Published on July 8th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


40% Drop In EV Battery Prices From 2010 To 2012

July 8th, 2013 by  

Following up on the article we just published about a BMW board member’s bullish projections for EV battery range, here’s a positive find on EV battery price trends from EV Obsession:

One of the hardest and most critical factors to project when it comes to electric vehicles is the price of batteries, which make up a huge portion of an EV’s price. However, the trend is pretty obvious.

As this graph below shows, EV battery prices have fallen 40% since 2010. Regarding the future, BMW board member Ian Robertson says, “in the next three to four years there will be more progress in battery development than in the previous 100 years.” Here’s a Bloomberg New Energy Finance graph on recent and projected trends:

Lithium ion battery experience curve

When it comes to total ownership costs, EVs are already cheaper than gasmobiles for many people. As battery prices continue to drop, more and more EVs will be cheaper from Day 1. At such a point, what we be the rationale for buying a gasmobile? If range is the only remaining issue (and that shouldn’t even be an issue within a few years), people can simply rent a car once in awhile for those long-distance trips. Doing so would be far, far cheaper than buying a gasmobile for that occasional need. (And, as noted above, it’s already more logical for many people to go the electric route on a total cost of ownership basis and simply rent a gasmobile when in need.)

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Jose

    I’d wish the lithium batteries for conversion and lobbyists would also come down in price. No much change since 2010. Actually I have seen prices go up a little.

  • josetony

    With lithium-ion batteries going down in price, With $10,000 you might be able to get an EV conversion kit for your car instead of waiting for EV’s to go down to a more realistic price. A hybrid conversion kit is also a good alternative because it will solve the electric battery range problem for regular long distance travelers.

  • abe froman

    It has been a long time coming, but I am so encouraged that electric cars are finally becoming competitive with gasoline cars. This is when we will see a real change! The Electric Vehicle Market really is poised for growth.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Renting a gasmobile won’t be necessary unless you’re taking a long trip into the boonies where there won’t be rapid chargers. Driving circles in the Texas Panhandle, for example.

    If you can drive about 200 miles, recharge 90% in less than 20 minutes, then drive another 180 miles you aren’t likely to rent a liquid fuel vehicle. The rental process will be more involved than stopping to charge. (You’ve got to eat, pee and check your messages anyway.)

  • J_JamesM

    Someone really needs to tell graph-makers that log scales suck. Anyone that’s not a professional mathematician can’t intuitively grasp the proportions.

    • Bob_Wallace

      That’s one of the worst graphs I’ve ever tried to figure out.

      The most recent price they could find for consumer lithium-ion batteries was 2005? Don’t they know the Google?

  • Ivor O’Connor

    This is much better than the 8% per year Tesla claims…

    • Jonas Vilhamer Solsvik

      8% is how they expect performance/range to improve, not price

  • JMin2020

    Thanks for the post Zack. This is quite a price change. I expect the price will continue ro drop. The gasmobile rental market may enjoy the increased business.

    • ha, thanks. yeah, a continued price drop along these lines looks promising. 😀

      • Penny

        Yeah, the other guy was right. Fix the graph.

        • Sorry, not my graph — came from Bloomberg new Energy Finance. And I don’t have the data points.

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