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Electric Car Battery Costs Falling Faster Than Predicted

New study by Stockholm Environment Institute researchers finds battery costs dropping at 8% annually.

Published: 10-Apr-2015

Swedish researchers Björn Nykvist and Måns Nilsson wondered how accurate projections on electric car battery costs have been over the last decade. They evaluated 80 separate studies on battery costs. Writing in the abstract to their pier-reviewed paper published in Nature, they note "that industry-wide cost estimates declined by approximately 14% annually between 2007 and 2014, from above US$1,000 per kWh to around US$410 per kWh..."

In fact, cost declines have been even more aggressive, it turns out. In the case of the two biggest pure electric car sellers, Nykvist and Nilsson found their costs were at or below $300 kWh.

Of the Stockholm Environment Institute study, Technology Review reports:

The authors of the new study concluded that the battery packs used by market-leading EV manufacturers cost as little as $300 per kilowatt-hour of energy in 2014. That’s lower than the most optimistic published projections for 2015, and even below the average published projection for 2020. The authors found that batteries appear on track to reach $230 per kilowatt-hour by 2018. Depending on the price of gas, the sticker price of an EV is expected to appeal to many more people if its battery costs between $125 and $300 per kilowatt-hour.

This strongly suggests that within five years, electric cars will be cost competitive with ICE-age automobiles. Of course, sticker prices are only part of the challenge of introducing electric cars. Range and recharge times are still concerns for most potential buyers. Here there is promising progress as well, as EV World's interview with UCLA researcher Maher El-Kady reveals. Watch for that interview next week.

Electric car battery cost curves

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