World in 2030 With Faster Battery Improvements

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF) forecasted in the Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020 that battery pack prices will get below $100/kWh in 2024 and reach $61/kwh in 2030. EV battery demand has a slow start to the decade, with 2020 shipments 14% lower than in 2019. But by 2030 demand grows almost 14-fold to 1,755GWh. Manufacturers have announced plans totaling 1,769TWh of annual capacity planned by 2025. China still dominates, but capacity is growing in other regions.

There are developments suggest that battery prices will drop faster than even the Bloomberg NEF forecast. $100/kWh could happen this year or next. Prices could reach $30-40 per kWh by 2030. There are also analysis where there could be 6 Terawatt hours per year of battery production in 2030 instead of 2.5 Terawatt hours per year. 3 THh/year for electric cars would mean 30 million electric cars. More batteries and cheaper batteries mean the electrification of transportation and the world will happen faster.

$100/kWh is the projected price of batteries where electric cars without subsidies become cheaper than regular cars.

Lab research shows lithium-iron phosphate batteries, which does not require nickel or cobalt, has a possible pathway to prices as low as $80/kWh. James Frith, head of energy storage at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London said today’s batteries cost about $147/kWh, down from about $1,000 in 2010 and $381 in 2015.

There is a lot more room for improvement if silicon anodes and dry cell batteries are mastered and produced in large volumes. Having triple the batteries would mean three times as many electric cars or more battery for the storage on the electric grid.

There are estimates that the Tesla Model 3 Performance using a 75 kWh battery pack has a $120 per kWh cost. This means the battery pack costs about $9,000. If Tesla is able to scale up production, they could bring the cost per kWh could come down to $100. The battery pack would cost $7,500 to build and reduce the $53K price of the car by about 3%.

There are various claims that a CATL (China battery company) with a LFP (lithium iron phosphate battery) has reached a $100/kWh price. There are rumors that Tesla could announce a $100/kWh battery at Battery day in September.

SilLion is a small company that works on silicon anode batteries and electrode technology for commercial cylindrical cells. They enable higher-energy batteries by using high-loaded silicon anodes, nickel-rich NMC cathodes, and a non-flammable ionic liquid electrolyte.

This could potentially lower the costs of batteries by 30%.

This technology would be compatible with the Maxwell dry cell battery technology that Tesla acquired earlier.

Tesla is keeping a presence around the battery research activity at the University of Colorado.

In 2017, SilLion talked about a prototype targeting 390 watt hours per kilogram.

If Silicon Anodes can be mastered there is the theoretical potential to achieve 6000 watt-hours per kilogram. However, there are many trade-offs and difficulties handling changes in the anode during operation. Even if the 20X gain could not be reached getting to 1000 watt-hours per kilogram would make electric planes feasible and would provide cars and trucks with over 1000 miles of range on one charge.

I view the situation with lithium-ion like the situation with silicon semiconductors from 1980 to 2020. There was always the potential that completely new technology and materials would displace silicon for computer memory and computer processors. However, silicon remained dominant.

The upper limit on energy density and the lower limit on lithium-ion battery cost appears to be far better than previously believed. Billions of dollars per year in research and development will produce solutions that will advance what can be done in high volume factories.

There are projections that lithium battery production could reach 6 terawatt-hours per year.

SOURCES- Sean Mitchell, Hyperchange, Teslarati, Bloomberg NEF
Written By Brian Wang, (Brian owns Tesla shares)

30 thoughts on “World in 2030 With Faster Battery Improvements”

  1. Nah. Just hydrogen fuel stations are much costlier than petrol ones. And you need electricity to make hydrogen. Ineffective process, bad idea. Very flammable.
    Toyota still didn’t gave up on their fuel cells and want to sell them.

  2. Lol. Using hydrogen for energy storage and in transportation sector is just dumb, inefficient. Not even worth opening the powerpoint. 
    Of course Toyota is one of the sponsors and still didn’t gave up on their fuel cells.

  3. Reports of Lithium-IRON batteries with million mile durability and 25 – 50% improvement in range. Battery Day will be interesting – remove Cobalt may mean reduce battery pack cost by over 25%.

  4. Does it matter if it’s the tech or the people’s use of the tech? In practical terms the question is: is this tech good or bad for these people.
    Though if it is clearly the people then you could try to gatekeep who has access to it.

    eg: The ability to make a firearm at home has been around since they were invented. But as long as it was restricted to people who have the mental and emotional capability to do detailed metalwork projects it just about never resulted in any problems. Now that the tech is becoming more available to the lower levels of the food chain… who knows?

  5. I suppose the simple-minded (mine) continuation of this point would be: Is it Bad tech or Bad people? .. and at the risk of right-left-ing this conversation … at what point do we protect/ regulate people against their own poor impulse control?

