Electric vehicles expected to move mainstream as power costs will drop

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 14, 2011

Amid the declining cost per kilowatt-hour, experts say that vehicle electrification will be more mainstream as the price of charging the lithium ion batteries also drops. Ford Motor Co. said that the current cost is $500 to $700 per kilowatt-hour.

At the Automotive News Green Car Conference in suburban Detroit, Jon Bereisa, CEO of Auto Lectrification, said that in the next 10 years, its cost may be at $350 per kilowatt.

He also said that there may even be smaller and lighter battery packs. Bereisa predicts that compared to the present lithium ion batteries, the next-generation battery packs would have two to four times more power.

As a result, there would be longer ranges from one recharging to the other. In addition, there will be smaller batteries, expanding the options when it comes to vehicle development.

Nancy Gioia, Ford’s global director of electrification, said that prevent higher costs in development, the automakers will build platforms that are capable of handling gasoline and diesel engines, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and those that run on battery electric power.

As Ford redesigns the vehicle platforms, each is being designed to handle all powertrain types. One example is Ford’s compact global platform that’s used by the 2012 Focus, 2013 C-Max five-door hatchback and a few other vehicles that have yet to arrive.

Ford is planning a Focus electric, a C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Gioia said Ford is looking for new ways to cut the energy load for features like heating and air conditioning systems, power steering systems and windshield wiper motors. Ford is doing this because it wants to cut the battery pack’s kilowatt-hour requirement, resulting in fewer batteries and lowered cost.

Topics: electric car

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