The annual Electric Drive Transportation Association meeting held in conjunction with the Washington Auto Show is one of the largest events on American soil for electric vehicles. The EDTA conference is a place where automakers, battery developers, suppliers, industry experts, and journalists converge to discuss electric vehicles. The event covers numerous aspects of electric vehicles and include well know industry insiders such as Felix Kramer of CalCars. Kramer is an industry advocate and constantly searches for the truth.
Recently several groups combined to release a report on the cost of lithium-ion batteries in the future. The groups included the Committee on Assessment of Resource Needs for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies and the National Academy of Science. The report concluded by stating that li-ion batteries would drop from a price of $1,000 per kWh now to around $400 per kWh by 2020. The report drew a lot of criticism for various reasons. Many believe that the estimates are simply too high citing that current prices are closer to $600 per kWh and will drop significantly lower than the $400 estimate by 2020. The National Academy of Science is supported by federal government interest and their findings would likely influence future decisions by the Department of Energy. The accuracy of this report is thus vital to future decisions regarding electric vehicle funding.
In steps Felix Kramer. Kramer was not entirely convinced that the report is accurate so he asked questions. Kramer directly asked A123 Systems, Ener1, Electrovaya and Johnson Controls-Saft (all are li-ion battery companies) about their true costs and feelings about the report. The unanimous consent was that the report listed costs that we way too high.
A123's Ric Fulop stated that his company will sell packs for less than the $600 kWh estimate by 2012, 8 years before the report indicates that price is achievable.
Michael Andrews of Johnson Control-Saft responded by saying that their company will see prices under $500 kWh by 2015 with prices continuing to decrease thereafter.
Additional responses can be found at the CalCars site by clicking the link below.