Battery price myth

Mitsubishi i-MiEV interior

When traditional automakers don’t want the governments to impose lower carbon emissions and more electric cars sales they make excuses. Electric cars are slow, danger, expensive, ugly, nobody wants them. Tesla Motors already prove them wrong, but the battery is very expensive myth still persists.

Elon Musk said this 3 years ago, in 2012:

 

Elon Musk

 

Can you say that again?

Of course you have to connect all the cells to make a battery pack, add a BMS (battery management system) and if possible a TMS (thermal management system) is a good idea. In a mass production line the cost is minimal.

 

Also in 2012, President Makoto Yoda of GS Yuasa said this:

“Through mass production, we will soon lower production costs to a quarter.”

 

Building a lithium cell is a time and energy consuming task, mainly because of the liquid electrolyte. But this process got a lot more efficient and faster since the first lithium cells were used in electric cars. The materials used are not expensive.

We are now approaching 2016 and at the battery pack level the price per kWh is around $150. The new Nissan’s Leaf 30 kWh battery doesn’t cost Nissan more than $4.500 (4.000 €).

 

Regarding other components of the electric car, they are pretty cheap when build in large numbers. Electric cars are far more simple than the complex cars with combustion engines. Electric cars are basically wheels connected to an electric motor that have an inverter and controller between it and the battery. Having so little components saves time and money also in the production line. When competition increases the number of electric cars available they will be cheaper than similar gas cars.

 

The main reason we don’t have more affordable electric cars today is planned obsolescence. Electric cars don’t have all those moving parts present in gas cars. They can be built to last a long time without the need to visit a workshop to replace parts.

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