General Motors CEO Mary Barra asserted that the company’s electric cars will turn a profit by 2021. Such a turn of events would be downright remarkable since electric cars consistently lose money. The Chevrolet Bolt EV‘s battery pack costs around $10,000 t0 $12,000 alone, according to battery experts.
Reuters detailed Barra’s promise in a new report published on Tuesday and a number of factors could help see GM’s promise through. One major factor are the automaker’s future batteries. Currently, batteries rely heavily on cobalt, which has become the single most expensive element required of lithium-ion units. As more automaker demand cobalt for battery-electric cars, the price will only climb.
GM’s new battery design, according to sources familiar with the plans, told Reuters that nickel quantities are vastly increased. Nickel allows batteries to store and produce more energy. Other engineering developments include more efficient battery packaging, cooling systems, and energy management. All of these developments, and certainly some unknowns, could plunge GM’s battery cost from $145 per kilowatt-hour to less than $100 by 2021.
Going back to the Bolt EV, the next battery system could cost just $6,000 in 2021, Jon Bereisa, a former GM engineering director, said. Meanwhile, the battery could pack 45 percent more range thanks to technology improvements.