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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Musk: Batteries Are Expensive

"The biggest single challenge for electric vehicles is affordability." -- Elon Musk

This comment was made during a recent shareholder's meeting, reported by Inside EVs.

Musk thinks Tesla can produce in "three to four years" an EV which has sufficient range to be broadly practical, which is affordable to a large number of customers. 

Which is probably something like a $30,000 vehicle which has a real world range of 200miles or better.  Based on the sales numbers of the current crop of 100mile vehicles, which aren't great, I am guessing the range needs to double before the masses really take notice.

But doubling the range of a car like the Leaf will add approx. $10,000 to its price, at current battery costs of approx $500/kWh.

So the billion dollar question is, how will Tesla get ~45kWh of batteries for $10,000, leaving them $20,000 for the base vehicle and profit?


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Matt Blanchard said...

Hi, thanks in advance for listening to my stupid question. This is going to be off-topic for this particular post, I just can't find anyone who has discussed this issue. My question is this: Is a hybrid car such as the Prius really more fuel efficient due to its battery? The reason I wonder this is - If it uses the gas engine to charge the battery, why wouldn't it be more efficient just using the gas engine all the time and eliminating the energy loss charging the battery and carrying the battery around? Yes, some energy is reclaimed using regenerative braking, but that can't be very much, can it? I could believe a car that charges at the power outlet might gain some cost effectiveness if the mileage on commercially-produced electricity was cheap enough, but the prius does not do that. It charges itself using gas. Can anyone confirm or refute my suspicions? Thanks, Matt Blanchard.

Unknown said...

Matt, it is all about regen braking. Unless it is a plugin hybrid, the reason you get better fuel economy is you recover energy that would be lost to heat during braking. It is significant.