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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nissan say Leaf EV Battery Pack Cost Only $375 per kWh

Over the past month almost 12,000 people in the US and Japan have made online reservations for the upcoming Nissan Leaf EV. The $33,000 vehicle, set to be released later this year, is the first affordable all-electric vehicle from a major auto manufacturer. It's an early adopter's dream. Now Nissan has revealed the secret behind the Leaf's reasonable price: a reasonably priced battery pack.

While we've seen published 'opinion' from the likes of Vinod Khosla, Boston consulting and engineering undergrads at Carnegie Mellon all predicted doom for EVs based on a lithium-ion batteries cost around $1000 to $1,200 per kWh, the Leaf's 24 kWh battery pack costs just $9,000 to produce, or $375 per kWh, according to a report in the Times of London. In comparison, the Chevy Volt battery pack reportedly costs $600 per kWh, and even the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium only has a goal of producing batteries at $400 per kWh by mid-decade.

To those with ANY knowledge of the market Nissan's price comes as no great surprise. The wholesale price for small format Li-ion cells has been around that level for several years. 18650 li-ion batteries have been sold on eBay at the price since at least 2006. The battery pack in the Tesla Roadster reportedly costs around $20,000 which for 53 kWh is around the same price per kWh as the Nissan battery.

Nissan say they have been working on EV batteries for the past 18 years and are currently working on a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode based battery that they expect to be fitting to Leaf EVs by 2015. With double the energy density of current cells, they will give the Leaf 200 miles range on a single charge.

Nissan expect this range combined with the money savings on EV running costs will 'tip' the market the same way the European market for Diesel cars 'tipped' 15 years ago. (46% of new cars sold in EU are Diesel, as high as 77.3% in France - caused by long term Fuel costs around the US$8 a gallon mark)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. Is Nissan subsidizing cost to develope market along the lines of Toyotas prius introduction?
2. The market continues to be stymied by Chevrons burial of Nickle Metal Hydride battery pattent. This is the only proven battery to last life of car. We need Goverment to pry this patent loose from those corporations supressing this technology. 2014 is to long to wait for justice.
3. The savings of investing in electric car can not be quantified with li-ion untill we know how these li-ion batteries will last under long term full life cycle varying load & tempureture conditions and what the replacement batteries will cost. Judging from cell phone batteries, it will need frequent and costly replacement.
4. The switch to electric grid infrastructure might go much smoother were standardized upgrade modules engineered for existing vehicles drive train swap out. This would eliminate a fossil fuel burner for every electric car put into service.

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