Battery Costs Plummet 50% in Three Years, 87% Since 2010
Average market prices for battery packs have fallen 50% since 2016, driven by technology advances and an increase in commercial-scale purchases, and continuing price drops will contribute to a virtuous cycle of increasing global electrification, according to an annual price survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
The numbers point to a stunning 87% price drop since 2010, from US$1,100 to $156 per kilowatt-hour.
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BNEF’s latest forecast, which puts battery prices at around US$100 /kWh by 2024, “is an example of how advancements in battery technology have driven down costs at rates faster than previously predicted,” Utility Dive reports. The latest projection is US$20/ kWh lower and six years faster than what BNEF predicted as recently as 2016.
“Achieving $100/kWh by 2024 looks promising, even if there will undoubtedly be hiccups along the way,” BNEF said in a statement. But the analysts were much less certain about the precise path that will deliver on its forecast of US$60/kWh by 2030, because “there are a variety of options and paths that can be taken.” Utility Dive says those options could include “standardizing battery pack designs across different EV models or introducing new technologies to improve the batteries themselves, like new cathode materials.”
Anticipating a drop in the cost of the lithium-ion technology which essentially “mandates the cost of electric vehicles for consumers and the ability of battery storage projects to compete in electricity markets,” BNEF also projects today’s $20-billion global LiON market tripling to $60 billion by 2025, and approaching $120 billion by 2030. Those cheaper batteries will increasingly attract commercial and industrial sectors, especially any business that depends in any way on vehicles.
The uptake is already beginning, Utility Dive notes, with Amazon ordering 100,000 all-electric delivery vans earlier this year, and DHL announcing pilot programs for its StreetScooter electric delivery vehicles in U.S. cities beginning next year.