The new vehicle is the first battery-electric car that Toyota has produced since that time.
It did not say how much its new lithium-ion battery will cost, but Hartline indicated that the earlier projection of $1,000/kWh by its engineers still isn't far off. "That's the benchmark we've always used," she said. "Battery chemistry has improved, but even with a lot of research and a lot of resources, the cost hasn't come down that much."
If the price of the RAV4 EV is an indicator, the cost of batteries may not have dropped much from Toyota's earlier projection. At $49,800, the new vehicle costs about $15,000 more than a Nissan Leaf and $10,000 more than a Chevy Volt, both of which employ considerably smaller battery packs. (The Volt's battery is 16 kWh; the Leaf's is 24 kWh.)
Critics have complained about the price of the new vehicle. Forbes.com called it "stratospherically priced," and a Wall Street Journal reviewer wrote, "Sure, lithium-ion batteries are expensive, but prices are falling and, well, I just don't see where the expense lies."
Toyota says that it is accurately targeting a small cadre of customers who are hooked on the idea of an electric powertrain. The new vehicle offers a multitude of luxury features, including LED projector headlights, LED running lights, variable front seat heaters, navigation, telematics, and a capacitive touch screen, along with the all-electric drive system.
"It feels luxurious," Hartline said. "It's a niche vehicle for sophisticated early adopters."
For a close-up look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director Brian Fuller.
I was just trying to point out that there is an additional component to the price calculation, especially with respect to the retail market where the EV's are being compared agains more convention models.
I'm far from an expert in these matters but I feel a key to good engineering (and most decision making problems...govt anyone) is asking the right questions, probing in the corners, pulling stuff apart.
I'm just trying to get the full picture of the cost and I don't know enough about the recharging processes. The article says that the Leaf's battery is 24KWh. Are the process losses insignificant enough to deterimine the recharge price by multiplying the current rate (in this case 0.12) by the battery capacity?
"Batteries are likely to be half the price within 2 years and super capacitors viable within 5 years."-I think you will need to provide more than just a statement here. As discussed in a number of previous forums battery development is a) slower than many (media, public, polititians) expect b)the batt is only a portion of the cost c) range, size, weight and recharge issues are all part of the barriers to the wide spread implimentation of EVs as personal transportation.
But for fun let's say the price is halved-Toyota's engineers (who know more about the cost of battery systems in commercially viable, profitable cars than anybody) put the system price at $500/mile range.
So let's generously assume that the packaging, cooling and electronics also cut in half. $250/mile X 100 miles=$25000 just for the battery pack, plus a car to put it in. $40k easy, for a vehicle that goes 100 miles and takes hours to refuel-if you can find an outlet.
And please don't say "the Leaf costs less already". Nissan loses a pile on each one. To become a real choice EVs need range, quick recharge, affordability, charging availibility and the companies need to be able to make a profit selling them.
The rapid advances in battery and graphene supercapacitors, suggests that your 25-30 year reliance on the IC engine is way, way off.
Batteries are likely to be half the price within 2 years and super capacitors viable within 5 years. This suggests a quite rapid reduction in the cost to build electric cars, and of course a ramp up in numbers being sold.
I suspect most of us will be driving EVs in 10 years time and those vehicles will be similarly priced to todays IC vehicles.
Funny you mention BMW and EVs. I happen to own 2 5-series (540i and 530i) one automatic, one stick shift. However, I drive to work in my EV (old converted Ford truck). why would I? Driving it should not be possible according to some the truck should not be viable - it only has 40 miles of range, but because it has a standard 110V plug, I can literally plug in everywhere (even at work) so it is no issue to commute and even the occasional errand can easily be included. Probably in future the truck gets upgraded to better batteries, but for now it does what I need it for - allow me to drive around town without tailpipe. I smile more in the truck then when sitting in traffic idling the BMW V-8 engine.
Now, if I happen to go on a road trip, that is another story.
If you can't afford to have more than one car, then the easy solution is to get an EV for daily use and rent a petrol/diesel-burner for long trips. That may cost as little as $20 for a whole day so there is not really a need to keep an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car around if you have little use for it.
Regarding RAV4's sitting on lots? Time will tell. As remarked before, earlier RAV4EV were in such high demand that there is little chance to find one unused sitting on a lot. If you know of one, tell me.
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