Electric Car Battery Prices Plummet

Cheaper Batteries Facilitate Cheaper Electric Cars

Written by Green Chip Stocks
Posted April 18, 2012

According to a new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, EV-grade battery prices fell by 14% year-on-year to $689 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The cost of EV batteries has been a major economic hurdle for electric car manufacturers. Cars like the Mitsubishi i, Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Model S need to store anywhere between 16 to 85 kWh to travel long distances. This adds up to roughly $11,200 to $34,000, which could add up to 25% the cost of the car.

The Tesla Model S with an 85 kWh battery has a range of 300 miles.

In addition, plug-in hybrid batteries actually end up being 67% more expensive than electric-only batteries because of the need for greater power-to-energy performance.

The good news is that battery prices are down to $689/kWh, which is down from $800/kWh this time last year and 30% lower than the 2009 level of $1000/kWh. If current trends continue, the cost of lithium-ion batteries could plummet to $150/kWh by 2030.

And of course, that's assuming new battery chemistries don't disrupt the lithium-ion market along the way. This may not be a safe assumption to make.

Either way – whether its lithium-ion, lithium-air, zinc-air or any of a number of other battery chemistries – the continued development of high-performance battery technology will certainly lead to consistent price reductions as more and more electric vehicles hit the road.