Electric-vehicle lithium-ion battery-pack costs fell 14 percent during the past year and are down 30 percent from three years ago because of technological improvements and increased production capacity, Bloomberg News reports, citing a study from its sister entity Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

EV battery costs fell to $689 per kilowatt hour (kWh) during the first quarter, down from $800 per kWh a year earlier. Bloomberg New Energy Finance also estimates that the battery industry has the capacity to supply as many as new 400,000 battery-electric vehicles this year, and that number may jump to almost 700,000 by the end of next year. Global vehicle makers sold about 43,000 EVs last year.

Lithium-ion battery costs are important because they can account for 25 percent or more of an EV's total costs, and estimates have varied widely. Last month, green-technology firm Pike Research estimated that lithium-ion battery costs may fall by about a third to $523 per kWh by 2017, while the battery pack for the Nissan Leaf EV has been reported to cost as little as $375 per kWh. The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium has said battery costs will have to fall to about $150 per kilowatt hour for EVs to be price-competitive with conventional vehicles.


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  • 38 Comments
      HVH20
      • 2 Years Ago
      The cost of cells and the BMS will come down with volume, however every new vehicle/project will still take a significant amount of NRE in order to get a quality, safe, and reliable product. So yes prices are coming down, but good luck getting $150/kWh for a finished battery pack. Of course battery manufacturers aren't going to publish their wholesale costs, what business does?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        But we can't even get retail numbers except for various Chinese Li-Ions. And it is hard to know how those Chinese Li-Ion prices compared to auto-grade Li-Ions from LG, A123, Enerdel, etc.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, 14% in a year, impressive. Nissan and GM put serious money into this industry and that caused alot of private and public money to be applied to battery research as well and we're starting to see the benefits of all that. You do 14% or anything near that (just 10% a year) and you'll have huge price decreases after a few years. Maybe Nissan will really be ready price wise for big sales when the tax credit dries up around 2015... Nice to see. This boat has sailed and now we get to enjoy watching serious advances occurring over this decade.
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        I'm not so sure. To me the $800 figure seems to be pure guesstimate. Then we get a REAL number of $689, which probably actually came from an auto manufacturer. So in reality maybe the article should be titled "Advanced battery costs ESTIMATES drop by 14%". Price of battery not change, just the estimate.
      Robyn
      • 2 Years Ago
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      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      43,000 globally last year, of which nearly half was US Volt & Leaf? Not bad!
        KenZ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        I'm still simply amazed that this many vehicles made it out the door. Happily amazed, for sure. I mean, think about it people: something like what, 6 years ago, no matter what you wanted to plunk down, you couldn't get a new highway capable EV? Now we have CHOICES! The prices may not come down as fast as we would all like, but they will, eventually. The game will be won, just not necessarily at the pace we like. But still, there's no going back at this point. EVs aren't going away. These are exciting times.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 2 Years Ago
      A123 will sell to the public a 19ah battery for 72 dollars from England. OR, one can buy them from China for 21 dollars. American OEM's will only get these cheap so they can mark them up a 1000 percent like the Ford Focus. This is so they can offset the price of repairs and maintenance for the ICE vehicles they didn't sell.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        No, EvSuperHero is Correct. Look at the cost of coats from LandsEnd, $200 for a winter coat. Made in: Bangladesh. They could sell that coat for $50.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        The sales volume is low because they mark them up... Look at what Ford built themselves on - a mass produced car built on an assembly line when German automakers were charging MAJOR bucks, making things by hand etc.. Their approach to EV is that of oldschool Mercedes.. same problem.. no devotion to getting the tech into the majority's hands. Probably a CAFE play just like the Germans are doing.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        No, they mark them up because the sales volume is low.
      JP
      • 2 Years Ago
      We certainly don't need cell or pack prices to get to $150 per kwh to be competitive with ICE vehicles. You can't completely ignore the lower operating and maintenance costs.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JP
        Yeah, I think that at $300/KWH things should start getting competitive. $150/KWH is just asking a lot. Maybe someone will come up with that break-through but we should be happy with what we have and incremental improvements that are certain to come.
