If you ask most people who still drive a gas-powered vehicle why they haven’t made the switch to electric yet, they’ll probably tell you one of two things. Either that EVs are too expensive upfront or they’re concerned about range.
Well, we have good news for them! Battery technology is advancing at a lightning pace, meaning that both of these issues are fading away. Let’s have a quick look at what battery manufacturers are working on.
They’re bringing down the cost of batteries
The battery is the most expensive part of an EV and they are the main reason why EVs are currently more expensive. As batteries keep falling in price, we’ll soon get to a point where the sticker price is the same as that for a similar ICE vehicle. Some experts think this might be as soon as 2023.
To get a feel for the pace at which battery prices have been falling, the average cost for a lithium-ion battery pack was about $1,100/kWh in 2010 and has fallen to just $126/kWh. By 2023, experts think that prices will be close to $100/kWh.
To put that in context, in 2010 it would have cost $55,000 to make a 50 kWh battery. In 2020 that same battery costs $6,300. Since the battery makes up about 30% of the cost of the EV, this makes a big difference!
It’s not stopping there either. Some in the industry predict that by as early as 2030, EV batteries will cost just $58/kWh. By then, EVs will be way cheaper than their gas-powered equivalents.
They’re increasing the miles you get from a single charge
While the price of EV batteries falls, the number of miles you can drive on a single charge keeps going up. In 2010, a mid-range EV would give about 70 miles from a full battery. In 2021, there are now a bunch of EVs that have ranges of over 200 miles.
Most of the new long-range EV models are boasting 300 miles of range as standard. When you consider that Americans drive on average under 40 miles a day, you can see how range anxiety will soon become a thing of the past.
Range is one of the top selling points when comparing EVs so it will keep on improving. As an example, the Tesla Roadster has an estimated range of 620 miles. Now this luxury vehicle, with it’s $200,000 price tag, is not in most of our budgets but it gives you a taste of what is possible.
Batteries are lasting longer
The other concern some people mention is that they think the battery might need changing after a few years of driving. This fear was always a bit over-hyped, but thanks to advancements in battery thermal management systems, batteries are better protected than ever before.
As a result manufacturers are increasing the warranty period on their batteries since they’re so confident they won’t need replacing. In fact, under average driving conditions, most batteries will actually outlive the car.
The tech keeps marching on and on
There’s literally no stopping the progress of EVs and their batteries. Manufacturers will keep designing batteries that are cheaper, last longer, drive further and have lower ethical and environmental impacts.
Within just a few years you can expect to see EVs that are cheaper than gas-powered vehicles, that can drive further and last longer. And they’ll keep getting better from there!