. . . Regarding the discussion of economies of scale,
here is quote on the subject of NiMH battery production
from David E. Goldstein, occasional contributor to the
EV1 list and current President of the Greater Washington
DC Chapter of the Electric Vehicle Association, writing to
the Internet's EV Discussion List on September 29, 1999:
"As few as 6,000 battery packs per year -- that's right,
6,000 annual EV sales -- would drive the cost of NiMH
EV batteries down by several *orders of magnitude*,
enabling a cost-competitive EV to appear in time to
meet the goals of the 2003 California ZEV requirement!
"Whether this will happen in the face of heavy
automotive and oil industry opposition remains an
open and tantalizing question. BTW, I attribute this
cost vs. volume information to no less an authority
than Robert Stempel, former General Motors CEO,
who is now at the helm of GM-Ovonic Battery
(Energy Conversion Devices in Troy, MI)."
David: I hope you don't mind my quoting you.
Not only do I not mind the quote, but I would like
to add that at yesterday's (03/23/00) DOE/NREL
National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Advanced
Battery Readiness Ad Hoc Working Group Meeting
in Washington, D.C., GM Ovonic representative
Paul Gifford reiterated that a production level price
of $250/kWhr is achievable "in large quantity" and
that *used* NiMH EV modules would then have
a remaining economic life of ~$100/kWhr in marine
and solar operations.
Ovonic NiMH life expectancy in an EV has
not yet been established, but is conservatively
believed to be about 3 times the life expectancy
of today's sealed lead acid batteries, and possibly
longer. Thus, a 30 kWhr EV pack, as in an EV1,
would have an initial manufactured cost of ~$7,500,
less a remaining economic value of $3,000 at
trade-in, for a net cost of $4,500 divided by perhaps
a 6 to 8 year life span -- conservatively, $750/year.
Further subtracted from this figure would be the
*avoided maintenance costs* of NOT having to
replace at least two sets of lead-acid batteries.
Mr. Gifford did not state what the "large
[production] quantity" of NiMH EV packs
would have to be in order to achieve these
quantities of scale, but past Ovonic and
USABC presentations have consistently
shown a $250-300 production cost per
kilowatthour to coincide with a 20,000+
vehicle annual production range, with
reductions beginning at about the
6,000 vehicle production level.
Clearly, even if the "remaining economic
life" of NiMH batteries is not fully captured,
the volume production costs -- aided by a
significant R&D "push" from the U.S.
Advanced Battery Consortium -- which
includes the major auto manufacturers --
shows a SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL FOR
PURCHASING, OPERATING AND
MAINTENANCE COSTS ON PAR WITH
This, and the overwhelmingly positive
response shown to date by EV owners
and lessees, provides some of the
strongest arguments to date as to
WHY incentives and mandates such as
California's ZEV legislation should be
STRENGTHENED, not weakened -- as
critics have argued on the basis of
limited-production cost figures.
> Dave Goldstein
> President, EVA/DC and
> Program Development Associates, EV Consultants