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JP
        Sure you can, if you are WSJ, or KBB. KBB thinks maintenance of the Volt is less than a Leaf. That's total hogwash. WSJ simply can ignore any facts they feel don't support their editorial.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fuelcell cost have shrink more then that and performance has increased, also there is a huge weight advantage so more mpg and fewer cost. The market will erase bev as soon as fuelcell cars and suv will be introduced on the market. That's why hyunday didn't invest in bevs.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        All hat, not cattle.
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, you had a slight translation error there. Proper usage is: "Them fuel cell fellas is all hat and no cattle, shhheeeiiitt. Some folks are just born stupid. Others go to school for it."
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where do they get these numbers from? They seem to be all over the map. "The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium has said battery costs will have to fall to about $150 per kilowatt hour for EVs to be price-competitive with conventional vehicles." When did they say that? That was probably when gasoline cost $2/gallon.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I'm not sure, but I think that this may be a mix of battery PACK and battery CELL prices. Obviously the cost for a kWh of battery cells is cheaper than the cost for a kWh of battery pack, which includes the cells plus the container, cooling, connections, etc. I find the whole discussion of battery costs to be entirely frustrating, since not a single company actually discloses their wholesale price/cost with any sort of volume discounting information. Much less disclose the prices for cells compared to packs.
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      FUN WITH MATH: The leaf battery was $750/kWh at the pack level in May 2010 (many sources regarding, Nissan statements back then) and drop the price by 14% per year....then you have $300/kWh at the pack level by 2016 and $165 by 2020. Enjoy folks. :-)
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, from the Wall Street Journal today (who is horribly anti-EV and thinks this is damning "evidence"): "....23kWh....They're around $12,000 to $15,000 [a battery]" for a type of car that normally sells for about $22,000, he continued, referring to the price of a gasoline-powered Focus. "So, you can see why the economics are what they are." Ok, so that $12,000-$15,000 per 23kWh => $522-$652 per kWh TODAY for Ford, and they are not anywhere near volume pricing yet. How do all these brilliant "researchers" and astrologers and palm readers, etc....continue to sell their predictions when they clearly can't look at existing FACTS and report on those correctly???
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        ."They're around $12,000 to $15,000 [a battery]" for a type of car that normally sells for about $22,000, he continued" If we assume the EV charger, motor, and controller are the same as the ICE engine, transmission, exhaust, fuel system, etc. then it should be $22K + $15K = $37K at worst. If we go with $12K + 22K = $34K, right at Leaf level. That is $26.5K after tax-credit. That car will more than pay for itself in gasoline savings.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Hi Spec: I can't imagine even at low volume the extra EV parts are anything like all the bits you can throw out on an ICE!
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          You also have to deduct the cost of all the bits on an ICE you don't need. What's the engine, transmission, exhaust system and so on going to cost? You have to pay for a couple of things like the electric motor, of course, but you should be able to knock at least $3,000 off the $22,000 base price. This is also Ford's battery cost, not Nissan's. and Ford has not invested the $5 billion or so Nissan/Renault has in electrification. I would be surprised if Nissan's cost for 24kwh is much more than $10k, and as volume builds and with localisation that is going to drop.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @DaveMart Well I made a crude approximation of the remove ICE parts being approximately equal in cost as the added EV drivetrain parts (motor, controller, and charger).
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Sorry, forgot the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577350052534072994.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us_business
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      they've played the kind of quake III where the voice for the powerups says RETARDATION.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am positive that is a Volt battery...good photo but bad example.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        Volt doesn't use A123 cells. but it might have been a proposal for the Volt
        Ziv
        • 2 Years Ago
        James, the T shape looks similar but at the top of the T the modules are laid flat, whereas in the Volt all 5 modules are upright. Also at the foot of the T there is a 6th transversally mounted module that the Volt does not have. Take a look at the 2:47 point of the Volt tear down. What ever pack this is, it isn't a Volt, I believe. http://www.torquenews.com/1075/chevy-volt-teardown-reveals-future-battery-pack-upgrades-and-safety-monitoring-systems
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