OWN VOICE ~ InPerspective by Gregg Diegez.
After one of our MIT Clean Tech seminars last year, I told several friends to expect EV batteries at $25/Kwh by 2025 – which would mean Electric Cars with 1,500 miles of range – for the same cost as my 300 mile range Chevy Bolt. [Of course, people may choose to pay even less cost for less than 1,500 miles of range] AND, I pointed out that industry was already ahead of the cost curve predicted for 2020, which was $125/Kwh, down from about $300/Kwh in my Bolt’s 2017 battery technology. This continues a trend: from 2010 to 2019, lithium-ion battery prices (when looking at the battery pack as a whole) have fallen from $1,100 per kilowatt-hour to $156/kwh—an 87% cut. Previous press reports had suggested that we’ll reach the $100/kwh mark earlier than previously anticipated—by 2023, and I was expecting to beat even that pace of price reductions.
Tesla’s announcement today takes this even further than I had hoped:
“The cost of CATL’s cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery packs has fallen below $80 per kilowatt-hour, with the cost of the battery cells dropping below $60/kWh, the sources said… Auto industry executives have said $100/kWh for battery packs is the level at which electric vehicles reach rough parity with internal combustion competitors. “
…and those prices INCLUDE “recycling and recovery of key materials such as cobalt and nickel..” – note that Fossil Fuel car prices DO NOT include removing all the pollution from the air after use. So this technology will not only be PRICED lower than gas vehicles, it will cost far less than the true cost of fossil fuels. Further, my Bolt was costing me 3.5¢ per mile in ‘fuel’, vs. 17.5¢/mile in fuel, oil, smog checks and tune-ups for my Hybrid SUV. So there already was an operating cost advantage, which offset the [formerly] higher purchase cost of an EV.
Now “low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use” is the expectation. Which will make buying cars a decade-plus kinda thing, with no engine, transmission, and smog controls to wear out (still tires and windshield wipers to change). So, choose wisely in the future. And that technology will cost some jobs, and save others both money and air quality.
This is what I was waiting for before retiring my 2008 Hybrid…. Expect the price of used cars, between CV-19 and the emerging cleaner, cheaper EV technology, to plummet.
Mr. Dieguez is a semi-successful, semi-retired MIT entrepreneur who causes occasional controversy in the Coastside. He lives in Montara. He loves to respond to comments.