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True cost of EV...
curious_device   9/19/2011 2:56:03 PM
"And WHAT IF the "unique" EV battery 5 years later is No longer available at ANY COST?"  That'll be One of those "green jobs" - repacking EV battery modules with more-or-less compatible cells, reflashing the module memory and selling them to desperate EV owners.

Re-made in America!

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Re: Is all Common Sense Lost?
reader22   9/19/2011 2:08:03 PM
Would Common.Sense.1st please reply:

What ARE those two mysterious battery chemistries?



Curt Wilson
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Look at Tesla
Curt Wilson   9/19/2011 1:50:08 PM
The large automotive companies talk about the cost of their customized integrated battery packs. The "skeptics" talk about the price of individual commercially available cells.

It would be very interesting to look at the cost of the Tesla battery pack, because they purchase these commercially available cells and incorporate them into their custom designed battery pack. I know they have done a lot of engineering "around" the cells, but none on the cells themselves. If you can get some good information on the Tesla battery pack, it would help clarify where the costs lie.

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Re: Is all Common Sense Lost?
MIROX   9/19/2011 12:36:06 PM
Battery Cost ?  Does it really matter in AUtomotive applications ?

When did any NEW car buyer ever worried about cost of tires, cost of water pump, cost of a radiator, or cost of new catalytic converter ?  If they did they probably would be shocked to know, but why is no one concerned ?

Because that cost only matters when the vehicle system in question fails and needs to be replaced, then it matters either to the OEM if under Warranty or to the second or third vehicle owner when it is no longer under warranty.

If tose costs would trully matter even to te USED car buyer, then no one in their right mind would ever buy a used BMW or a TESLA for that matter!

When EV batteries are warranted to the NEW vehicle buyer for 8 to 10 years and 80,000 to 150,000 miles = the design life of the vehicle, then only cost of the vehicle divided by the Warranty miles is the measure that one can cost compare cars = COST per MILE driven.

IF that is done then EV are "almost" competitive with ICE cars, but if you suddenly add the cost of a replacement battery pack, then the cost per mile is 2 to 3 times more than ICE car.

In fact you have to think of a battery (or replacement of it) as a part of "FUEL COSTS" and in case of ICE car you also have to add the cost of fuel to get meaningful cost comparison between EV, Hybrid and ICE = the TOTAL COST PER MILE (while you own the vehicle) is the only realistic economic measure.

But with few exceptions, in the past EV have next to no resale value when 5 to 7 years old, ICE conventional car will stil get you $3,000 or more if in good condition - so in the long run EV is not as good investment.

And WHAT IF the "unique" EV battery 5 years later is No longer available at ANY COST ?





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$800 to store 12 cents of power
Grunchy   9/19/2011 12:34:08 PM
If I read this article & the comments right, a kWhr of power costs 12 cents from the power company and the battery costs $800 to store that much power.  WOW.

In Vancouver they have these trolley buses that use overhead wires so they don't have to store any power on board.

Here's an idea, how about if we power all the roads with some form of wireless power delivery and skip the batteries altogether?

I also like the idea of a "mechanical battery" that can store mechanical energy as rotational inertia of a flywheel.  I once heard a story of a car that had 20hp engine and got about 80 mpg, yet could do 0-60mph in 5 seconds or some ridiculous fast time.  The reason is, while everyone is stopped at the red light the little motor is spinning up the flywheel, and when it turned green the driver could dump all that energy into the drivetrain.  Flywheel is much dumber and cheaper than a battery.

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Battery cost
Sansaska   9/19/2011 12:21:49 PM
About 10 years ago I bought a homemade EV which was a compact Ford pickup using 24 or so 12v auto batteries (filled the bed). I had to replace them and it seems to me the cost was around $700 at Costco. Of course the range and speed were nothing like the current commercial cars but for a 5 mile city commute it was fine.

