In what may be a small boost to automakers, car battery prices fell 14 percent in the first quarter of this year from just a year ago. In electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles the battery can often account for up to 25 percent of the overall cost of the vehicle. Sales of many cars that use batteries have been sluggish. While cars such as the 2012 Nissan Leaf, 2012 Mitsubishi iMiEV, and 2012 Lexus CT 200h have all seen mixed or discouraging sales, the Toyota Prius and even the Chevy Volt of late have seen an uptick.
The price decrease in car batteries is due largely to higher supply levels. During the past few years with the government’s help, battery manufacturers have been able to increase production capacity, while demand has remained relatively low. If present trends continue, battery costs are expected to drop dramatically, which could have far-reaching impact on EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids.