Here comes another confirmation of the trend and catalyst for the "iPhone moment"for electric cars we have been discussing before.
"Once technology improves, we will have the Switch - when consumers will be switching to the electric cars and create mass market. Demand is already there - we need just to have electric cars which will be better than ICE ones. "iPhone moment"for electric cars will come with the better range and low cost as promised by recent announcements about advance of Lithium Battery Technology and new marketing approach, when Lithium Battery is leased rather that sold with electric car. You will pay monthly fees for the lithium battery lease and all the trouble with warranty will be gone - you can exchange or upgrade your battery. In case of Renault ZE payments are promised to be in line with ICE cars: cars are priced as their "normal" ICE comparable models and your electricity and lease payments per month will be the same as for the Gas at this level, but with rising Gas prices you will get some additional gain."
The cost for lithium-ion batteries used in electric-drive vehicles will fall by about a third between now and 2017 as battery-production technology improves, lithium supply increases and battery packs are sold in higher volumes, green-technology research firm Pike Research said in a report released this week.
Lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles will fall to an "installed price" of about $523 per kilowatt hour, Pike predicts. Meanwhile, the firm estimates that global revenue from lithium-ion batteries specifically used for transportation will jump to $14.6 billion in 2017, up from $2 billion last year.
"The market for Li-ion batteries will be driven primarily by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles, which require much larger battery packs than hybrids," said John Gartner, research director at Pike Research, in a statement.
Lithium-ion batteries present a classic chicken-or-egg issue with electric-vehicle adoption because battery costs need to decrease in order to yield the lower sticker prices that will entice more shoppers to consider buying EVs and hybrids. Conversely, battery packs need to be produced in high volumes in order to get costs to fall.
Even so, demand for electric-drive vehicles is expected to rise over the next few years as fuel prices increase and automakers offer a wider choice of plug-ins. Pike Research optimistically predicted last year that cumulative global sales of plug-in vehicles will reach 5.2 million units in 2017, up from 114,000 vehicles in 2011.
Estimates of battery costs have varied as automakers and tech analysts have looked into ways to make them less costly. The Nissan Leaf EV's battery pack has been reported to be as cheap as $375 per kilowatt hour, while Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said last month that battery costs may fall to less than $200 per kilowatt hour "in the not-too-distant future."