Friday, February 1, 2013

Electric Vehicles and the high cost of batteries

Could Electric Vehicles Fly Out of Showrooms? -

'via Blog this'

First he cited the cost of the battery. While it has declined from about $1,000 per kilowatt-hour of storage in 2008 to about $500 today, it would have to decline to $125 over the next 10 years.

A kilowatt-hour will propel a small electric car three or four miles. Its cost is cheap, about 11 cents. Storage for that kilowatt-hour is what is pricey. A battery that stores $2 worth of electricity but costs $8,000 to buy and has the same range potential as two or three gallons of gasoline is an odd combination, like buying a solid gold cup and using it to serve tap water.

Second, Dr. Chu said, the cost of a kilowatt of power from the rest of the drive system, now $30, would have fall to $8. That would make cars with electric batteries competitive with cars running on internal combustion, even with the efficiency of the latter improving as time goes by.

He said that features available only in cars with batteries, like the ability to heat or cool a car cabin to a comfortable temperature a few minutes before the owner gets in, could help sell the cars.

The Obama administration’s current goal calls for one million electric vehicles to be on the road in the United States by 2015. Asked whether it could be achieved, Dr. Chu replied, “It’s ambitious, but we’ll see what happens.”

He said he was encouraged by a recen tprice cut for the Nissan Leaf, and Chevy’s sales of 24,000 Volts last year.

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