A Sneak Peak into Lithium-Ion Batteries Market Prices
• Ideally, the market price of lithium should be passed on to the consumer via manufacturers. But the unordinary business cycle of Li-ion batteries is forcing the prices of storage to decline.
• The sales of electric vehicle is lower than expected and the production of the Li-ion batteries is higher. Thus, manufacturers are cutting down their profit margins and selling the batteries at a lower price. In addition, stiff competition in the EV battery market is leading to further price drops.
• Manufacturers are continuously building giga factories to meet the future demands. This further requires heavy investment and recurring income from battery sales, further compelling the manufacturers to sell their products at lower prices.
• The complex structure of the supply chain is further making it difficult to meet the demands.
• To address the above challenges and increase the profit margin, manufacturers are heavily investing in improved battery and production technology to reduce the initial cost.
• Car manufacturers, on the other hand, are heavily betting on the battery price drop to meet the EV economics.
• The dropping prices of battery is expected to improve or be stagnant by 2020.
The most important parameters to consider before selecting any battery technology such as lithium cobalt oxide and lithium polymer batteries for electric vehicle are energy capacity, charge and discharge rate, cycle life, and thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is the most important phenomenon because it relates to battery and vehicle safety. Thermal runaway occurs when the battery is overcharged, resulting in heat and fire. Various manufacturers are giving utmost importance to thermal runaway and increasingly focusing on building the casings for the battery to manage the thermal heat. The market is expected to witness a lot of improvement in this particular area. In addition, cycle life, that is, the lifetime, should be considered before selecting a Li-ion chemistry. The lifetime of the electric vehicle battery depends on its charging and discharging cycle. An excess amount of charging and discharging cycle will let batteries start degrading early. Temperature also plays a crucial role in the charging and discharging cycle. In cold temperature, the batteries will deplete early, but its lifetime will be more. However, in hot temperature, the battery such as lithium cobalt oxide, lithium polymer batteries and others will last long, but the lifetime will be less and the battery will degrade sooner than expected. Thus, it is very important to build a chemistry keeping in mind the region’s temperature.
The increasing demand for electric vehicles would lead to the decline in prices of lithium-based electric vehicle battery technologies such as lithium cobalt oxide, lithium polymer batteries and others. The battery prices are anticipated to plummet to $100 per kilowatt hour by 2025. Major manufacturers, such as Toyota, are trying to build solid-state battery technologies to further improve the efficiency of electric vehicles.