Daimler expects costs for EV batteries, fuel cell cars to drop significantly

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 24, 2011

Daimler AG anticipates a huge drop in the costs for EV batteries and fuel cell cars. Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility at Daimler, told Automotive News Europe that a lithium ion battery was priced at about 1,500 euros per kilowatt hour but in the midterm, it is expected to be at a level of 400 euros. Kohler said he anticipates an even bigger price drop for fuel cells.

Kohler said that by 2015, a fuel cell car will not cost higher than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that complies with the Euro 6 emissions standard. He said that he expects EVs to be priced higher than fuel cells in less than five years. This is why Daimler is working fast to get more fuel cell cars on the road.

He said that by 2013-2014, the company seeks to bring a “four-digit-number of fuel cell vehicles to market."

In the past year, Daimler has been running a test fleet of its B-class fuel cells cars. Daimler aims to launch a second-generation of the car when it begins building the next-generation A- and B-class models on its new front-wheel drive architecture in 2013-2014.

Kohler said that it’s possible that Daimler will make fuel cell versions of the C- and E-class luxury models. Daimler has been in collaboration with German supplier Linde AG, explaining its focus on fuel cells.

Kohler said that for gas-producers in general, fuel-cells are a “very profitable business-case.” He said that he expects that in the mid-term, there could be a network of 1,000 fuel-stations in Germany alone. This means that a consumer can locate a fuel-station for the fuel cell within 30 kilometers. [via autonews - sub. required]

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