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Graphic shows lithium-ion battery pack and falling battery costs.
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AUTO'S

EV’s leiden tot lagere batterijkosten (1)

By Duncan Mil

November 3, 2021 - The quest to cut electric vehicle costs to fossil fuel-powered car levels has seen battery pack prices fall by 88% over the past decade. The battery pack is the single most expensive part of an EV.

According to data collected by London-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the volume-weighted average price per kilowatt-hour for a typical lithium-ion battery pack fell to $137 in 2020, down 13 per cent from $157 in 2019. A decade ago, these batteries sold for an astounding $1,191 per kWh.

The most expensive part of a battery pack is the lithium-ion cells. Their most common form consists of a graphite anode (negative) and a lithium metal oxide cathode (positive). An electrolyte sits between the electrodes, allowing ions to move between when charging and discharging.

An EV battery pack consists of tens to thousands of these cells packaged together in a series of modules to provide the voltage, power and energy required.

Researchers at Tesla, the world’s largest EV maker, have found that lithium-ion NMC532 cells have the potential to last more than 1.6 million kilometres. However, a single NMC532 pack contains around 8kg of lithium, 35kg of nickel, 20kg of manganese and 14kg of cobalt.

Spurred by demand for these elements used in cells, battery-makers are searching for cost-effective manufacturing and recycling of these metals.

The threshold for price parity with gasoline engines is around $100/kWh. BNEF analysts say they expect battery makers to hit $101/kWh in 2023. For the first time, BNEF found some prices reported that batteries for e-buses in China are already selling at $100/kWh.

Tesla pays an estimated average of $115 per kilowatt-hour for batteries, down from $128 last year. At this price, the 80.5kWh battery pack in Tesla’s long-range Model Y would cost the automaker about $9,250.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 04/11/2021; STORY: Graphic News
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