Some of the key questions that arise in relation to EV purchase centre around battery life and cost. Range anxiety has been tackled with much improved EV batteries that match the mileage span of traditional fossil fuel vehicles and an increasing EV Charging Network. Now that EVs are becoming more mainstream, a common query relates to the cost of battery replacement if and when that time comes.
Multiple players are entering the market and technology is advancing rapidly. Until now, battery manufacturing has been largely dominated by Asian companies but that is set to change. As reported in recent Energy Hub articles, the EU is placing a large emphasis on green stimulus packages to tie their economic recoveries to climate policy goals - designating a huge €550 billion euro for climate protection and green technologies.
Even prior to the pandemic the European Battery Alliance was formed to encourage local development of these technologies and reduce reliance on imported products. They allocated 3.2bn euro for battery related programmes at multiple European companies including BMW, BASF & Fortnum.
In just ten years, the cost of a lithium-ion battery has dropped by almost 90%. In 2010 an electric vehicle 30 kWh battery would have cost over $35,000 - today the same one would be less that $5000. By 2023, a report by Bloomberg suggests the cost will come down to around $100 per kWh, dropping further to $61 per kWh in ten years time. This would set the cost of the aforementioned battery to around $1830 in 2030.
Another key factor regarding replacement is that improved EV battery technology will only elongate the duration of a battery’s lifespan. Currently, most EV batteries are guaranteed for about 8 years / 100,000 miles but that is based on a very conservative estimate made by car manufacturers. Research Company Consumer Reports found that the average EV battery pack’s lifespan to be around 200,000 miles or nearly 17 years of use assuming 12,000 mileage per year.
By that logic, today’s EV purchaser may be looking at the price of replacing a clutch by the time they need to replace their EV battery - even if they decide to keep their EV for 17 years..
Image Credit: European Battery Alliance / EIT