Battery prices are down and falling | Bloomberg report

Posted
4 December 2019

It doesn’t seem like so long ago, but 2010 really was a different world. The Model S was two years away, the 1st generation LEAF was fresh off the factory floor, and battery prices sat at $1,100 USD (~$1600 AUD) per kWh — according to the latest report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

This week Bloomberg released their 2019 Battery Price Survey, which found that real battery prices have fallen 87% in those 9 years to approximately $156 USD/kWh (~$228 AUD). That shift has enabled — and been fed by — some significant growth in the EV space in that time. 

Bloomberg attributes the rapid fall to growing EV sales, investment from major automakers, and a boom in new technology including high energy density cathodes and battery pack designs.

They’re predicting that by 2023 prices will approach $100 USD/kWh — the same figure often cited as the turning point for EVs becoming cheaper than combustion cars.

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James Frith, senior energy storage analyst at Bloomberg NEF, authored the report: 

“According to our forecasts, by 2030 the battery market will be worth $116 billion annually, and this doesn’t include investment in the supply chain. However, as cell and pack prices are falling, purchasers will get more value for their money than they do today.”

Those falling prices are projected to have a knock-on effect as industries adapt to the benefits of electrification: commercial and industrial applications will become significantly friendlier to the technology as it develops to suit their needs and their budgets. Long-haul vehicles and heavy industry require greater capacity; small-scale delivery businesses require cheaper packs; personal tools and motorcycles need batteries that are smaller and lighter.

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Bloomberg are also expecting standardisation across major automakers as battery manufacture becomes ubiquitous. By the latter half of the 2020s, as prices fall below $100/kWh, priorities will shift toward improving pack energy density to improve efficiency. 

Emerging technologies like solid state battery packs will also play a role — particularly in the longer term. Electric vehicles’ future is looking bright indeed.

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