A paper by a couple of Swedish researchers figures that the price-per-kWh for lithium-ion battery packs is now $410, down from more than $1,000 in 2007. Economies-of-scale, not chemistry advances, will do the most to get that down to $230 by 2018.
Price Per Kwh
The battery pack is the single most expensive component in a plug-in vehicle and, until now, figuring out the cost to replace one has been a bit of a mystery. Last year, Nissan tried a $100/month price for a new battery in its popular Leaf, but was loudly criticized for that attempt. Today, Nissan is changing gears with a big announcement regarding the price of a new pack for your Nissan Leaf: $5,500 to buy. With an asterisk.
Along with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, Ford CEO Alan Mulally is confident in the growth of the electric car segment. It's a long-term play, though, so Mulally isn't committing the electric Ford Focus EV to making a strong sales statement. For now, Ford's chief says he'd be fine moving fewer than 5,000 Focus EVs in the model's first full year. And even that would mean a steep rise in uptake based on just 12 having been sold in December and January.
During its recent fourth quarter 2011 financial results Q&A conference call, CEO Elon Musk had, of course, lots to say about Tesla Motors and its various products. One statement though, concerning the falling cost of batteries, spoke to the broader electric vehicle (EV) market and bears repeating. The high price of energy storage is, after all, one of the major barriers to lower EV prices and, consequently, faster consumer adoption.