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Battery pack costs, cell costs

Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by TEG, May 16, 2009.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    There has been much speculation and difference of opinion on the actual cost of a Tesla battery pack. At a cell level, retail prices for commodity 18650 cells can come down to around $4 each, so that would be ~$27K (6831*$4) just for the cells not counting all the other stuff that goes into an ESS "Battery box" but we assume Tesla gets a much better than retail deal on a per cell basis.

    Comments about battery pack and cell prices have been scattered all over the place on this forum, so I thought I should start a new topic just for this subject.

    Along with all the variance between wholesale and resale price (both for the cells, and the completed battery box), there have been discussions about the differences in prices between Tesla's Lithium-Cobalt "commodity laptop" cells and other types of Lithium-Iron-Phosphate batteries that have different characteristics but are also being used in EVs.

    Note, Tesla says they use premium well known brand cells (although the particular manufacturer is not stated), but some of the costs comparisons are being made against upstart Chinese brands.

    With all that said, here were some "bargain basement" prices seen on the net recently:
    EVDL Archive / Forum Interface - Electric Vehicle Discussion List
    EVDL Archive / Forum Interface - Electric Vehicle Discussion List
    [​IMG]

    Much more in this thread:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/news-articles-events/2700-electric-vehicle-bashing-wapo.html
     
  2. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #2 stopcrazypp, May 16, 2009
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
    Straubel's slides suggest the prices are between $2-3 (presumably direct bulk prices).
    http://www.ostp.gov/galleries/PCAST/PCAST%20Sep.%202008%20Straubel%20slides.pdf

    The discussion here seems to confirm this, though it says $2 is for lower end 2000mah cells and that something like a 2600mah cell would be around $3. So $2.5-3/cell is probably a good estimate.
    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Sci/sci.chem.electrochem.battery/2008-03/msg00015.pdf
    The data seems to be from a presentation in 2008 International Battery Seminar in Florida with Hideo Takeshita presenting. Couldn't find a copy of the presentation though.

    ~$17-19k is what you get with $2.5-3/cell.
    If they got it down to $2, it'll be ~$14k.

    Less than $20k in cell cost would give them pretty good breathing room for a $30-36k (depending on which figure is more accurate) pack.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Great references, thanks!
     
  4. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #4 Palpatine, May 17, 2009
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
    TEG, that is incredibly funny that you should quote those posts from EVDL.
    That was my partner and he is quoting a bulk purchase of LiFePO4 batteries we organized with Thunder Sky and Sky Energy.

    Here is our website with the prices listed.

    www.evcomponents.com

    We started a business recently (last month) to import these batteries in bulk by the container.
    We sold about $250,000 in LiFePO4 batteries in about a month and basically took over the battery market within the custom EV conversion community.

    We are already getting nasty emails from another website owner "Elite Power Solutions" that was selling the same Thunder Sky LiFePO4 batteries for $2.00 per Ah.
    http://elitepowersolutions.com/products/index.php?cPath=16&osCsid=e4ae43d99c12fb3085e07c46cefa3122

    We are selling at $1.10.




    .
     
  5. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I'm also in on the buy from James and Dave :biggrin: Interesting that Elite power is emailing you guys complaining, since they are so over priced. I guess you guys didn't get the message among battery resellers to keep prices artificially high.
     
  6. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Not only that, the woman at Elite Power Solutions was trying to fix prices. If I posted her email, you would be shocked. She was suggesting that she would start a price war and the only people who win in that situation are customers. Then she started suggesting that we all set a minimum price to sell at, which was much higher than our $1.10 per Ah price.
     
  7. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    You should forward that email to the attorney general. Price fixing is illegal.
     
  8. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Right. Then you've eliminated your competition and you charge whatever you want! :biggrin:
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Tesla is they can't be trusted in issues like this.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  11. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Well if you can find used packs from wrecked Roadsters.... :wink:
    Still, in 10 years or so when you might actually need a new pack the new technology will probably be so much better and cheaper it wouldn't make sense to stick in an old pack, even if it were still viable.
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    At least for now Tesla will not allow that. There has been at least one customer total wreck of a Roadster. Tesla is retaining ownership of the hulk.
     
  13. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Did they buy it back from the insurance company?
     
  14. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    So when you buy a Roadster you don't actually own it? How does that work?
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    yup.















    .
     
  16. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Anything preventing the car owner from buying it back from the insurance company? I've done that with other vehicles in the past, usually the owner has first choice.
     
  17. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Why would Tesla buy back the wrecked Roadster? To keep competitors from taking it apart for research?

    Rumor has it that Porsche and a few others have already taken delivery of new Roadsters for research and disassembly.
     
  18. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    Maybe they just wanted to study how it did in a real-world crash.

    Does anyone know the details of the accident?
     
  19. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    Wasn't that the accident that happened in France? It was a Tesla rep who was driving, and a potential customer got injured?
     

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