Rapidly falling costs of battery packs for electric vehicles

Journal name:
Nature Climate Change
Year published:
Published online

To properly evaluate the prospects for commercially competitive battery electric vehicles (BEV) one must have accurate information on current and predicted cost of battery packs. The literature reveals that costs are coming down, but with large uncertainties on past, current and future costs of the dominating Li-ion technology1, 2, 3. This paper presents an original systematic review, analysing over 80 different estimates reported 2007–2014 to systematically trace the costs of Li-ion battery packs for BEV manufacturers. We show that industry-wide cost estimates declined by approximately 14% annually between 2007 and 2014, from above US$1,000 per kWh to around US$410 per kWh, and that the cost of battery packs used by market-leading BEV manufacturers are even lower, at US$300 per kWh, and has declined by 8% annually. Learning rate, the cost reduction following a cumulative doubling of production, is found to be between 6 and 9%, in line with earlier studies on vehicle battery technology2. We reveal that the costs of Li-ion battery packs continue to decline and that the costs among market leaders are much lower than previously reported. This has significant implications for the assumptions used when modelling future energy and transport systems and permits an optimistic outlook for BEVs contributing to low-carbon transport.

At a glance


  1. Cost of Li-ion battery packs in BEV.
    Figure 1: Cost of Li-ion battery packs in BEV.

    Data are from multiple types of sources and trace both reported cost for the industry and costs for market-leading manufactures. If costs reach US$150 per kWh this is commonly considered as the point of commercialization of BEV.

  2. Modelled experience curves for battery packs.
    Figure 2: Modelled experience curves for battery packs.

    Learning rate is based on modelled cost data and estimated cumulative capacity for the whole industry, market leaders, and other industry with market leaders subtracted. Underlying uncertainty in cost data must be taken into account when interpreting results.


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Author information


  1. Stockholm Environment Institute, Linnégatan 87 D, 115 23 Stockholm, Sweden

    • Björn Nykvist &
    • Måns Nilsson
  2. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Division of Environmental Strategies Research, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

    • Måns Nilsson


B.N. conducted the main part of data gathering, review, analysis and writing. M.N. contributed to analysis and writing.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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