Last year an astonishing 10.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) were sold globally. Some believe EVs will account for as much as 50% of the market by 2040. There is zero chance we’ll meet these targets, however, without better batteries – much better.
First, they will need to cost less. For almost a decade, declining prices were the norm but last year inflation also hit battery manufacturers hard – average battery pack prices rose from $141 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to $152/kWh. Sector analysts generally agree batteries need to cost less than $100/kWh for EVs to be economically competitive with gasoline powered cars. The second improvement needed is battery density, or the maximum driving range for a given battery pack weight. The final challenges are related to charging: safety, speed of charging, and number of charges before functional degradation (currently around 3,000 cycles).
We take a deep dive into the battery structure and how this all works to understand the opportunities and challenges in the sustainability space.