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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 steady—or maybe even rise—at 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 ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: batteries; ecar; electriccars; envirowackos; greenjobs
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To: businessprofessor

I have this trusty 22 year old Toro 2-stroke snowblower that has run perfect for the way i’ve learned to use it over all those years.

The thing was built “just” powerful enough for most of the snowstorms i get around here in MA.
Now i got this 10% crap cutting into the power of my Toro and now i can now exect 5% more here soon? (This is MA ya know)
Too bad there wasn’t some simple process to remove the stuff.
Hmmmmm, I wonder....

You may say 22 years??!!!?, Buy a new one!!
I can’t, I’ve grown sentimental over those years...

41 posted on 10/19/2010 9:51:41 AM PDT by mowowie
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To: SmokingJoe

There is also the little matter of building enough nuclear, coal and gas fired electric power plants along with transmission lines to power all of those electric cars if they ever hit the road.

Being “green” means never having to worry about consequences.

42 posted on 10/19/2010 9:58:09 AM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: SmokingJoe
It isn't just the cost that is holding back electric cars, it is their practicality. The touted 100 mile range of the Nissan Leaf doesn't take into account real world conditions like running the headlights, defroster, heater, air conditioner, windshield wipers or even the stereo radio.

All of the electrical accessories that we take for granted or are necessities must either run off the same battery that powers the car or have their own power uource. If the main battery is the sole source of power Using any of these electric devices cuts the range before recharge.

As those of us who live in the north well know, cold winter weather wreaks havoc on batteries. Even hybrid cars that have a gasoline engine see drops of 20-25% in mileage when the temperatures are below freezing. Imagine starting your morning commute in your electric car with temperatures hovering around freezing and wet slushy snow falling requiring the use of the defroster, heater and windshield wipers and using the radio to get the latest road conditions. Lots of luck getting to work. Even if your commute is short enough to get by, would you have the charging station available to top off the battery enough to get home when you must also use your headlights?

What about taking a family vacation? Would you have to limit your trip to about 40 miles so you could get home to recharge and hope that you do not have to use the air conditioner, windshield wipers or headlights? Need a recharge? Even with a recharging station at hand recharging a battery to "full" takes hours.

I seriously doubt that many people would find this mode of transportation the least bit practical.

43 posted on 10/19/2010 10:13:43 AM PDT by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: SmokingJoe

This 0bama regime is just nuts.You may want to look at and see what other members in his regime are up to.

44 posted on 10/19/2010 10:18:13 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Bubba_Leroy

Transmission lines and electric motors. That made me think of this: Copper. How do we get Copper, green guys and gals?

45 posted on 10/19/2010 10:43:09 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: ModelBreaker

“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.”

The cost of solar panels actually has decreased (especially when you factor in dollar inflation), but not to the degree that most consumer electronics have. I don’t see battery prices dropping as fast. I have been studying the economics of photovoltaics for an off-the-grid cabin. Batteries unfortunately constitute half the cost and won’t last long enough to ever pay for themselves, whereas the panels themselves can.

46 posted on 10/19/2010 11:08:33 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: TexasRepublic

“The cost of solar panels actually has decreased (especially when you factor in dollar inflation), but not to the degree that most consumer electronics have.”

To an extent. But not to nearly the extent necessary to make them economic. I’d like to have them on my roof. But the cost-benefit is still way out of whack.

Thirty years of subsidies have not made much of a dent. Which is, of course, why subsidies. Were there an economic scale-up where someone could make a lot of money on mass-produced solar panels, the market wouldn’t need the help.

47 posted on 10/19/2010 11:36:11 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: businessprofessor
Corn-based ethanol levels have been increased to 15 percent.

And the price of corn is going through the roof!

48 posted on 10/19/2010 11:40:44 AM PDT by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
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To: Skepolitic

100 % Correct


49 posted on 10/19/2010 1:45:23 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (I don't mind liberals... I hate liars...there just tends to be a high degree of overlap)
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To: Jack Wilson
I like the internal combustion engine. It is very reliable and powerful and runs on relatively cheap and abundant fuel.

You and me, both. It's hard to conceive of a power source that, within a closed system, is as cheap, reliable and non-polluting as the internal combustion engine.

Even though the Iowa farmers may not like to hear it, ethyl alcohol blended in gasoline is an net power loser.

50 posted on 10/19/2010 2:03:24 PM PDT by Ole Okie (American.)
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To: WaterBoard

Electric cars are gay.

51 posted on 10/19/2010 2:05:34 PM PDT by dfwgator (Rangers leading the ALCS 2 games to 1)
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To: shorty_harris

I have a weed eater and chain saw that both use a two stroke cycle engine. Have to mix oil in the gasoline for lubrication.

52 posted on 10/19/2010 2:07:49 PM PDT by Ole Okie (American.)
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To: Ole Okie

Yep, that old clinton mower was fun. I was just a kid, but my dad would let me tear it all apart and rebuild it. I learned a lot playing around with it. Then one day after I started it, it started making real bad noises and jumping around on it’s wheels. Once it was done, I noticed a hole in the engine case where the connecting rod had poked out. Maybe I didn’t get the oil/gas mixture right..

53 posted on 10/19/2010 2:44:34 PM PDT by shorty_harris
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To: Army Air Corps; WL-law; bamahead; carolinablonde; SolitaryMan; rdl6989; livius; DollyCali; ...
Thanx !


Beam me to Planet Gore !

54 posted on 10/19/2010 2:48:24 PM PDT by steelyourfaith (ObamaCare Death Panels: a Final Solution to the looming Social Security crisis ?)
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To: dfwgator


55 posted on 10/19/2010 3:09:38 PM PDT by WaterBoard
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