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Electric Car Batteries Drop Closer to a Cost Tipping Point

Dec. 5, 2017
Lithium-ion battery packs are selling at an average price of $209 per kilowatt-hour, down 24% from a year ago and about a fifth of the cost in 2010.

The kind of battery that powers electric vehicles is now the cheapest it’s ever been thanks to a global ramp-up in production.

Lithium-ion battery packs are selling at an average price of $209 a kilowatt-hour, down 24% from a year ago and about a fifth of what it was in 2010, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance survey shows. The rate has further to fall — reaching below $100 a kilowatt-hour by 2025, according to a report by BNEF analyst James Frith.

That’s a magic number for the electric car business. According to Frith, $100 is widely seen as “a tipping point in the adoption of EVs.”

The price estimates are based on a BNEF survey of more than 50 companies, and their decline reflects a rise in battery manufacturing and “the economies of scale that come with it,” the report shows. Developers of stationary storage systems — like the kind that back up rooftop solar panels — can expect to pay 51% more than automakers because of much lower order volumes.

By Mark Chediak

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