Rechargeable batteries are a key enabler to achieve the long-term goal to transform into a climate-neutral society. Within this transformation, battery costs are considered a main hurdle for the market-breakthrough of battery-powered products. Encouraged by this, various studies have been published attempting to predict these, providing the reader with a large variance of forecasted cost that results from differences in methods and assumptions. This article creates transparency by identifying 53 studies that provide time- or technology-specific estimates for lithium-ion, solid-state, lithium–sulfur and lithium–air batteries among more than 2000 publications related to the topic. The relevant publications are clustered according to four applied forecasting methods: technological learning, literature-based projections, expert elicitations and bottom-up modeling. Method-specific assumptions are analyzed in-depth and discussed with regard to their results and empirical evidence. Further, 360 extracted data points are consolidated into a pack cost trajectory that reaches a level of about 70 $ (kW h)−1 in 2050, and 12 technology-specific forecast ranges that indicate cost potentials below 90 $ (kW h)−1 for advanced lithium-ion and 70 $ (kW h)−1 for lithium-metal based batteries. Recent studies show confidence in a more stable battery market growth and, across time-specific studies, authors expect continuously declining battery cost regardless of raw material price developments. However, large cost uncertainties are found to exist on technological and chronological levels that will remain a key challenge for researchers and industry in the future.

Energy & Environment Science nº 9

Lukas Mauler, Fabian Duffner, Wolfgang G. Zeier, Jens Leker

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