EV Battery Prices, Battery Lifetime, & Battery Breakthroughs (Cleantech Talk #7)

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This week’s Cleantech Talk news episode is something like a “battery special.” Chris DeMorro and I talk about new research highlighting the fast-dropping price of electric vehicle batteries, the wide variation in the lifetimes of different lithium-ion cells, and VW’s stake in solid-state battery startup QuantumScape. We started off the show chatting about new research highlighting a “hidden benefit” of EVs. Enjoy the show, and chime in down in the comments, or in the comments of the articles about these topics, if you want to carry on the conversation.

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Here are the stories we (mostly) talked about this week:

Hidden Benefits Of Electric Cars, Even More “Environmentally Friendly” Than Previously Thought

EV Battery Costs Already ‘Probably’ Cheaper Than 2020 Projections

Battery Tests Show Some Lithium-Ion Cells Last Over 5x Longer

Volkswagen To Decide On Solid-State Batteries By July

Note that we have a special edition of Cleantech Talk coming next week in which we interview Ian Wright of Wrightspeed. Ian was an early member of the Tesla crew, and is now working to electrify trucking.

Image by Zachary Shahan | EV Obsession | CleanTechnica (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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13 thoughts on “EV Battery Prices, Battery Lifetime, & Battery Breakthroughs (Cleantech Talk #7)

  • The download link in “By downloading and then listening.” still points to the old podcast from last week.

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  • Batteries, batteries, batteries! This is where the success of so many renewables converge. The conversation on batteries was good. Zach and Chris have their fingers on the pulse, but with sympathy, I can see there is as much mysticism as science in our knowledge of lithium batteries. The jarring German study, which they reference about battery lifespans, should chill us all. Again “the study” itself does not say how they tested for lifespan. By simulation? A few hundred rapid cycles, and then project the lifespan: that simply is inadequate. Somebody from Clean Technica needs to interview Professor of Chemical and Physics engineering Jeff Dahn of Dalhousie University, Canada. He is the Prof. who trained the Phd’s who work for Tesla on Lithium battery design. Go to the source. He has the leading edge research equipment for the testing of all chemistry configurations of lithium batteries. He is partnered with Canada research council and 3M in cutting edge research on lithium. You will find out from him how difficult it is to extrapolate lifespan from charge cycles.

    In my (limited knowledge), he is the man to interview.

  • Looking beyond Li and battery storage to high voltage super capacitors and even new high voltage chemical systems, will the future hold other better options?
    High torque has yet to be translated into more distance due to the American “0 to 60” obsession? Simply adding larger diameter tires may make some difference?

  • Races need to allow battery swapping. Swaps can be as fast as fuel fills.

    And drivers can’t drive away with the hose still attached….

    • That would be cool Bob but the really exciting part is this. “As far as pushing the boundaries of what electric vehicles are capable
      of, that will have to wait until next year at the earliest. Once the
      technical restrictions ease up, we’d expect to see each team start
      developing and innovating. In year two, Formula E teams are going to
      have some freedom to work with, first with the powertrain (motors and
      gearboxes). And in year three, the batteries are also open to

  • Hi Zach and Chris, If I heard Chris right from 1:20 to 1:34, Chris misspoke about EVs having a lower heat imprint than ICE vehicles. He states the reverse of that. Don’t know if you want to digitally edit/fix that or just let this note serve as fair warning, but I thought you would want to know. Most readers would likely know what he meant.

    • Hmm, thanks. I didn’t notice that in my few listens. If he did, I imagine it was a verbal typo and hope nobody was misled, but thanks for the note here!

      • Yes, it was a simple verbal typo. I think people understood it. There was a recent article that covered the topic as I recall. You’re welcome.

  • Anyone who has switched to a plug in vehicle from a gasoline vehicle and parks in a home garage, should have noticed a tremendous difference in temperature inside the garage. My bedroom is over my garage and I have noticed it there as well.

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