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Batteries For Electric Cars Speed Toward a Tipping Point

A new survey shows battery prices fast approaching cost competitiveness

First Electric Only Car-Charging Station Opens in the U.K.
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The price of battery packs for electric vehicles is fast approaching a tipping point. According to a price survey conducted by BloombergNEF, EV makers soon will be producing models that are as affordable—and as profitable—as comparable combustion engine models, and without the help of tax subsidies.

The average price per kilowatt-hour for a lithium-ion battery pack, according to the survey of nearly 150 buyers and sellers, has fallen to $137, down 13 percent from $157 in 2019. A decade ago, these batteries sold for more than $1,100 per kilowatt-hour. The threshold for price parity with gasoline engines, according to BNEF, is around $100/kWh. In the report, BNEF analysts said they expect battery makers to hit $101/kWh in 2023. For the first time, the survey found some prices reported at the cost-competitive level, with batteries for e-buses in China selling at $100/kWh.