TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Real wholesale price of kWh li-ion cells, at the end of 2012/start of 2013.

Discussion in 'Battery Discussion' started by Zzzz..., Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    East Asia/Canada
    #1 Zzzz..., Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    In the third quarter of 2012, however, the weak demand from the 3C industry drove the prices of 18650 cylindrical li-ion cells to US$0.12-US$0.2/Wh (watt hour)

    So this translates to $120-$200 range per kWh.
    If company is willing to place sizable orders, price most likely would be at the lower end of the range, probably even reaching below $120 per kWh for high volume.

    http://news.cens.com/cens/html/en/news/news_inner_42230.html

    Sure, those 18650 cells are optimized for notebook/tablet markets. And while altering chemistry for longer lifespan would cost extra $$$, it would be more like few %, possibly few dozens %. But such cells definitely would not cost 2x.

    My point is that there is so many journalists and "analysts" around who claim ridiculous costs of kWh in the press... Just pointing out market realities.
     
  2. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    7,047
    Standard 18650 $/kWh have always been much better than other automotive optimized chemistries and cells.

    That's only the enclosure cost. A battery module costs $1400 each and you need three or four for a pack.
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?11237-What-will-a-Chevy-Volt-replacement-battery-cost-in-2020&p=115141#post115141

    It's more clear it's only talking about the enclosure under this link:
    http://www.newgmparts.com/parts/2011/CHEVROLET/VOLT/?siteid=213815&vehicleid=1447713&diagram=CT11205&diagramCallOut=1

    There's no way GM is charging only $160/kWh at retail pack level when Tesla's $400/kWh is already deemed inexpensive. Heck, EV hobbyists would jump at the chance and bulk order if that was the case.
     
  3. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    East Asia/Canada
    Regardless of what GM do, point that commodity li-ion cells already sell for around US $120 per kWh still stands. And top players, like Chinese Lenovo, Korean Samsung and US Apple probably getting better prices then $120, sure on undisclosed contract terms.

    PS. "Standard 18650 $/kWh have always been much better than other automotive optimized chemistries and cells." <--- That is hilarious! Rofl! In the other thread your are trying reall hard to prove that cells produced for notebook/tablet market are exactly the same as the one produced for automotive applications! You are just trolling, right?:wink:
     
  4. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    I think what he is trying to say is that the 18650 form factor has always been cheaper per watt than other automotive form factors, like the batteries used in Volt and Leaf for example. One has to remember that while some li-Ion batteries may be close in price to the 18650 form factor, their weight and or chemistry isn't well suited for automotive use.
     
  5. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    7,047
    Yes, that's what I'm trying to say. The only other point I wanted to add is that the chemistries typically used in "automotive" type cells (like lithium iron phosphate, lithium managanese) are also available in the 18650 format. Those chemistries also tend to cost more per kWh so they aren't typically used in consumer electronics.

    What I mean by "standard" 18650 is the lithium cobalt based chemistry (basically unused for automotive application, only Tesla has used it). I responded as much in the other tread, but I guess I should clarify here too.
     
  6. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    East Asia/Canada
    I totally agree with this claim. But with high volume orders other form factors while retain price disadvantages, would come relatively close to 18650 prices... Besides, as Tesla Motors quite successfully proving so far, there is nothing wrong with 18650...
     
  7. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    East Asia/Canada
    EUR 180 == US $237 per kWh. Seems a way too high estimate, but still better then most claims out there. Nevertheless I believe actual price is way lower then $237 for most contracts signed in 2012.

    Consolidation across the Li-Ion battery market gaining speed | Press archive 2012 | Press | Media | Roland Berger
     
  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    8,572
    Location:
    Winchester, UK
    You believe or you have proof?
     
  9. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    867
    Location:
    East Asia/Canada
    #9 Zzzz..., Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    No, no proof exist, at least not publicly available one. All parties involved are under NDA.

    But hard fact - you can see price per kWh of commodity 18650 cells. That one is known (see first post).
    Commodity cells use mostly LiCoO2. With LiNiMnCoO2 and to some degree LiNiCoAlO2 chemistries are on the raise.

    We know for a fact that there is nothing wrong with cobalt oxide for automotive use, Tesla Roadster was using it and Roadster doing better then Leaf. And with an introduction of Model S it looks like TM think that there is nothing wrong with NCA chemistry too. So two out of three chemistries popular on electronic market are already proven to be ok for EVs.

    So what is commodity cell and how it is different form automotive? Most expensive part, cathode material is virtually the same(particle size range, additives, some process tweaks still apply, but do not add to cost too much). That mean that cells produced for auto manufacturers benefit from same market trends that affect commodity li-ion cells. And anode is virtually identical for almost all cells mass produced now. Electrolyte formulations on the other hand could be very different, and greatly affect cells performance and longevity. My guess would be that automotive cells use more expensive formulations, in attempt to prolong calendar and cycle life of the cells. And there are such things as separator, case and packing/testing equipment.

    Other factors that affect price is prolonged warranty, liabilities, need for more strict QC etc. They sure add to price per kWh. Plus some parts of the processes that auto producers might want to use covered by patents and thus are adding some extra fees on top.

    But bottom line, if you take all of the above into account (excuse my English), the price auto-producer pay for a cell should not be even 30% higher then bottom price on commodity market. If automaker pays 2x, aka $240 per kWh, he is doing something wrong. Reason for that - auto industry have a huge leverage in terms of purchase power. Automakers could dictate terms and demand better prices. But that by itself is double edge sword, the shear amount of orders rule out majority of cell producers out there, they are too small to deal with. And even big battery producers most likely would need to expand, build new plants, expand existing ones...

    Plus I specifically made a remark of 2012 contracts, it take years to expand battery production and supply chain. So cars like Volt might or might not benefit from lower 2012 prices. And sure enough I'm talking about chemistries popular on commodity market for electronics. If automaker would choose different chemistry, he would be stuck with less competitive supply chain and above calculations would not apply. Or if he simply do not care - like in case of compliance cars. But possibility of getting +-$150 per kWh is there.

    I don't think "I believe" is a proper wording. More like "I think" or "my educated guess would be" :smile: But no, no proof.
     

Share This Page