True NiMH Battery Costs (posted via Honda EV mailing list)

Note, the Ovonics NiMH batteries on the EV1 are "old tech" 50 wh/kg batteries, whereas the Panasonic NiMH on our Honda EV+ are a Japanese version which gets 70 wh/kg. As far as battery life, our first pack was removed at 27k miles for "study", and our second pack was going strong at 61k miles when our EV+ was exchanged for "study". Well, at least Honda gives you back another EV when they take one--unlike GM! There was an article in OC Register about GM's indefinite plans to "fix" the "problem" with their gen 1 charge port--meanwhile, they took our 1997 GM EV1, and won't give it back!

Dave Goldstein [Was:[EV1-CLUB] CARB staff report excerpts] On Thu, 23 Mar 2000 12:44:49 -0800 "Roncace, Robert A" writes:

. . . 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. Regards, Bob Roncace

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 significant *orders-of-magnitude* 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 EQUIVALENT ICEVS.

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

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