Will Lithium-Ion Batteries Fuel The Automotive Future?

Tesla Model 3

JUN 29 2018 BY EVANNEX 31


As Elon Musk alludes to battery breakthroughs at Tesla, a larger question arises: will batteries really “fuel” our automotive future? According to Bloomberg, “For an energy source that’s been around for three decades, the lithium-ion battery is only just hitting its stride.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla’s Model S (Image: Tesla)

“We are at an inflection point. Each year will beat the previous year,” explains Ravi Manghani, a Boston-based storage analyst at GTM Research. “It’s definitely an ‘oh wow’ moment.”

Bloomberg reports, “The future of the battery is going to be driven by the car. Surging demand for lithium-ion batteries, boosted by uptake from automakers, has created efficiencies of scale that have sent prices plummeting. Last year alone, the price of battery packs fell 24 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. These cost declines, in turn, are encouraging the continued expansion of battery power… that will only accelerate.”

Above: Electric vehicles dominate demand for lithium-ion batteries (Source: Bloomberg)

Looking back, “batteries first began appearing in electric vehicles in 2006. But it took until 2014, when automobiles accounted for nearly 15,000 megawatt-hours, for vehicles to exceed a 25 percent share of the world’s total lithium-ion supply, according to Avicenne data. Between 2014 and 2017, electric vehicles’ use of lithium-ion more than quadrupled to more than 71,000 megawatt-hours, with a similar jolt forecast by 2023.”

Furthermore, “Electric vehicles reached 50 percent of lithium-ion demand in 2016, although it inched past consumer electronics for the first time the year prior, according to Avicenne data. With electric-vehicle sales rising and demand for smartphones slowing, the gap will only grow wider.”

Above: Electric vehicles have quickly outpaced all other products/use cases for batteries (Source: Bloomberg)

Christophe Pillot, a partner and director at Paris-based Avicenne Energy, puts this all into perspective: “One million cars consume the same amount of lithium-ion batteries as everything else.”

And, accelerating this change is “some governments, mindful of climate change and carbon-dioxide emissions, [which] are taking steps to boost demand. California wants five million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, and the state is essentially mandating that automakers either sell EVs or pay for zero-emission credits. China wants 7 million electric cars onto the road by 2025 and modeled its electric-car mandate on California’s program; BNEF expects China to account for nearly half of the global EV market by then.”

Above: Countries around the world are planning to ban gas and diesel powered internal combustion engine vehicles (Chart: Seeking Alpha)

Could batteries become the world’s new oil? According to Bloomberg, “the rise of electric vehicles and renewable-energy sources may mean that some crude may stay in the ground. BP last year said battery-powered vehicles could flatten projected oil-demand growth from cars in the next 20 years.”


Source: Bloomberg

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

Categories: Battery Tech, General


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31 Comments on "Will Lithium-Ion Batteries Fuel The Automotive Future?"

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See who is not on the list? USA, we look like a bunch of idiots.

Trump’s administration won’t last forever. Hopefully he’ll be out of the office by 2020 and hopefully the next president can reinstate all the crap he’s undone. And then USA can still join the list with similar deadlines. It’s a lot of hoping but I believe it can happen.

So It’s idiotic not to infringe peoples freedom?

I may be interested in and supportive of EVs, but strictly against any bans whatsoever.
After all one of the greatest achievements of modern society is a never heard of level of freedom!

You keep your carbon dioxide out of my air and you can emit all you want.

We both know by the time these bans go into effect, the majority will already have EVs, it barely makes a difference to CO2 production by then anyways, but makes a big difference for those who like ICEVs

And it makes a big deal to others that do not want the pollution.
Look, for something like an offroad, it makes sense to have exceptions.
But for a standard car? Nope.


Wow. At least someone on this site has a brain and understands government doesn’t have to stick their nose in every single thing.

What rights do you have to pollute my air and cause me loads of health issues?
Esp. when there is a BETTER alternative.

Your RIGHTS and freedoms stop at the tip of my nose. And pollution is one of those issues.

We can start to go to ridiculous ends, is a bike better than an EV? Yes! Is a 3 room flat better than a house? Yes. This could go on for quite a bit, life is about compromises.

The middle way between worth living and being physically able to live. I am of the opinion current cars are clean enough and older cars are rare enough to not play a significant role and draw the line here, seeing “worth living” as too impeded by bans and the gains too little.

I guess we agree to disagree on this issue

Except in your case it is just an opinion. What is happening to the environment is fact.

“I am of the opinion current cars are clean enough…”

There’s this concept called the scientific method, which has been proven far more reliable and valuable over the past several centuries than any individual’s opinion. Perhaps you choose to stick your head in the sand and ignoring reality, but global warming won’t go away just because you ignore it.

