How is battery technology progressing? Quickly?
I am asking because, to me, it seems like electric cars may be taking over the vehicle market in the next decade or 2.
And I am curious about how batteries might progress in the next decade.
Tesla already makes cars that can go 300 miles on a charge and recharge in like 45 minutes. Not to mention having 400+ horsepower and acceleration unrivaled by just about any gasoline car. The only real problem is the price.
It's certainly not bad for such a high quality EV. But it's still not exactly in the price range of your average citizen.
Is it safe to say that in the next decade, batteries will get considerably better and cheaper? I hope so.
- apeweekLv 67 years agoFavorite Answer
Great question. Here are just a few of the new battery technologies to watch. There's Lithium Sulfur:
And while not new, Lithium Titanate is finally starting to come down in price. This battery type can be charged in just 5 minutes, and can last for hundreds of thousands of miles of use:
Also not new, NIMH batteries were invented in the 1990s. But the patents - which have been controlled by an oil company - will expire in the next few years. After that, the NIMH EV battery will be very cheap to produce:
Even the oldest battery tech, lead-acid, is being improved. The 'Firefly' battery can perform nearly as well as a lithium battery, but be very cheap to manufacture:
And finally, the EESTOR supercapacitor technology is very exciting (but it may just be vaporware. We should have seen a demo by now.)
- JerryJLv 77 years ago
1. Batteries progress at about 8% per year.
2. The way you should think about electric cars is total cost of ownership (TCO) over the years. There are really two components: the car and the "fuel". In an electric car you are basically pre-paying for the fuel. An average 85kWh Tesla Model S is $80,000 (that is without every possible option, but not the base model either). If you put on 140,000 miles in ten years, it will cost an additional $2000 for electricity and $7000 for maintenance. In a gas car you'll spend about $30,000 for gas and $10,000 for maintenance. That makes the TCO of the Tesla $89,000 less $16,000 or $73,000 (assuming it's worth 20% of purchase price at the end). The gas car will cost $40,000 plus the price of the car, which means that the Model S is more or less like purchasing a $45,000 car.
Tesla's third generation car, slated for 2015, should bring the TCO down to match $20,000 cars.