Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Important Media Cross-Post


The Electric Car Battery Price Slide (Chart)

June 14th, 2013 by  

Without a doubt, electric car prices have come down substantially in recent years — the Nissan Leaf is actually about $7,000–$8000 cheaper than the average conventional or average hybrid electric vehicle. And without a doubt, that price slide is going to continue as the price of batteries comes down. Here’s more on that from Andrew Meggison in this Gas2 repost:


The nice thing about new technology is that, eventually, it drops in price. A flatscreen HDTV used to cost thousands, now there is one in most homes in America. Laptops once cost as much as a compact car; now you can get one for a week’s worth of minimum wage work. The same thing seems to be happening to electric and hybrid cars. The Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt are expecting significant price cuts in the near future, and cars like the Nissan Leaf and Smart ForTwo Electric Drive have already shaved thousands from their MSRP.

Let us start with Tesla. The Tesla Roadster and Model S are the elite of the electric car world – and you pay for them with the Roadster fetching over $100 grand and the Model S sitting at about $62,500 grand after tax credits. Now, visionary CEO Elon Musk is aiming to bring a new Tesla to the masses in three to five years priced near $35,000. And do not forget the federal and state breaks which will knock that price down a little bit more.

While Tesla is slowing lowering the price of their electric vehicles (EVs), Nissan has already dropped the sticker price of the Leaf by 18% for a new price of $28,000. Meanwhile General Motors has announced that the next generation Volts will be $7,000 to $10,000 cheaper. The Volt currently sits around $39,000, with much of that cost tied up in the battery. If the chart above provided by Deutsche Bank proves true, battery prices could plummet in the next decade.

So what is going on here? Well, with technological advancement comes price reeducation, which we have been waiting years for. Also competition plays a major role. The EV and hybrid market has hit the mainstream, but consumers are wary of spending luxury-car-money on compact EVs. This is why the Tesla Model S has done so well; sure, it costs a lot of money, but it is a genuine luxury car as well.

But this leaves the lower end of the market wide-open for exploitation, and an EV price war of sorts has set in. The consumer gets a playing field of the gas powered cars competing with the EVs and hybrids. Now that prices for EVs are coming down, and it looks like state and federal breaks are here to stay, at least for now, EVs could soon start selling in numbers that rival many gas-powered models. Soon they might not even need tax breaks to be price competitive. That means that gas powered cars will have to step up their miles per gallon range (and they have) and maintain a reasonable price. That is, so long as battery prices keep falling.

Either way the consumer wins.

Source: The Daily Beast

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison 

Editor’s note: I’ll just add this telling chart below from “Electric Cars Much Cheaper Than You Think, Cheaper Than Gasmobiles (Charts).”


Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

-- CleanTechnica is one of 18 blogs in the Important Media blog network. With a bit of overlap in coverage, we sometimes repost some of the great content published by our sister sites.

  • Ian Hancock

    Battery costs (relative to Tesla) have been meticulously examined and exhaustively researched in an excellent piece:–and-what-it-may-cost

    This is furthermore proven via Panasonic (Tesla’s battery suppliers) who provided back-up evidence with an important Press Release:

  • josetony

    The good thing about falling prices of electric batteries is that for the current Volt price $40,000 automakers could add more batteries to extend the range of the EV’s to 150 to 200 miles per charge. So let say that the Nissan Leaf keep the price at $30,000 for the next five years, but at the same time double the range of the vehicle to 200 miles, more people will be interested in EV’s.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    You’d think with all the energy efficiency along with the increases in battery technology battery life would have increased from 2 hours to 20 hours. Unfortunately it’s stayed at about 2 hours.

    I don’t expect technology is doing anything for us with the lowering of prices on the low end EVs. Being the cynical bastard I am I think the price drops are a result of that “damascus sword” waiting to fall on them unless they quickly capture the market. In other words they know Tesla will wipe them out if they don’t get it together in the next two years.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If Tesla is forcing other car manufacturers to put more game in their game it’s a great thing. Even if Tesla never turns into one of the world’s leading car companies I think it and Elon have earned a special place in history for redefining electric vehicles.

      As for battery technology Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW and all the other car companies are not battery manufacturers. Just like they aren’t gas producers.

      Battery manufacturers and startups are charging very hard to bring better batteries to the market. Vast fortunes await.

      GM is now test tracking a 400 Wh/kg battery from Eos Systems. That battery holds 3x the charge of a Volt battery (140 Wh/kg) and almost twice the Tesla battery (240 Wh/kg).

      Eos is pricing it at $125/kWh. That’s about 2.5x cheaper than what the lowest estimates are now for EV batteries.

      There are even better battery technologies in the labs.

    • JimBouton

      I think you mean the Sword of Damocles.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        Yes I probably did. I spent a few minutes googling for it and wasn’t really convinced I found the right reference. Thanks

        • Ziv Bnd

          Way late to the thread, but Damascus Steel was used in the best swords prior to the technique dieing out in the the 1700’s. It was made from wootz steel from India, which plays a role in the Baroque Cycle by Stephenson. Great book!

    • arne-nl

      “Unfortunately it’s stayed at about 2 hours.”

      Hi Ivor,

      In one sentence: it boils down to what consumers choose.

      From the very first Model T’s, the efficiency of the internal combustion engine has improved a lot. The Model T was reported to have a fuel economy of about 15 mpg, not far off today’s average SUV. So where did all of these efficiency improvements go? Probably consumers were content with 15 mpg and chose to use that gain in efficiency to buy larger, more luxurious, safer, faster cars. In the perfect world we might be driving 80 mpg Model T’s. Instead we’re driving 15 mpg Escalades.

      The same game was played in the laptop business. People apparently were content with 2 hours of battery life and chose to buy the biggest screen and baddest cpu.

      Whether or not that makes sense is another question. The reaility is that it did happen. Technology improves, but in the end the consumers decide on how that improvement is used.

  • youareme7

    I’m really excited about getting an electric vehicle; 3-5 years is just about right for me running my current car into the ground. Might be that I’ll get an electric moto first though since range isn’t as big of an issue. What I really want is an all wheel drive car with hub motors and a range extending fuel cell, I figure in 5 years hub motors have got to be more common; sure seems like that’s the future for propulsion.

    • bussdriver78

      wheel hub motors impact handling characteristics of the car; if you want performance it might not be something you’d like.

      also, hub motors have more stress on their bearings. Not that there are not some clever motor designs being held up by multiple patents that would mitigate both issues to some degree.

      • eject

        well, the unsprung weight issue is obvious. However the SLS AMG electric does have 4 hub motors a 750hp total and goes around the Nürburgring under 8 min and is described by various car shows that were allowed a test drive to handle even better then the standard V8 in the front drive to the back variant. So there is technology around that. Maybe not for ultra performance but certainly for you standard sporty sedan.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Are those in-hub motors or are the motor mounted close to the wheel and connected with short axles?

          • eject

            my bad, here at 10:20 the guy from AMG says one in each wheel
            But I just used google and other say they are actually not in the wheels but short axels. Sadly they don’t show the cutaway clearly enough.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yeah, I haven’t found anything definitive. I can’t tell from the images I’ve found. It sounds like the motors are attached to the chassis and it uses short axles.

  • Ross

    Clearly I’m shopping for laptops in the wrong places.

    • Bob_Wallace

      $7.25 x 40 = $290.

      Can do. Newegg has over 150, some refurbished but there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • danwat1234

      Ebay has some new ones for $40 or less for a 9 cell

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