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Re: Oh, one more thing...
TimJones   9/19/2011 11:58:28 AM
Everything you say here makes sense, except for the spark-free or explosive atmosphere compliant part. I do not believe that a garage with a gasoline powered vehicle in it qualifies as an explosive atmosphere. If that were the case, then things like washing machines, driers, and water heaters would need to be spark-free or explosive atmosphere compliant, as these things commonly share garage space with gasoline fueled cars. I'm pretty sure sparks and even open flames are not a hazard in most garages.  Unless you keep open buckets of gasoline in your garage, of course.

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Cost per kw-hr
reader22   9/19/2011 11:51:39 AM
I have been looking at a similar problem with solar power systems for the home.  The installed cost for the PV panels, chargers and inverter system can be over $2,500 per kw-hr of capacity.  Assuming 90% efficiency for the PV panel, charger, battery and inverter, and if you get 15 years of service, your generation cost might be as low as $0.08 per kw-hr.  Maybe.

To store each kw-hr of electricity, you need 1.25x capacity (for 80% DOD batteries) to 2x capacity (for 50% DOD batteries).  A good flooded lead-acid battery might cost $200-$250 per kw-hr capacity and give you 1500 cycles at 50% DOD.  So you spend $250 for 0.5 kw-hr x 1500 times, or $0.33 per kw-hr.

So I'm at $0.41 per kw-hr (minimum) vs $0.12 per kw-hr utilities.  I really WANT to go solar, but right now the costs are quite high.  Same with the current offerings in electric vehicles.  Why pay the extra upfront cost and still be faced with a $2500 battery cost in 5 years?

Liquids fuels are still the densest form of energy storage and easiest to handle and transport.  Until the total life-cycle cost of battery storage gets down around $0.05 per kw-hr (and doesn't depend on exotic materials from a foreigh competitor), we need to focus on ways of turning sunlight (or wind) into liquids fuels.



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Re: Round and round
bbix   9/19/2011 11:25:06 AM
If batteries are really "only" $250/kwh, I'd expect a small but growing market for conversion jobs making the more popular non-plug-in hybrids capable of much more electric only operation.  Also many people have electric dryer circuits or gas range circuits that are in use very seldom and could be used for high amperage charging of vehicles without that extensive of remodelling.  Those are dedicated circuits today but most household circuits have more outlets on them than you can utilize simultaneously and people cope with that.  I used to hear more about the potential for zinc-air batteries but not so much anymore.  There is lots of research ongoing and we may be surprised by what wins in the end, there will be lots of dead-ends (think Solyndra and Evergreen Solar that went down what looked like exciting new routes but ended up with bankruptcy) and maybe some new billionaires (research done by scientists at major companies usually don't make scientists rich, but sometimes university research becomes idependent and does), also like with Bill Gates, sometimes its the person with the drive and cutthroat business tactics that can take someone else's interesting idea (Xerox windows GUI) and mold it into an empire (MS Windows) 

User Rank
Re: Round and round
JRoque   9/19/2011 11:19:27 AM
Hi. So everyone here is convinced that OEMs cannot get volume discounts, eh? The $1/Ah figure is for quantity 1 and at full retail price. Don't you think OEMs can get better pricing for, say, 500K sets of 24kW packs? Please. For a fraction of the cost of a purchase like that they can buy the *entire* battery factory and then set their own cell price.

Further, how much does it cost to put a temperature and voltage sensor on each cell? Battery pack enclosures? Shouldn't most of that already be part of the vehicle's chassis? LiFePO4 cells do not need specialized cooling up to 70C. If anything, a cheap heat pad under the pack can keep them warm in temperatures below -20C. That OEMs have chosen a chemistry that needs cooling is of their own doing, they have a better option.

In my opinion, the added costs of bringing cells to OEM production requirements can be easily offset by their higher purchasing volumes. Watch how in a couple of years, when the Gov incentives run out, they suddenly figure this out and then say batteries are not that expensive. Right.

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