In short, the automotive industry could start selling electric vehicles with a single-charge range of 500 miles within the next decade, Musk said at the Barron's Investment Conference, according to Green Car Reports. That's pretty aggressive, considering that the Model S's range tops out at about 265 miles. Musk's statement follow General Motors executive Mark Reuss's comments that it will pay about $145 per kilowatt hour for the lithium-ion batteries in its 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle.
Tesla has estimated that it will reduce battery-production costs by about 30 percent once it goes live with its Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. We can look backward and see that lithium-ion battery-pack costs have fallen by about seven percent a year for the past 20 years or so. Factoring that in as well as continuing price declines in other areas, and we see that battery costs might be less than $100 per kilowatt hour by 2025.
So whatever automakers are paying today for a battery pack in a car with a 250-mile single-charge range, that same investment may pay for a car with a 500-mile single-charge range by 2025.