Electric Car Battery Price on Rapidly Declining Curve, Asserts Research Firm

By 2015, CSM expects the price for a standard 25 kWh battery to fall by 50 percent

Published: 23-Sep-2009

MUNICH, Germany — With technology and infrastructure components for electric street vehicles falling into place rather quickly, the costs for the batteries as the most critical piece will be halved within five years, says a market researcher. The bad news: Raw material bottlenecks could make the road to electrification a bumpy one.
The current crisis in the automotive industry will be a transient aspect, predicted Greg Mount, Chief Economist of automotive market research company CSM at a presentation during the ongoing IAA motor show in Frankfurt (Germany). Already in 2010 the demand is expected to stabilize. Mount expects demand for vehicles to rise 6 percent on a global scale. Europe will lag slightly, but demand will climb by 5 percent here as well. In the US, demand will climb above the global average, Mount predicted.

In order to develop a modest market size for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, six crucial factors — CSM calls them 'stars' — must align. These are high oil price, charging infrastructure, government incentives, product availability and a string CO2 legislation. While most of them will not mature before the 2024 through 2030 time frame, the development of lithium ion batteries as the element currently in the focus of technologists and developers is expected to mature expected in the 2017 through 2023 time frame.

Lithium ion has emerged as the standard technology for these vehicles but the high price for these batteries is considered by large parts of the industry as the most critical stumbling block.

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