Electric vehicles still significantly costlier to make vs cars with internal combustion engine – Mercedes-Benz – paultan.org

Battery-electric vehicles have a significant initial cost penalty over an internal combustion car, and that is not going to change anytime soon. In fact, Mercedes-Benz chief technology officer, Markus Schäfer told Road and Track that EVs won’t get any cheaper in the near term, not realistically.

This has a lot to do with battery prices, which of late has been hit with a cost spike due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. “Coming to US$50 (RM210) per kilowatt, which would lead to comparable cost basis to an internal combustion engine, I would say this is far out there. I don’t see that with the [battery] chemistry that we have today,” Schäfer said, adding that achieving “price parity” just isn’t possible with any current commercially available battery technology.

The push for affordable, high-density solid-state batteries is also years away from production, because having to mass produce them and making sure they meet intense durability requirements is a significantly time-consuming process.

The Tesla Model 3, once pitted as an affordable US$35k EV for the masses, now starts at US$48k

While the uptick in demand for EVs has helped battery manufacturers with economies of scale, it is also this scale that poses a challenge, R&T reports. Thanks to the popularity of EVs and continued growth in consumer electronics, the demand for lithium batteries is on track to far outstrip the capacity of current rare-earth metal mines.

The earth has more lithium deposits, but setting up mining operations is complicated and expensive. Analysts are also predicting that the ongoing lithium shortage won’t be solved by the middle of the decade.

“So the anticipated decrease well below US$100 (RM420) per kilowatt, that might take longer,” Schäfer said. “The chemistry, honestly, if we’re staying with the ingredients we have today… there’s not that breakthrough foreseeable.”

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