Electric vehicles still have plenty of juice

Someday, and we hope that day comes soon, we won’t have to listen anymore to those critics who seem to enjoy knocking electric vehicles, despite booming sales and all the benefits we’ll gain when this industry takes off.  Lithium ion batteries like these will soon be powering more and more electric cars.  Argonne National Laboratory via Flickr/Creative Commons

So we’re really delighted to see this report on CNN that says that the future of EVs might be brighter than most think. The take-away? The price of batteries is likely to drop, “making the gap between electric and conventional cars much smaller” by the end of the decade.

(Photo at right of lithium ion batteries, from Argonne National Laboratory via Flickr/Creative Commons.)

CNN was covering a new study by the consulting firm PWC based on a survey of major automakers and battery manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, and Sanyo. They found that economies of scale will significantly drive down the price of car lithium ion batteries by the end of the decade.

Oliver Hazimeh, who leads the clean transportation practice at PWC, was quoted in the story: "It's a nascent industry that will suffer a lot of ups and down. But we still believe fundamentally that the electric car is a matter of not if, but when."

PWC estimates that the global EV market will need to grow 2.5 percent to 3 percent annually to drive down battery battery prices down this much. Already in the U.S. sales are growing about 5 percent a year, so “maintaining this kind of growth rate hardly seems a stretch,” according to CNN.