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Aravind Venugopalan posted: Will car battery technology ever have a break-through like the one we currently see in renewable energy technology? 1 year ago

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Narasimhan Santhanam . I have not much work on batteries, so my answer is at best an intelligent guess. And it is: No.

Battery technology, whether it is for cars or for solar panels, has promised a lot more than delivered.

Specifically, in terms of cost ($/kWh), I don't think the costs of battery storage have fallen anywhere near the same rate at which the cost of power has.

Batteries are the Achilles Heel for renewable energy right now, and I'm afraid they will remain so for at least a decade, if not more.

Narasimhan Santhanam . And Aravind, here's something from the MIT Technology Review:
"...(new, cost effective) batteries are not being commercialized at anywhere near the pace needed to hasten the shift from fossil fuels to renewables. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk, hardly one to underplay the promise of new technology, has been forced to admit that, for now, the electric-car maker is engaged in a gradual slog of enhancements to its existing lithium-ion batteries, not a big leap forward.

In fact, many researchers believe energy storage will have to take an entirely new chemistry and new physical form, beyond the lithium-ion batteries that over the last decade have shoved aside competing technologies in consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-scale storage systems. In May the DOE held a symposium entitled “Beyond Lithium-Ion.” The fact that it was the ninth annual edition of the event underscored the technological challenges of making that step."


Shiv Vembadi . Mr. Santhanam, what you say about batteries being the Achilles Heel of renewable energy and the cost not falling fast enough for a decade might be on the pessimistic side. EV experts seem to have a consensus that the cell costs will in fact fall down the critical threshold of $100/kWh even before 2020: Link Like

BALAJI CS . Its all about economics of scale that matters.Ultimately the demand and volume for the product would drive towards technological innovation &cost reduction.
Unlike RE Projects , cost of the battery does not have significant role to play in the overall cost of the Car.Whereas RE is all about volume business and storage technology contributes quite a few % in the overall cost of the system and the competition is quite intense too and that itself would force the players to go for a cost effective innovative technology

Narasimhan Santhanam . Aravind...it has been more than a year since I put in a first reply...in the duration, things have changed.

The latest update is that the Li-ion battery prices are close to $200/kWh. In 2010, it was $1000/kWh.

By 2025, the magic number of $100/kWh is expected to be reached. At $100/kWh, electric cars achieve cost parity with ICE cars!

Some good news, isn't it?

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