• Aug 10th 2010 at 9:58AM
  • 12
As we've touched upon before, it's often wise to turn to suppliers if you're searching for an accurate prediction regarding the future of the automotive industry. Why? Because suppliers must get ready for a changing industry and be prepared to deliver products as needed. If suppliers don't have the production capacity to meet demand, then automakers may have to temporarily halt plans, shift to in-house production or delay a vehicle's launch until supply can catch up.

Last week in Traverse City, MI, Boston-Power chief executive officer Christina Lampe-Onnerud predicted that annual sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids would likely exceed 100,000 units within the next three-to-five years. Boston-Power, a lithium-ion battery maker, currently holds a contract with Saab for an electric version of the company's 9-3 and is aggressively bidding for business from additional automakers. Thus, the company is probably in a good position to predict the future based upon its in-depth knowledge of the electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid plans presented by automakers. Lampe-Onnerud told Automotive News (sub. req.) it's looking good: Boston-Power is considering constructing its second battery plant in China to boost production, since capacity is currently limited by the constraints of a lone facility in Taiwan. Lampe-Onnerud hinted that battery suppliers are now closing in on that magical cost of $500 per kilowatt-hour, a price which she believes will help push EVs towards widespread adoption in the U.S.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nissan/Renault is going to be very disappointed if sales, presumably in the US, are only 100,000 in 3-5 years since they are building capacity for 150,000 cars in that market alone.
      The notion that suppliers are unbiased commentators seems strange to me.
      They are not too interested in predicting success for folk who do not buy from them, and since Nissan make their own batteries they will not be broken hearted if they miss their targets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @David Martin
        Part of that capacity will be supplying Canada. That is why we have to wait till 2012 to buy one. I sure Mexico will be supplied by that plant as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The upcoming plug-in chevrolet volt from GM is the best available test-bed for home and/or semi-professionnal biofuel experimentations and usage there is actually on the market. The tesla and old plain regular gasoline and diesel cars and trucks like grand marquis or delta 88 , focus, hummers, corvette, mustang, harley-davidson are ok too, but are more difficult to work on.

      The tesla do not include for the 110 000$ purchase price a gasoline electric generator battery recharger and performance enhancer and range extender, but can be easilly fitted with a bio-fueled electric generator.

      The volt electric-gasoline plug-in serie hybrid premium gasoline car, available in november 2010 , include a gasoline electric generator battery recharger and performance enhancer and range extender. This gasoline engine is easier to work on on the volt as a biofueled conversion then an actual conventionnal ice car like let's say a ford focus or chevrolet cavalier or v8 mustang because of the torque curve needed to operate these cars with a transmission and especially an automatic transmission on the road with again variable needed torque curves like idle, red lights, stops, braking zones, slow roads, fast roads, loaded cars with passengers and luggages, hills down and climbing, cold, heat, compression.. The conversion to biofuels is easier on the volt because the output from the ice-engine see a variable and ajustable load, so you retune the engine with a biofuel of your choice and it's easier to get acceptable results.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jason, unfortunately i don't have the money to buy a volt this november. The perfect test bed for any green technology freak wannabee. It would be fun to watch any modifications that is possible to do to this car like battery swap-boosting, maximum speed by changing the electric propultion motors and plugging the battery and generator in serie at maximum output for a speed record, approx 200 m.p.h or more. And an hypermilling record of 2 000 miles or more with battery add-ons and gasoline-biofuels add-on and solar panels and hho production.

        With my small budget i already bought a small engine cpu ( 900$ ) and some other gizmos to modify a small used fuel injection motorcycle with hho-gasoline. I still need a dynamometer and a gas analyzer before beginning this project.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've been saying for years that the Volt will be the test bed for every future energy conversion system that company's want to showcase. From compressed air to hydrogen ICE to hydrogen fuel cell and everything in between, we will see all types of energy conversion devices being optimized for one or two constant power points within the Chevy Volt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is the buried lead of the story "Lampe-Onnerud hinted that battery suppliers are now closing in on that magical cost of $500 per kilowatt-hour, a price which she believes will help push EVs towards widespread adoption in the U.S." It is rare to get accurate price quotes on the batteries. I've been guessing around $600/KWH for automotive Li-Ions and it looks like I was right.

      Keep in mind that most of the "EV Study says EVs not economically practical" stories you see are based upon research studies that assume a battery price of around $1000/KWH. Well, if the battery prices are half that amount ($500/KWH instead of $1000/KWH) then those research reports are not just useless, they are down-right misleading.

      With $500/KWH batteries and just gas prices a wee bit higher than they are now, EVs will be economically practical. The revolution has begun . . . people just don't realize it yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Spec, I thought it was just poor writing. The two points are that the report predicted $400kwh in ten years time, and the 123 guy say that they were under that in their prices to manufacturers for the 2012 year.
        That is not the sort of thing which a company rep just says, as the people who are interested in buying from them are going to be well aware of the price they have quoted.

        We have supporting evidence anyway. Renault is planning on leasing their battery pack for 100 Euros/month.
        That is around $130 dollars.
        You normally write off a lease over 5 years, so that comes to $7,800, or about $325kwh for a 24kwh pack.

        • 5 Years Ago
        123 batteries is bidding below $400kwh for 2012 orders:
        The phraseology is a bit convoluted but it is clear that this is the case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, that seems a bit convoluted to me. And it was a very leading question, of course the battery makers will say things are great and getting even better.

        But that said, things are much better now. $500/KWH is still very expensive but that will be cheap enough to be economically practical if oil prices spike up in the next 5 years. Certainly it would be great to see the price down to the $300 range. But I think less than $500 should be enough to start the industry and not have it die like it did in the 90s after California pulled the plug on their Zero emission mandate.

        I try to be realist because assuming $300/KWH in just a few years is just setting yourself up for disappointment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It can't be said enough . . . it all depends on the price of oil. If we hit a supply crunch in the next 5 years (as I believe will happen) then we certainly will be seeing EVs sell like crazy.

      But if the economy remains so weak that oil prices do not go up, then people just won't see the point of buying EVs. (With the exception of the relatively people who already want to get off oil.)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lots of good news in the article and its indications for the EV market. But I am really tired of hearing how everyone is going to China to manufacture. Sigh.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should think about small home biofuel makers and home biofuel-feeded electric generators to recharge these plug -in electric cars. Many inputs are available for free despite exxon shareholders, woods, wood chips, dust, mud, wind, water, grass, vegetables, dunk, algae, solar, old engine oils, acids rejects, old tires, spare electricity, 12 volts, 110 volts ac, 220 volts ac, heat, cold, industriel rejects, co2, coal, paints, wastes, papers, tar sands, crude oils, waterized crude olls from the sea,etc.

      These small home machines could have been sold many years ago.

      Biofuels should not be made while driving except the ones been made with heat, co2, water, from the exhaust tips or electricity from the alternator. They should be made at home in a more spacious time zone with more space, time, tools, machines, tanks, compressors, liquifiers, gauges, supervision and computerize monitoring.

      Small home biofuled internal combustion engine powered electric-generators are easier to carburate at a steady load output rpm-torque then biofuled rolling ice powered cars because ice powered cars(actually sold) need a broader torque band ( idle, slow acceleration, hard acceleration, hypermilling steady-state, powerful steady-state, re-acceleration, deceleration, varying load, varying speed, less space for tanks and difficulty in mixing different fuels )
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