Battery Expert Predicts The Obvious For The Future: Lower Cost, More Range

4 weeks ago by Mark Kane 20

XALT Energy equipment

Subhash Dhar, CEO of XALT Energy (and founding president of Ovonic Battert) encourages that electric vehicle batteries will become cheaper and more powerful over the next five years.

In other news, Christmas will arrive this year on December 25th.

XALT Energy battery cells

Dhar said at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, that he expected lithium-ion costs at $125/kWh by 2022 on the module level.

Those lower costs are to come from: improvements in materials, processes and automation, as well as new cell designs and higher volumes.

At the same time (again by 2022), Dhar expect that the energy density will increase to 400 Wh/kg and 900-1,000 Wh/L.

The article provides tricky NEDC-ish numbers for the electric vehicles’ energy consumption at 125 Wh/mile (78 Wh/km), which means that 50 kWh would be good for 400 miles (640 km). We doubt we would apply such an assumption, and it lowers confidence in other predictions.

“Looking five years out to 2022, Dhar expects energy density of lithium batteries to reach 400 Wh/kg, which means a driving range of 400 miles (640 km) employing a 50-kWh battery pack.

“In practical terms,” he explains in an interview following his Traverse City presentation, “a typical electric car would consume about 125 Wh/mile (78 Wh/km) at a constant speed of 55 mph (88 km/h). A 50-kWh battery with 400 Wh/kg of specific energy can easily take the car 400 miles (640 km) within the allocated weight limits for the battery.

“With all other cabin comfort load (including air conditioning and heating), the range will drop by 15%. This can be compensated for without sacrificing the 400-mile (640 km) range by increasing battery capacity to 57 kWh.””

Beyond the next five years, Subhash Dhar sees solid-state technology as the next-generation solution, which will appear first in consumer electronics (by 2025) and then later in EVs (by 2028) 10 years from now.

Among other predictions we noted:

  • the main problem for EVs in the future will not be the batteries, but insufficient charging infrastructure
  • after 2025, all new cars will be electrified (at least micro-hybrid) in the Western world and China
  • lithium-metal to replace graphite as the anode material by 2022 (then lithium-titanate will be preferred by 2030)
  • lithium-air technology to offer more than 1,000 Wh/L and 500 Wh/Kg in 2030
  • lithium-ion battery production to increased four times by 2025 (half will be used in electric vehicles)

source: WardsAuto

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20 responses to "Battery Expert Predicts The Obvious For The Future: Lower Cost, More Range"

  1. Alan says:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/dyson-will-build-radically-different-electric-car-by-2020

    Both Dyson & Toyota seems to think they will have a Solid State Battery in their cars between 2020-2022.

    It’s a fair bet that IF this is the case, the rest won’t be far behind in bringing them to market pretty swiftly.

    1. JoeInTheUK says:

      Unfortunately I think it’s clear there won’t be solid state in EVs by 2020.
      If solid state is going to be available in cars by 2020 it would be available right now in smaller gadgets like phones and power tools where the extra cost would not be too high for the benefits.
      So if it’s not ready or even available for those now, scaling up to large deployments in EVs just doesn’t seem possible in oniy 1 or 2 years time. Indeed 2022 which is what Toyota promised a few months back doesn’t seem possible, so 2020 is just someone’s fanciful dream, maybe they will have yet another in an endless line of “concept” cars by then.

  2. SJC says:

    2022 is five years away, lots could happen in that time but gauge this on what has happened the last five years.

  3. FreePat75014 says:

    Planning for 125 Wh/mile (= 78 Wh/km) is very shy…. My Tesla Model X 100D with world record 2.4cx rating for an SUV, is on its average local commutes arround Paris city center consuming # 250 to 380 Wh/km depending average or very stuck traffic, also # 350Wh/km on Motorways at 130km/h, and then only consumes 200 or a little less on rare inter-city trips at low 60 to 90km/h speed with rare stops and little traffic allowing near constant speed. May be 78kwh/km is for decents only ????

  4. Jake Brake says:

    $125/kWh at the module level is very doable for 2022 with current cell tech but this guy seems to think its possible with a leap to 400wh/kg cells.

