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I have been dabbling in lithium battery powered 2-wheel EV's since 2005, and the price for the Chinese-made lithium cells has not gone down in the least since about 2010 - even in spite of a far stronger US dollar. The 4.35 kWh pack in my scooter cost about $2200 in 2011 and it will still cost that much to replace the pack today.

Presumably, purchasers of very large quantities of cells such as Tesla, Nissan or General Motors are able to get their costs down - but small schmucks like me are out of luck. One problem may be that the small individual consumers of these cells tend to be affluent poeple who buy them for power systems for their large RVs and sailboats and don't present much pressure to lower prices - maybe even the opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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I am aware of perhaps a dozen different breakthroughs in battery technology, any one of which will significantly increase energy density and/or lower cost. LOTS of money is pouring into this area right now, leading to lots of research exploring various different avenues to improve batteries. However, aside from steady incremental improvements (as shown in the TESLA figure in my original post) none of these big breakthroughs will take place soon, and most will likely run into some unanticipated technical snag (hence your skepticism is well founded). But only one of them needs to bear fruit in the next decade to potentially allow us to replace our packs once BAP runs out, and there is a good chance of that. Even if no big breakthrough happens, a halving of price as TESLA predicts in the next decade is significant.
 

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But only one of them needs to bear fruit in the next decade to potentially allow us to replace our packs once BAP runs out
Sorry to disappoint you, but a new better, cheaper, faster cell chemistry is not sufficient to make replacement batteries available to us. We need two more things:
-a company willing to invest heavily into development, testing, production scale-up for a battery module exclusively targeted at the miniscule market of 451 ED3 owners.
-MB allowing interoperability with the new battery

Neither of these are likely to happen.
Face it: once the battery dies after BAP runs out, we're left with a rollerskate. Enjoy the ED until then!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Sorry to disappoint you, but a new better, cheaper, faster cell chemistry is not sufficient to make replacement batteries available to us. We need two more things:
-a company willing to invest heavily into development, testing, production scale-up for a battery module exclusively targeted at the miniscule market of 451 ED3 owners.
-MB allowing interoperability with the new battery

Neither of these are likely to happen.
Face it: once the battery dies after BAP runs out, we're left with a rollerskate. Enjoy the ED until then!
I take it you are the glass is half empty type of person. I will agree that there are no guarantees of what will happen in the future. However, while the SMART ED market has not sold well in the US, the market is far larger in the rest of the world, and that is what matters. Secondly, MB may well be the company that does all the work you describe. Not only do they have this captive worldwide ED market that will need new batteries, but the longer they can keep these ED cars running with new batteries, the more parts they can sell as other pieces break down. You don't think MB will stay on top of the latest battery developments? If they can make better batteries for less, they will certainly do so as it will increase their profit. And other companies will recognize the potential for worldwide battery replacement. I'm not saying future battery improvements will certainly happen or that this technology will become available to current ED owners; there are no guarantees of what will happen in the future. But the possibility is there and not all of us choose to take the glass half empty view that our ED will become useless once the battery dies. Obviously it won't be as cheap for SMART owners to replace batteries as for Tesla or Nissan or GM, for the reasons you mention.
 

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