared to gas car with 25 mpg (which is about the current average) it would correspond to $2 per gallon, except that the price is included in the purchase price of the electric car (don't count it twice). There are many technologies in development with the potential to reduce cost a lot, and only one of them needs to succeed.
25 mpg is about the current average, your calculation does not factor in the inefficiency of gasoline engines.
That you even mention "ultracapacitor modules" in this context shows that you haven't done your homework yet.
You will make your case better if you A) refrain from insulting the others here and B) break up your text a bit.
At today's replacement cost that is 6 cents a mile to use the battery Assuming a 8% percent reduction in cost per year for batteries in 10 years that cost per mille falls under 3 cents per mile. The three most important influences were the economy of scale, a decrease in the cost of components and improved battery capacity.
I'd like to pre order my Cadillac Escalade Electric, with 600 mile range and 200 KWH battery.
It doesn't matter how much the initial cost is, but if the repairs kill you down the stretch, it's not worth it. If you haven’t replaced your battery in a few years, you might be in for a surprise when you go to get a new one. Automotive batteries contain lead, so the higher cost of lead means a more expensive battery. The companies that produce and sell automotive batteries have improved the design and the quality of materials used.
More and more battery brands and resellers are adding a battery warranty to the cost of the battery. Today, I’m looking at the costs of these cars – both their running costs, and their capital costs. These cars are much more expensive than conventional cars, unless there are hefty subsidies involved. The latest generation of vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which are much better at storing energy than the traditional lead-acid batteries you’ll find in your Corolla. Let’s say that the car manufacturers are happy with a battery selling price of USD $500 per kWh, around $570 in NZ dollars. According to the MBIE, that’s around 77 cents per litre once GST is added on, or $7.70 per 100 km. That’s a real disincentive from buying diesel-electric PHEVs, so we’d expect them to be much less popular here.
In the graph here, for a car travelling 12,000 km a year for 25 years (perhaps a bit on the high side), and using an 8% discount rate, you’ll pay nearly $30,000 in running costs for a petrol car, compared with $7,000 for a BEV which is exempt from Road User Charges forever. This kind of scheme could allow the buyer to avoid the high up-front cost, which could be recouped over time through the running cost savings. Furthermore, even though diesel-electric PHEVs will be more efficient than petrol-electric PHEVs, they are likely to have higher running costs. Pukekohe services – avoiding the need for electrification of that line anytime soon).
Maybe Ford are on to something bringing back the XR8 next year, a 5.0 litre supercharged V8.


The research I’ve done into EVs is what has led me to conclude that we (and countries around the world) need to put a heck of a lot more effort into public and active transport to reduce transport GHG emissions. Make things in large enough quantities and the prices come down as well – large lithium ion batteries are no exception. While Hybrids exercise batteries differently to electric only vehicles, they must be an indicator. There are many batteries and it is important to get a battery that fits your car correctly. Sometimes you can get the battery installed for the price if you buy the new battery from the same place or there may be a fee associated with installation of the battery. It will now be reviewed by our editors and we'll answer it soon if we think it's a useful question. By storing surplus energy, batteries allow households to reduce power bought from the electricity grid.
This cost development is notably cheaper and faster decreasing than I and many others expected.
The analysis therefore suggests that the cost of electric car batteries may be as low as $7,500 today and reducing to $5,000 by 2020.
Encountering difficulty in finding reliable sources of present and future lithium-ion battery costs, we published our own study on The Conversation. They report that since 2011 the number of electric vehicles worldwide has doubled each year. Market-leading manufacturers such as Nissan and Tesla are already seeing prices around US$300 per kWh.
It is therefore predicted that battery cost for all involved should converge to around US$230 per kWh in 2017-2018.
This explains why, for example, Tesla Motors is making a US$5 billion dollar bet in the shape of a massive battery factory.
And given that the perceived unlikelihood of governmental clean technology commitments in Australia has apparently reached April-Fools’-joke-worthy levels, it seems about time. The average member cost of an installed AAA battery is $119 and includes a three-year free replacement warranty. Battery testing is provided as part of the free Roadside Assistance service members are entitled to each year. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
But in a large, electronically-controlled, liquid-cooled battery pack like the one used in the Tesla Model S, having certain safety features on each cell would be redundant. By the end of 2014, more than 700,000 total plug-in vehicles had been sold worldwide (plug-in hybrids and pure battery electrics), up from about 400,000 at the end of 2013. The more kWh stored, the further the car can go on one charge, so a key metric for battery economics is the cost per kWh. Tesla Motors and Panasonic have started building a massive $5 billion plant capable of producing half a million battery packs (plus extra batteries for stationary applications) a year.
