Skip to comments.High Battery Cost Curbs Electric Cars
Posted on 10/19/2010 7:12:38 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
Unlike Other Devices, Power Packs May Not Enjoy Major Economies of Scale
The push to get electric cars on the road is backed by governments and auto makers around the world, but they face a big hurdle: the stubbornly high cost of the giant battery packs, which can account for more than half the cost of an electric vehicle.
Both the industry and government are betting that a quick takeoff in electric-car sales will drive down the battery prices. But a number of scientists and automotive engineers believe cost reductions will be hard to come by.
Unlike with tires or toasters, battery packs aren't likely to enjoy traditional economies of scale as their makers ramp up production, the scientists and engineers say.
A123 Systems in Michigan is counting on demand for electric cars despite the steep cost of its battery packs. These experts say increased production of batteries means the price of the key metals used in their manufacture will remain steadyor maybe even riseat least in the short term. They also say the price of the electronic parts used in battery packs as well as the enclosures that house the batteries aren't likely to decline appreciably.
The U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of bringing down car-battery costs by 70% from last year's price by 2014.
Current industry estimates say the battery pack in the all-electric Nissan Leaf compact car coming out in December costs Nissan Motor Co. about $15,600.
That cost will make it difficult for the Leaf, which is priced at $33,000, to turn a profit. And it also may make the Leaf a tough sell, since even with federal tax breaks of $7,500, the car will cost about twice the $13,520 starting price of the similar-size Nissan Versa hatchback.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Prices for these metals, which are set on commodities markets, aren't expected to fall with increasing battery productionand may even rise as demand grows, according to a study by the Academies of Science released earlier this year and engineers familiar with battery production.
Lithium-ion battery cells already are mass produced for computers and cellphones and the costs of the batteries fell 35% from 2000 through 2008but they haven't gone down much more in recent years, according to the Academies of Science study.
China has been buying up lots of rare earth materials that go into batteries.
Another Obama bust. How many energy boondoggles before even the left wakes up to the destruction caused by government control of the economy? These boondoggles are just escalating instead of stopping. Corn-based ethanol levels have been increased to 15 percent. Bio fuel mandates still loom in the near future.
“... with federal tax breaks of $7,500....”
In which the rest of us, literally at the point of a gun, are forced to fianace the “Green” mythology.
How long will the batteries last, and how much will it cost to dispose of the old ones?
We have budgets deficits of $1.3 Trillion per year, and 0bama still has tax payer money to squander to the tune of $7500 per electric car, that some idiot in Hollywood decides to buy, so they can look cute to their pals? This 0bama regime is just nuts.
Every spring, I stop leaving any battery tools or phones in the garage....they take up indoor living until fall, being as that area never gets below 100 degrees.
Expensive green auto tech ping!............
China isn’t buying up rare earths in markets in a speculative play to drive up prices. However, they do have 97% of the world’s reserves of rare earths at current market prices, and have imposed limitations on exports.
China acts in China’s interest ... just like every other nation, but a little bit more intelligently. Their limitations on exports of rare earths is strategic in nature, not speculative.
“Both the industry and government are betting that a quick takeoff in electric-car sales will drive down the battery prices”
That was the bet for solar panels, too. That’s why every roof in America is covered with cheap solar panels today.
It won’t be long now that teens will find these affordable used electric cars that have been discarded like a used up battery and will give them a new life with a retrofitted gas or diesel engine conversion.
I did several Oldsmobile diesel to gas engine conversions and also a couple of Jaguar V12 to Chevy small block conversions.
If nothing else a person could stick one on top of a pole and connect a propeller to it for a wind generator.
Or a millwheel from a running stream, up here in Alaska I would say it would make a great towing vehicle for the dog sledders in training, plus it will charge up a battery bank for the remote site cabins by doggy power.
“Thats why every roof in America is covered with cheap solar panels today.”
You should get a gig in stand-up, you’re that good!
$15,000 for a battery pack that’s probably going to last around 5 years? I can buy a lot of gasoline for that kind of money.
Wonder what the battery pack is worth as recycled material/
An automobile is a major capital outlay for most families. Why would broader market participants pay more (even with ‘subsidies’) for radical technology, unproven over time, that may well render an already diminishing asset worthless well before the anticipated replacement time. Unless authoritarian state power is used (such as banning or taxing internal combustion engines) it is unlikely that mass demand will supply any price moderating economies of scale. Given the cost factor and the unknown reliability factor, with the associated ‘side of the road’costs, most consumers will wisely let the ‘Greenies’ take the arrows on this technology.
Electric cars are a fraud.
Anyone who buys one in the hopes of helping the environment is a moron.
Where do they think the electric for the car comes from? (Besides the eletric outlet?)
The power comes from coal fired power plants and other fossil fuel generation plants.
These electric cars are less efficient and use more energy than traditional vehicles.
These electric cars also cause huge damage to the natural environment in the toxic mining for the rare metal for their batteries.
Lastly, without untold hundreds of billions for new power grids and power plants, exactly how are these new electric cars supposed to be charged with our current infrastructure?
I imagine the old batteries will be recycled. My question is what will it cost to recycle them. Will the cost be prohibitive as opposed to manufacturing new ones? I don’t know.
The idea is that people will be charging them mostly at night thus negating the strain on our existing infrastructure. That is the idea anyway.