    1. Ambulator says:

      Assuming the raw material cost is the same (it won’t be, but it could be higher or lower), the cost should go down with greater specific energy. The patent costs will eat a lot of the savings, though, and the market would be willing to pay more.

  5. Priusmaniac says:

    There is a need for lower production cost but there is an even bigger need for more competition with more producers so that we don’t get a 125 $/KWh production cost only to withness triple that price once sold to the final consummers. In a sense it is better to have a 175$/KWh production cost but sold at only 200$/KWh from a producer taking a 15% margin instead of 200%.
    Producing ev with cheap battery production costs is useless if the customer doesn’t get a lower cost as well.

  6. Tony Marco says:

    Subhash Dhar, CEO of XALT Energy

    Owner of Crystal Ball

    1. Windbourne says:

      U sure it is Crystal Ball, and not Lucille Ball?
      It could be the later.

      1. Get Real says:

        No, your thinking of Desi Arnaz.

  7. scott franco says:

    Everyone seems to assume that improved battery tech will be used to extend the range of EVs. The problem is that when one maker uses it instead to reduce the cost, the others will be caught napping (yes, you Tesla).

    I suspect this is already happening with the new leaf.

  8. TwoVolts says:

    “Looking five years out to 2022, Dhar expects energy density of lithium batteries to reach 400 Wh/kg, which means a driving range of 400 miles (640 km) employing a 50-kWh battery pack.”

    I don’t see how energy density allows an increase in efficiency to 8 miles per kWh. What does energy density (per kg of pack weight) have to do with ‘mileage’ (i.e. MPGe)?

    1. Jason says:

      For a given pack energy/capacity, an increase in energy density will result in reduced mass, thus increasing efficiency.

      Will it be enough to get 8 miles per kWh, no idea.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Will it be enough to get 8 miles per kWh, no idea.”

        It’s pretty easy to show that it won’t; that it can’t possibly. That would be roughly double the range of even the newest BEV passenger cars. Even if the battery pack weight was reduced to zero, it wouldn’t double the range! Nor anywhere close to doubling it.

        It’s a remarkably clueless, brain-dead claim. For the “CEO of XALT Energy (and founding president of Ovonic Battert)”, Mr. Subhash Dhar is astoundingly ignorant regarding even the most basic engineering of EV passenger cars!

        1. Timmy says:

          Remind me not to invest in them when they don’t go public.

    2. Rich says:

      I think Dhar’s numbers are far from reality with one exception. This Tesla might get that kind of efficiency: http://tesla.radioflyer.com/build.html

      In regards to your question regarding how energy density correlates to improved efficiency. I assume the more energy available per pound/kg would result in a weight reduction of the battery pack. Reducing weight should improved efficiency. However, I don’t think this is true until the target range is reached. After the target range is reached (400? miles EPA range), any additional energy density gains should result in weight reductions and higher efficiency – miles/kWh or km/kWh

      1. Djoni says:

        Weight is not the major efficiency factor.
        Higher energy density will have many benefit on ride, comfort, cargo, form factor and performance, but marginally on efficiency.
        But that will not be of any help if it’s not cheaper.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Weight is not the major efficiency factor.”

          Quite correct. The size reduction from increased energy density is far more important than the weight reduction. Smaller size for the battery pack allows the entire car to be smaller, and thus less expensive to make. It also allows a reduction in frontal area, which — unlike weight — does have a significant impact on energy efficiency.

          But claiming roughly double the energy efficiency in a passenger car EV from a somewhat improved energy density is not merely wrong, it’s an astoundingly ignorant claim from someone who should know something about battery tech!

    3. Mr. M says:

      Nothing. He is just doing two different statments.

      1.) In the future your battery will have 400Wh/kg
      2.) If you go by the highly optimistic NEDC you can drive 400miles with 50kWh.

      For each and every normal car you can calculate NEDC consumption*(1.3 – 1.5) = real life consumption. So going by his words, in 2025 it should be possible to drive 266 miles with 50kWh. Well ok, maybe if your car is trimmed for extreme efficiency.

  9. Randy Bryan says:

    Lets hope the next round of battery improvements [and evse equipment] include faster charge times.. 10 minute charges would remove most objections to taking EVs for long distance travel.. That’s about 750kw charging power. Of course, charge stations will need battery storage, too.

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