Honda: EVs with lithium-ion batteries will always cost more than ICE cars; solid-state tech the way forward


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Electric vehicles will always be more expensive than equivalent internal combustion-engined cars, according to American Honda VP of business and sales Dave Gardner. This is due to the lithium-ion batteries that are most commonly used in EVs on the market today, Gardner told The Drive.

“We [Honda] don’t really believe that the current lithium-ion technology is the long-term solution,” Gardner said, instead pointing to solid-state battery technology that is still in development to be “the game changer” for the carmaker. Separately, Mercedes-Benz also said in April this year that EVs are still significantly more expensive than ICE vehicles to make.

Although solid-state batteries still have some way to go before mass production roll-out and therefore are “not around the corner,” Honda is actively developing them and has increased R&D efforts towards them, and the carmaker will be attempting to carry out small small-scale tests, according to the report.

These tests are increasing in scale, with Honda having announced that it will be investing $310 million (RM1.43 billion) into an experimental production line project to evaluate the mass production of solid-state batteries.

Beyond Honda, the entire automotive industry faces the issue of cost, as supply chain issues could diminish the cost reductions already made on lithium-ion batteries, which began at US$1,200 (RM5,529) per kWh, driving down to US$132 (RM608) per kWh in the past decade.

Further cost reductions in batteries will have to come from cheaper raw materials rather than improved efficiency from the battery itself, and with the aforementioned supply chain issues, raw materials for batteries are not likely to be found.

This means that the present day prices for EVs might be as low as they can currently get, and with that in mind, Gardner’s view that solid-state batteries will be the turning point crossing the price-per-kWh threshold could be likely, according to the report.

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