  6. Of course, but the reality of the World, is that there are not even half-enough financial and labor Resources in the World to meet even the barest, minimum, absolutely near-death Poverty, Disease, and primitive-essential Infrastructure upgrades required in the G-20 countries, much less the remaining poorer 150+ countries, despite the nonsense that Greta and her ilk may proclaim. Re-distribution of even 1% of the top 10% would have such a low return after just one season, you may as well just flush the Cash. Its not a ‘teach to fish’ vs ‘give a fish’ thing- its where is there any fish? And that is putting aside the True Issue of entrenched cultural norms and hyper-classism (almost caste-ism) that would make BLMers cry with self-shamed privilege. The only Real solution to meeting all Millennium goals is to do the Charter Cities thing – which many have proclaimed as just another type of western values Colonialism – fine whatever – better to lose on your own terms than win on anyone else’s, i guess.

  7. Sure, but is there any reason to focus on the child labor of cobalt vs anything else?

    Yet you can bet we’ll be getting bombarded with news articles about how electric cars are built on blood, because that’s what sells the clicks.

    I’m not saying that industries relating to electric cars or anything else I happen to like should get a pass while we deal with the other abuses – even if that makes a kind of ethical sense right now, it would be a problem if it gets baked in. But we tend to prioritize based on sensationalism, and that isn’t any better.

  8. Current electric cars (and trucks) are noticeably overweight because of their giant battery packs relative to IC alternatives.
    Lighter batteries would help.
    But I agree that given a choice between a battery pack that was half the weight, and a pack that was half the cost, the cheaper alternative would have the biggest positive effect on the EV market.

  9. Artisanal mines sound like where the really cool, avant garde cobalt comes from, used in experimental electric hipster cars that us normies have probably never heard of.

  10. but is there a good reason? as with propane….and that’s why I wouldn’t buy FCEV unless I really need an H2 extender. I am guessing battery tech on mid-weight vehicles (>2,500kg) will be more than 500 miles for a <$50k vehicle in the next 2 – 5 years for climates with winter overnight temps above -20C with reliable start-up.

  11. Yes as I have stated an overabundance of renewable is key to making hydrogen “work”. You use H2 production to sop up excess electricty that the grid doesn’t need. Basically use H2 production balances the grid and acts as an utterly massive TWhr battery to carry over solar power from summer to winter. (Personally I find this model to be one of making lemonade from lemons. Far better would be to… build some Nuscale nuclear plants to provide power).

    A few months ago I watched a Youtube video about a UK guy who owns both a Model S and a Mirai. He compared them, contrasted them, likes them both for different reasons, etc.

    What REALLY struck me was that in the UK the cost per mile for electricty/hydrogen was basically the same. Electricity is so expensive that hydrogen is viable. Everyone who rags on Nicola for FCEV semis is using US electricity prices. Crazy expensive electricity makes fuel cells viable in Europe.

  12. There is no H2 fuelling in peoples homes or garages. You refuel at a hydrogen station, same model as current gas stations.

  13. My issue with H is in its uncertainty at being completely de-centralized. Engineering concerns about having H2 fuelling out of people’s homes, multi-family buildings/ garages, and smaller facilities mean we may be left with gas-station culture as it unacceptably exists today with its near-arbitrary pricing and corporate overlordship. If H2 fuelling can be miniaturized and placed everywhere, legalized as a utility rather than commodity, and become low-maintenance/regulation, it would be an exciting supplement to batteries, de-centralized power, and de-carbonization (at some point). My brief visits to Japan and their integration, i think, into home heating/ powering with H2 was inspiring. It appears that Honda and other car companies tried to vertically integrate hydrogen without luck into the ‘total lifestyle’ – vehicle, home, personal power.

  14. Pg 22 shows the balance with cheap solar being a (the) key factor. Throw in Space Solar for 2050, seems reasonable to be started by then. Unless we don’t start at all.

  15. Now that’s Interesting (and can be applied to almost every Post at this Blog): “…The Sisyphean Cycle of Technology Panics…” – – “…Widespread concerns about new technologies—whether they be novels, radios, or smartphones—are repeatedly found throughout history. Although tales of past panics are often met with amusement today, current concerns routinely engender large research investments and policy debate. What we learn from studying past technological panics, however, is that these investments are often inefficient and ineffective…. highlight how the Sisyphean cycle of technology panics stymies psychology’s positive role in steering technological change and the pervasive need for improved research and policy…. the Sisyphean cycle of technology panics can ultimately empower psychology to steer predictable public concerns about emergent technologies into a more productive and efficient future…” woah. soft sciences to the rescue.

  16. Energy density is really more of a concern for flying things (drones, planes, spaceships). Cars not so much, cars are all about $/kwhr.

  17. Agreed. The more people and money looking at an increasingly staple and common component, the faster the improvements and cost drops.

  18. I think they are underestimating the rate of change. We will reach these goals in 6 years as oppose to 10 yrs.

  19. Don’t forget the Do-Gooders trying to maintain socio-econmic justice which may red-tape many projects, tech, and progress velocity: “… Demand for raw materials used in the production of electric car batteries is set to soar, prompting the UN trade body, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), to call for the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of raw materials, which include human rights abuses… For example, two-thirds of all cobalt production happens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), about 20% of cobalt supplied from the DRC comes from artisanal mines… up to 40,000 children work in extremely dangerous conditions…also…scientists are researching the possibility of using widely-available silicon, instead of graphite (80% of natural graphite reserves are in China, Brazil and Turkey)…”


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