As you may know, President Obama announced that he wants one million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2015. But thanks to tepid EV sales from the industry’s leaders – General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Nissan (TYO: 7201) – not everyone’s convinced it can happen.
As The New American reports, “Throughout July, a whopping 125 Chevy Volts were sold, making the seemingly low 281 units sold in February a groundbreaking month.”
And with sales stagnating, Reuters expects that only 667,000 units will be sold by the 2015 deadline. Sorry, Mr. President!
The problem is, most consumers can’t get over EV sticker shock.
It’s tough to blame them, too. The Volt starts at $40,280… the Nissan LEAF goes for $35,200… and Tesla Motors’ (Nasdaq: TSLA) upcoming Model S sells for $57,400.
Like The New American adds, at these prices, “car shoppers would actually save money purchasing a Mercedes-Benz C350 over a Chevy Volt.”
Luckily for EV manufacturers, though, one German company’s new technology should boost sales by cutting thousands off the steep price tags.
The “Holy Grail” Of Cutting EV Costs
You see, the biggest culprit behind inflated EV prices is the battery. It adds $10,000 or so to an EVs manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP).
What’s worse, owners need to replace the lithium-ion battery every 10 years. So the cost of ownership is a huge deterrent.
But DBM Energy’s new advanced battery – Kolibri – is constructed with a special lithium metal polymer. Early reports suggest this battery will cost 89% less than existing batteries and will only need to be replaced approximately every 20 years.
Plus, it trounces existing batteries in three other important ways…
~ Weight: A Kolibri is reportedly 29% lighter than the battery pack in a Tesla Roadster.
~ Efficiency: A Kolibri has enough power to keep an Audi (ETR: NSU) A2 cruising for an astonishing 400 miles on a single charge.
~ Charging: You can fully charge a Kolibri battery in just six minutes. The Leaf takes closer to six hours.
The potential for this new technology seems very promising and the company’s already in talks with major automakers worldwide. It foresees a mainstream rollout of its superior Kolibri battery not too far off.
Once this happens, it’s reasonable to assume that you’ll be able to buy a Nissan LEAF for around $26,300. Or $18,800 after factoring in the government tax credit. And since Toyota’s (NYSE: TM) bestselling Prius retails for $23,810, I’m convinced this new battery will ramp up EV adoption considerably.
So whether or not we reach the President’s EV goal by 2015, the market clearly has potential to catapult higher in the coming months and years. And any innovator in the space with the technology to make the transition easier on our wallets is certainly worthy of your attention.