So reducing energy and building material needs for a smaller flat instead of a house is not a fact? That taking a bicycle is not a better choice than taking a car?
Those were purposefully chosen to be ridiculous, but correct.

Thank you for pointing out the problem.

“So It’s idiotic not to infringe peoples freedom?”

Your “freedom” to pollute the air with noxious gasses and carcinogen-laced soot particles emitted from your car’s tailpipe, ends where my nose begins.

What is idiotic is to continue to allow internal combustion engines to be sold without imposing a carbon tax on those, a tax which would at least partially defray the cost to public health. Not to mention how global warming is increasingly infringing on the freedom of literally everyone in the world, but more so on the very poorest regions than on other areas.

“one of the greatest achievements of modern society is a never heard of level of freedom!”

Two others among modern society’s greatest achievements are the U.S. passing and actually enforcing clean air and water acts. (Altho the Trumpster administration is busily trying to stop that as fast as it can!)

It is idiotic to not have the freedom of breathing clean air but the freedom to pollute. The perceived freedom that you think you have must be the most overrated thing ever…

What else do you want, freedom to die on the street when you are sick? Freedom to not get proper education? Freedom to walk around with unstable, untrained and unchecked people with assault rifles?

Ron Swanson's Mustache

EVs are superior, we’ll all have switched over by then government mandate or no.

The technology should speak for itself and not need government mandates. Let the free market decide. It’s only a matter of time before the tech is at a point where even the average American will want to switch over. As much as Tesla drivers want to believe it, we’re just not there yet (unless your budget for a new car is at least $50k).

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“The technology should speak for itself and not need government mandates. ”

Then the Stooooopid Goooooberment needs to quit subsidizing gasoline.

“Let the free market decide”? How about a good dose of “freedom” too ?

While all the unrequited lovers of Ayn Rand are dreaming about their personal Nirvana, the rest of us are in the throes of coping with the now obvious consequences of Global Warming and the ICE sourced pollution inflicted on us thanks to that same laissez-faire BS.

Heaven help all of us if attitudes like that prevail for much longer.

Because Tesla just prospered because of government intervention, not because they produced a desirable car, right?

And eco-friendly companies don’t become popular because the public started to care about sustainability, but because the Government mandated them to be popular, right?

“Let the free market decide.”

Is it the “free market” that is using trillions of dollars in U.S. tax money to pay for the U.S. military protecting overseas supply lines for falsely “cheap” oil? Is it the “free market” that is spending the blood and lives of U.S. service men and women to protect those supply lines, and guaranteeing the safety of our Arab oil trading partners?

Nope, that’s a massive tax subsidy of the Big Oil industry. End that, force Big Oil to pay for their own security, and there would be absolutely no need for any EV subsidy.

America does not need to be on this list.
Who does, is California. If they do a ban by 2030, then it will be over for car makers doing ICE only.
In fact, I would like to see them make it 2025 for ICE only and 2030 for any ICE, except special vehicles (i.e. offroading).

In the end, it likely will not matter. I think that by 2022, that majority of ppl will NOT be buying ICE save special vehicles.

2022 sounds a bit optimistic; but it’s certainly true that it will happen before most of these proposed bans take effect. Still, they are important as a signal, making it clear to car makers and consumers who don’t understand yet. The increased investments and raised awareness will in turn help to speed the transition 🙂

We had battery companies, ahead of their time they died.

Batteries in general, yes. Lithium ion batteries, no. Solid state is the future.

Considering that Tesla is supposed to be coming out with another Li-ion cell that is close to 50% denser, it would likely mean that li-ion will be around for a while.

At this point, I wouldn’t bet on lithium ion or solid state or any specific battery technology. Batteries are, as we all know, plummeting in price, but still too high to really ignite the rEVolution. This means corporations and universities have an almost unimaginable financial incentive to make the BBB (big battery breakthrough). This is why we see a press release every time someone figures out how to tweak some part of a lithium battery to improve some aspect of its performance by a percent or two.

I am confident that someone, somewhere will make the BBB that Changes Everything, plus we’ll see that steady trickle of minor enhancements. I just wish they would hurry up.

Ionic Materials’ prototype “plastic” solid state battery is a lithium-ion battery.

Commercial solid-state batteries, when they appear, might still be lithium-ion batteries, merely with a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid electrolyte.

Hopefully, CA will get smart and join the ban for all ICE by 2030. That would force car makers to switch.

$100/kWh battery pack will be here very soon, people worldwide will vote with their pocket book.