Nubo wrote:We are seeing pronouncements from Chevy, Tesla, Nissan… Seems like they're all going to be making "affordable" 200-mile EVs within just 2 or 3 years.
How is this possible?
Is there some major change in cost per battery kWh on the horizon?
Are they counting on some huge influence on the battery marketplace from the Tesla Gigafactory?
Some new battery technology that's being kept close to the chest? Magnesium-ion? Other?
Why does an affordable 200-mile EV make economic sense to manufacture in 2017 but today we have less than half of that?
Just a wild guess, but we have up to 85 kWh in a car now (and have had them in the field for 3 years). So it is more a matter of cost than anything. So to be viable similar to the Leaf in 2010 you would need the cost per kWh to be about half, and the energy density to be somewhat better.
A quick google search show density improve at roughly 11% per year, with wild claims for new anodes doing better:
http://electronicdesign.com/power/here- ... propulsion
Meanwhile cost estimates are shown to roughly halve every 8 years:
11% per year translates to a doubling every 6-7 years, which is the time frame being discussed (2016-2017 introduction being 6-7 years after the Leaf launch). So you basically just need the industry to keep doing its normal trend, no massive breakthroughs required.
So why have we not seen 11% year longer range at each model year? My guess is that for an automotive application the requirements of testing and ruggedness are such that multi-year qualifications are required. Nissan may have chosen to not dribble longer range to us to avoid a costly re-qualification, or hell the marketing department may have worked their "magic" on it to maximize the buzz for the 2017 introduction.