Analysts have consistently failed to predict the evolution of battery costs because their projections are based on known technologies. By contrast, experience curves have accurately predicted the evolution of battery costs since 2008. Experience curves suggest the cost of electric vehicles may reach a tipping point by 2020 to 2023—two to five years earlier than most analysts’ projections. The forecast is based on battery-pack costs falling in that time frame to $100/kWh, which analysts believe would make the cost of an electric vehicle equal to that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.
Facing an uncertain future, leadership teams can still make smart bets.
Mark Gottfredson is a partner in Bain & Company’s Performance Improvement and Advanced Manufacturing & Services practices. He is based in the firm’s Dallas office.