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If anything - shouldn't the EV battery have more requirements and be more expensive?

  • It needs to be lighter as that affects efficiency
  • It needs to have safety aspects like not blowing up in a crash
  • A car is likely going to drain it faster and more often too.

A household battery on the other hand just sits static in one place for years on end.

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  • To add to your argument, for optimal performance in hot climates EV batteries need to be cooled, which would add to the cost of the battery or car. When comparing the cost of EV batteries to house batteries how many of each are produced globally? The cost of items is related to the numbers produced. Generally, the more of an item produced the lower the cost of production for each item.
    – Fred
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 4:02
  • In the same vein, why are nickel-iron batteries, which are extremely durable and require no rare metals, and which have been produced for 120 years, are still being sold at prohibitive prices? Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 17:29

2 Answers 2

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I think the simplest explanation is volume.

EV's contain large batteries, typically 60 kWh and upwards.

Domestic batteries are more typically in the 5~10 kWH range.

So EV manufacturers (who plan on selling ****-loads of EV's) can buy at volume and integrate/ship/support at volume which has a huge impact on the final cost.

Imagine that a battery supplier brought a 1 kWh battery to the domestic market. They still have all the engineering/marketing/sales/support costs associated with "a battery pack" even though it is a small battery.

The good news is that as EV production drives the expansion of battery production, this will have a knock-on effect on the domestic battery market.

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Indeed. There's something very much wrong in the pricing of lithium ion batteries.

One strange feature is that generally you end up paying ~1 USD / Wh for e-bike and power tool batteries. Of course, these are battery packs not individual cells, but still it's very expensive indeed. If car manufacturers can buy batteries for ~0.1 - 0.2 USD / Wh, and tool/ebike batteries cost 1 USD / Wh, someone is making very much money at the expense of customers.

Another strange feature is that large LiFePO4 batteries when purchased as single large 12.8 V / 25.6 V batteries, cost a lot of money. Maybe if you're very lucky, you can find a Chinese supplier with reasonable cost of ~0.3 USD / Wh, but then again car makers tend to use good quality cells and the cheapest Chinese supplier you can find may not be the best quality.

I can't understand the current market of lithium ion batteries. In the case of lead acid batteries, the market tends to make sense, batteries are available for small buyers at a reasonable cost. However, for lithium ion this ain't true.

I don't know the answer. I just know that there's something very much wrong.

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    I wonder if it has something to do with patents? Lead acid is an older technology so most patents are probably expired. Some vendors of Li-ion batteries may still be paying costly licensing fees for manufacturing methods, distorting costs.
    – LShaver
    Commented Sep 2, 2023 at 18:10
  • @LShaver: The economies of scale for each Li battery type may also be a factor. EV battery packs are larger than packs for tools etc. Focus is currently on larger battery packs as use in EVs, domestic battery storage packs & grid storage battery packs.
    – Fred
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 0:24

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