An investigation sheds light on the developments in battery production. Car manufacturers are facing new challenges, and consumers are facing more transparency and lower prices – by 32 percent by 2028.
The management consultancy Berylls Strategy Advisors, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute Research Manufacturing Battery Cell (FFB), dared to take a look into the future of battery production and published the results of the research. The studies show that changes in cell chemistry, battery design and production itself could lead to cost reductions of up to 32 percent for electric car batteries by 2028. This means that electric cars would be at the same price level as combustion engines in a good five years in terms of manufacturing costs. In addition, the EU wants to introduce several measures in the coming years that will ensure more transparency for consumers - including, for example, the so-called battery passport. The forecasts in detail.,
Costs for batteries
Currently (as of 2021), the average manufacturing costs for e-car batteries are 123 euros per kWh. The battery thus accounts for around a third of the total vehicle costs. A tie with the combustion engine average is reached when only 94 euros are incurred per kilowatt hour. A value that Berylls and FFB see achieved in 2028. Several factors should be responsible for this. On the one hand, material costs in the field of cell chemistry could increasingly be saved, which also counteracts the rising raw material prices. According to the authors, the proportion of cheaper LFP cells (lithium iron phosphate) will increase worldwide. In addition, NMC cells (nickel-manganese-cobalt) with a higher nickel and lower cobalt content are already being developed. The latter is a particularly expensive raw material. The savings potential is estimated at up to 4 percent.
The expected development in terms of cell design represents a major lever - up to 15 percent of the production costs can be saved here. A simpler structure aims to shorten production processes and reduce the use of materials. Thanks to the cell-to-pack architecture (CTP) , module production itself can also be dispensed with. In order to achieve a further cost reduction of up to 13 percent, optimization of individual production steps is also expected. Innovations and advances, such as in dry coating or forming processes, could reduce energy requirements by a quarter. Increases in capacity and the associated cost reductions were also forecast by Prof. Maximilian Fichtner at the auto motor und sport congress .
An increasing feed-in of self-produced green electricity (e.g. via photovoltaic systems on the factory halls, or similar) into the production processes should also reduce the operating costs as Berylls and FFB.At the same time, increasing standardization and automation should reduce reject rates.,
The battery pass
The European Commission wants to introduce the battery pass as a mandatory digital document from 2026. This is intended to make it transparent for the customers of the automobile manufacturers how the sustainability of the supply chains, the life cycle and the recycling of a battery is ordered. In summary, the EU calls the evaluation criteria "ESG performance" (Environmental Social Governance). Those responsible are concerned with uniform and credible communication - and because the topic of sustainability is also becoming increasingly relevant for consumers, the pressure on manufacturers to be able to advertise with truly sustainable value chains is increasing accordingly.
As early as 2024, manufacturers are to be obliged to provide information about the CO₂ footprint of a battery, and from 2027 an EU-wide limit value is to ensure even tighter regulations. In addition, offsetting projects will no longer be permitted as climate compensation. This means that only those products can be labeled as climate-neutral if the manufacturer really did not produce any emissions. However, the final set of rules, including the exact definition of all evaluation criteria for ESG specifications and the limit values, is currently still pending.,
Green electricity as a location factor
If the corresponding templates are developed and approved in this way, a reduction in CO₂ emissions across the entire production process to an increasingly important competitive advantage. In addition to technological advances in production itself, the choice of location in particular offers potential for reducing emissions. This is due to the different electricity mix of the countries. For example, more coal is converted into electricity in Poland than in Germany, but in Sweden the proportion of green electricity from renewable sources is higher than in Germany. This is why the battery accounts for up to 50 percent of the CO₂ emissions caused in the manufacture of an electric car. With an electricity mix like that in Poland, there are 19 kilos of CO₂ per kWh of battery capacity, while in comparison Germany produces 10 kg of CO₂, while a kWh produced in Sweden causes only 4.5 kg of CO₂ because the proportion of renewable energies in the mix there is 62 percent. You can find out where batteries are currently being manufactured in Germany and Europe in our photo show at the top of the article.
According to forecasts by Berylls Strategy Advisors and the Fraunhofer Institute for Battery Research Manufacturing, a cost reduction in the production of electric car batteries of up to 32 percent can be expected by 2028.This would put the electric vehicles at the same price level as current combustion vehicles.
The increases in efficiency are driven by the need to comply with future EU directives and the desire of consumers for sustainable products. The trust in upcoming innovations in production, which should ensure greener value chains, is of course purely hypothetical for the time being. A set of EU regulations, for example for the “battery pass”, has also not yet been formulated. The 2026 is to come in order to give e-car customers transparent information about the sustainability of individual electric car batteries.