EV Battery Demand Will Soar in 2017: Page 2 of 2

Bigger vehicle batteries mean more cell production.
December 26, 2016

produced an estimate of about $500 and $1,500/kWh. Similarly, a McKinsey report set it at $700 to $1,500/kWh, and a 2009 Carnegie Mellon study estimated it to be $1,000/kWh.

Lux researchers believe the most recent figures from Tesla and GM are the industry’s best, and that not all OEMs are reaching those figures, however. “Those are the two best-case scenarios,” Robinson said. “OEMs who can’t command the same volumes as GM and Tesla are probably looking at closer to $250 to $300/kWh for the cost of a cell.” He added that LG Chem, which makes the battery for the Chevy Bolt, has razor thin margins and may not be making any profit on those Bolt batteries.

Still, the cost numbers will continue to decline, he believes. “The economies of scale that lithium-ion has achieved are impressive,” Robinson said. “And the cost reductions have come quicker than most of the industry expected.”

Senior technical editor Chuck Murray has been writing about technology for 32 years. He joined Design News in 1987, and has covered electronics, automation, fluid power, and autos.


"Demand for our product will soar!!" That is exactly what the CEO of a company is obligated to announce, usually with a bit of fanfare. Of course it is true that all EVs use battery packs, and that greater capacity often requires larger and more expensive battery packs. And indeed the major companies are setting up to produce EVs. But still, the challenge unsolved is getting a lot of folks to purchase those vehicles. That has been the major obstacle so far.

"But still, the challenge unsolved is getting a lot of folks to purchase those vehicles." I think part of the problem is my new laptop battery is expected to last a year to 18 months, 300 charges. There is a disconnect between buying a battery powered car and our experience with batteries. Also, I expect I would have to see how Kelly Blue Book handles resale. Why are there not solar panels on the roof is another question. Would that kill the battery?

The original Prius had an optional solar panel roof. It put out 50 watts at high noon on a clear sunny day. If the sun was directly overhead of the car 8 hours a day, that would add 400 watt-hours of power to the battery. On a new Chevrolet Bolt, that would be equivalent to a 0.6% charge. Since we don't actually have the sun directly overhead 8 hours a day, it won't even be that. It's not worth adding to the cost of the car to put a panel on that won't add a single mile to its battery range.

At present prices both gasoline and electricity costs about $0.04 a mile for energy efficient cars. A battery-powered car which has to stop to recharge is a tough sell compared to a hybrid powered car which costs less and can go all day brief stops for gasoline. If gasoline prices rise a lot then the plug in hybrid with a modest battery will win out. The battery powered car which has to stop for recharging is likely to stay a luxury nitch item.

"At present prices both gasoline and electricity costs about $0.04 a mile for energy efficient cars" Not in California. Reg is 2.75/gallon and premium is 3.00/gallon. Electricity ( PGE in northern California) costs 4 cents/mile in my Ford Focus EV. To match this, one would have to get nearly 70 mpg of regular or 75 mpg for premium. No cars in the US get those numbers as real world mpg. Also the cost of gasoline is highly volatile and potentially violent. In 2012, gas was 4.75/gal.

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