Only the volt make sense in my view but the price is steep and overall you don't save money. With the economies of scale ramping up the production output of existing technology, the batteries we know about today are bound to get cheaper in a few years. Most of them involve increasing energy density as well, so that less material per kWh is needed.
Using todays cost right now with electricity the volt in electric mode cost about a dime a mile. Most automotive batteries, depending on the type of battery and the brand, cost well over a hundred dollars.
Again, I’ll abbreviate plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to PHEVs, and battery electric vehicles to BEVs – these are the “full” electric vehicles which don’t have an engine for backup. They’re also much more expensive, although the price is falling and will continue to do so. Adding to the uncertainty, early EVs will have been sold below cost, or at least at less-than-economic returns to the manufacturer, as they started to develop the technology. Since EVs also contribute to road wear and tear (and demand for new investment), and to accidents, they should also be paying something for this. Electricity providers would find this a straightforward extension to their business, and I believe a number of companies in New Zealand would look at running these schemes.
The price of the new battery depends on the size you need - group size, CCA or cold cranking amps and the warranty for your battery. For the Highlander Hybrid, it costs $4,848.Prices have come down on hybrid batteries over the past 10 years. In our previous work we estimated these levels to be reached only in 2018 and 2022, respectively. This seems to be the case in a recently filed lawsuit regarding rival battery chemistry patents involving BASF, Umicore, 3M, and Argonne National Labs. By collaborating with customers, utilities can develop more intelligent and versatile grids.
As of 2015, dozens of models of electric cars and vans are available for purchase, mostly in Europe, the United States, Japan, and China. In any event, one of the things that these folks were particularly excited about was research concerning lithium air batteries, which, as this article details, is something we could see benefits from within the next 10 years . With the true brain power being expended on making today's batteries even better, it's inevitable that the state of the art will keep advancing. Maintenance is nil except for tires and brakes (and with regen the brakes last a VERY long time) I'll go out on a limb here and predict that depreciation will be less for electrics. If you haven’t bought a battery for a vehicle for a few years, you may wonder why they are so expensive. It seems to be generally agreed that battery costs are now less than USD $500 per kWh, although manufacturers would obviously want to make a profit on those costs at some point, and there are taxes and other considerations as well. Therefore, an 8 kWh PHEV battery could cost $5,200, and a 33 kWh BEV battery might be around $21,450 – still not cheap by any measure. From my earlier posts, a vehicle running on electricity could use around 20 kWh to travel 100 km. We obviously can’t tax them through petrol, and it’d be pretty hard to do it through electricity prices as well, so the logical way to do it is through Road User Charges. This would more than double the running costs of BEVs, although they’ll still be cheaper than petrol cars.
In my thesis, I assumed they average 3 litres of petrol per 100 km, although this will vary substantially.
Someone might invent a transformational new battery chemistry (rather than lithium-ion), or we might simply see incremental advances.
In 2008, Toyota lowered the price of the first-generation Prius battery pack to $2,299 and Gen II (2004-2008) to $2,588. And jointly, the penetration of intermittent renewables in our electricity mix can be increased significantly.
Let him simply walk off the figurative building ledge as he attempts to extract the foot from his mouth and we'll worry about cleaning up the mess later.
Right now today an electric costs less to operate than an ICE vehicle and it will only get better over time as battery technology improves. The second reason is because many people forget whether or not they bought a battery with a warranty. Things get a little less straightforward when you consider that the PHEV will cost a little more due to having both an electric motor and an engine, and the BEV will cost a bit less since its electric motor is quite a bit cheaper than the typical engine.
Indeed, EVs would normally be subject to these, but they’ve received an exemption for the time being (to encourage their uptake).
Drivers who only do short trips could end up using the electric motor for nearly all their driving. Most of the time, the consumer has lost the receipt or forgotten about the warranty by the time they have a problem with their battery. Perhaps that’s a sensible move, but it’s probably not something we’d still want to do in 20 years time when a growing number of cars are electric, and drivers of old cars will need to pick up the slack and pay more tax. Keep your receipts, and if you have a problem with your battery, look at the expiration date for the warranty. The “marginal” cost you’ll pay for an extra unit of electricity, though, will be a bit lower.



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