A long time ago (in the nineteen-sixties), when I was growing up, batteries cost a few bucks and we used them in flashlights, transistor radios, and kiddie toys; and they were pretty uncomplicated devices.

Fifty years later consumers spend a lot more on batteries and battery-based technology.

Electric car batteries — $10,000.00.

Residential solar power backup batteries — $5000.00 to $20000.00.

The economics of batteries have changed enormously — batteries will play a major role in residential power, commercial power, transportation, and communication.

World’s Largest Building to Manufacture Batteries

To put all this in perspective, consider the Tesla Gigafactory, world’s largest building opened last year, outside of Sparks Nevada.  Tesla Corporation plans to produce more lithium ion batteries at this one location than were produced in the entire world in 2013, by 2018 approximately 35  GWh/year of its new 2170 batteries.  According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk the 2170 will be the cheapest lithium ion battery ever with the highest energy density,.

Says Musk, “We have the best cell in the world that is also the cheapest cell.”

Battery Technology/Prices in Rapid Flux

According to a 2017 study by McKinsey and Company battery costs have fallen from approximately $1,000.00 per kWh in 2010 to $227 per kWh in 2016, and are projected to fall below $100/kWh by 2030.  $100.00/kWh is considered to be the magic price point for battery storage where electric cars can compete head on with internal combustion engine cars.

Green Applications Rule

Pretty much all progress in battery technology is being driven by two green applications vehicular energy storage for electric cars and grid energy storage ( mainly solar and wind ).  Even those two applications are converging (see The Afterlife For Electric Vehicle Batteries: A Future Source Of Energy Storage? and Wikipedia article Vehicle-to-grid) in ways that could not be imagined a generation ago such as using parked electric vehicles for grid stabilization and backup storage and recycling LIthium Ion batteries from electric vehicles

 

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