High Voltage: More Sectors Are Electrifyin’ As Batteries Get Cheaper, Says BNEF

Battery prices, which were above $1,100 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2010, have fallen 87 per cent to $156/kWh on average in 2019.

By 2023, average prices will be close to $100/kWh, according to the latest forecast from BNEF.

$100/kWh is important – this is the price commonly thought to be the point where EVs will start to reach price parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

The path to achieving $100/kWh by 2024 looks promising says BNEF, “even if there will undoubtedly be hiccups along the way”.

(Some carmakers like Tesla are reportedly producing at the $US100/kWh mark already.)

These falling costs are making electrification of commercial vehicles like delivery vans “increasingly attractive”.

Maybe battery-hungry electric semis could be attractive sooner rather than later, physically and financially.

In 2019, battery cost reductions are thanks to increased order sizes, growth in EV sales and the continued penetration of high energy density cathodes, BNEF says.

Interestingly, low raw materials prices – for graphite, lithium and cobalt — throughout 2019 don’t rate a mention.

And it will be the introduction of new pack designs, changing supply chains, and falling manufacturing costs that will drive prices down in the near term.

This emerging industry will get bigger, better, and more efficient in other words.

“According to our forecasts, by 2030 the battery market will be worth $US116 billion annually, and this doesn’t include investment in the supply chain,” BNEF senior analyst James Frith says.

“However, as cell and pack prices are falling, purchasers will get more value for their money than they do today.”