Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Electric Vehicle Battery Pack Costs in 2021 — 87% Lower Than in 2008

The electric vehicle market has transformed immensely in the past dozen years. Most of that transformation comes down to one thing: dropping battery prices. As battery prices have come down, various electric vehicle models have gotten more range for the same price, and many more models have come to market with a competitive mix of pricing and specs. This is a chart I created just about a year ago about this trend:

The Nissan LEAF provides one of the easiest examples of this because the price has been fairly stable while the range on a full charge has more than tripled. (Note: the base 2022 Nissan LEAF still comes with a range of 226 miles.)

The U.S. Department of Energy recently highlighted this trend in its own way as well. Most useful is this spectacular graph:

“Research by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office estimates the cost of an electric vehicle lithium-ion battery pack declined 87% between 2008 and 2021 (using 2021 constant dollars),” the DOE writes. “The 2021 estimate is $157/kWh on a usable-energy basis (the equivalent of $143/kWh on a rated-energy basis) for production at scale, i.e., 100,000 units per year. That compares to $1,237/kWh on a usable-energy basis in 2008. The decline in cost is a combination of improvements in battery technologies and chemistries, and an increase in manufacturing volume.”

The 2021 data used there are preliminary data. The sources the DOE cites are as follows:

Naturally, you can’t talk about this without talking about Tesla. We don’t know Tesla’s battery costs, but we know it was on the leading edge of cutting battery costs for years, and presumably still is. Also, I’m old enough to remember when Elon Musk, JB Straubel, and team announced that they’d build a giant “gigafactory” to build a lot more batteries (as many as had been produced by all companies globally the year before). Aside from simply needing the batteries (for the Model 3, which at the time had not even been revealed), Tesla’s aim was to bring down costs by ramping up production scale. At the time, this was seen as a wild idea. Tesla critics said it would never happen. A few gigafactories later, it not only happened, but it clearly worked. You can now buy a Tesla Model 3 with 262 miles of range for $41,990. The car has much better tech than a Tesla Model S from 8 years ago for a much lower price. As a result of the same battery price trends (and a few other things), this has been the sales growth of Tesla vehicles over the past 9 years:

There’s no way that chart would look anything like that if battery prices hadn’t dropped tremendously in that timeframe.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

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.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports




Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

The short news update on a case that extends back to 2019 is that an appeals court has overturned a regional court ruling from...


The Tesla Megapack is a little more "mega" than it was before. It now is longer, wider, and taller and stores 50% more energy.


CATL has announced a major new investment in a European battery factory to be located in the city of Debrecen in Hungary.


Driving my daughter to the Brisbane airport this morning, I found that quiet Teslas can surprise animals. We had a close encounter with a...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.