Cheap Batteries – Tesla’s Top Competitive AdvantageFebruary 17, 2020
Tesla’s dominance over competitors is largely determined by the cost of a key component of any electric car – its batteries. At Tesla, as it turned out as a result of complex calculations (the manufacturers themselves hide this data intensely), the price of the cylindrical battery used does not exceed $ 158 per kWh. Porsche Taycan and Chevrolet Bolt EV flat batteries cost at least 25% more. And prismatic batteries in BMW electric cars are already almost 40% more expensive. The sad news for all Mask’s competitors is that it will not be possible to reduce the lag in the price of batteries in the next 10 years.
Tesla remains the market leader in electric vehicles, but it may soon face full competition from traditional automakers who are actively shifting their production to electric cars. But to beat the company of Ilona Mask will not be easy, notes Business Insider. The secret of her success is not only in the high speed of making managerial, engineering and marketing decisions, but also in the relative cheapness of the batteries used, the most expensive component of an electric vehicle.
As analysts at Cairn Energy Research Advisors calculated, last year, the cost of sets of cylindrical batteries used in Tesla cars was $ 158 per kWh. Competitors use batteries of a different shape, which are more expensive.
For example, Porsche Taycan and Chevrolet Bolt EV flat batteries cost $ 200 per kWh. The prismatic batteries used by BMW are even more expensive – up to $ 253 per kWh.
Car manufacturers do not disclose the cost of the batteries used in their cars, so Cairn Energy researchers had to calculate it using a complex mathematical model. It included over 500 variables, including prices for raw materials and chemicals.
The analysis also revealed that since 2016, battery prices have dropped significantly. Then the cost of cylindrical, flat and prismatic batteries was $ 265, $ 285 and $ 320 per kWh, respectively. As you can see, it was the cylindrical batteries that fell the most.
If this trend continues, then by 2030 the cost of 1 kWh for cylindrical batteries will be $ 98, for flat batteries – $ 137 and for prismatic – $ 143.
Thus, the right choice of batteries will support Tesla’s leadership even after ten years.
At the beginning of last year, Tesla acquired the startup Maxwell, a well-known manufacturer of supercapacitors. The transaction was a surprise to many analysts, because these details are not used in Tesla electric vehicles. Recently, Elon Musk explained the reasons for the absorption: according to him, his goal was to access Maxvell’s battery products.
Tesla is developing its own batteries and intends to build a factory for their production. Obviously, this will allow her to further reduce the price of batteries and strengthen her price dominance over competitors in terms of 1 kWh.
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