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EV Battery Prices 40% Lower Than In 2010

One of the hardest and most critical factors to project when it comes to electric vehicles is the price of batteries, which make up a huge portion of an EV’s price. However, the trend is pretty obvious.

As this graph below shows, EV battery prices have fallen 40% since 2010. Regarding the future, BMW board member Ian Robertson says, “in the next three to four years there will be more progress in battery development than in the previous 100 years.” Here’s a Bloomberg New Energy Finance graph on recent and projected trends:

Lithium ion battery experience curve

When it comes to total ownership costs, EVs are already cheaper than gasmobiles for many people. As battery prices continue to drop, more and more EVs will be cheaper from Day 1. At such a point, what we be the rationale for buying a gasmobile? If range is the only remaining issue (and that shouldn’t even be an issue within a few years), people can simply rent a car once in awhile for those long-distance trips. Doing so would be far, far cheaper than buying a gasmobile for that occasional need. (And, as noted above, it’s already more logical for many people to go the electric route on a total cost of ownership basis and simply rent a gasmobile when in need.)

  • J_JamesM

    Someone really needs to alert graph-makers everywhere that log scales are a terrible, awful idea that should never be used to visually represent anything when proportional scales can be used instead.

    • Martin Vermeer

      On the contrary! Log-log scales depict a power law as a straight line, making visual judgement of goodness-of-fit and extrapolation trivial.

      • J_JamesM

        I beg to differ. They make it extremely difficult to grasp the proportional change over time, something that might be more important than extrapolating trends (which is usually bad policy to begin with). For example, if you were to represent population growth over time with log scales, it would probably look like a boring line. If it were proportional, you would be able to see much easier how quickly it increases.

    • Joe Dick

      Hey, J_JamesM, I do a simplified graph for Scientific American, and you insultingly called it “stupid” and endlessly decried it in public of late, despite my link to an Imperial College of London Article of a log-log graph. Which is it? Make a simple graph to get the point across, or plot it correctly?

      I’m reminded of Robert Heinlein, and “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”:

      “Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes.”

      You go around harassing anyone that tries to enlighten the world about technology and its uses, and those who disabuse the opportunity by selling snake oil, and when confronted with a simple graph, complain that it’s not complex enough, and confronted with one that explains the full truth, you complain all the louder.

      Cope with the mathematics, and its graphical representation, or shut the heck up.