Why an electric car battery is so expensive, for now

An employee holds an electric charging plug at the Renault E-Ways electric automobile event in Paris on Oct. 16, 2020. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Benjamin Girette

At Tesla's ballyhooed Battery Day event last year, CEO Elon Musk set himself an ambitious target: to produce a $25,000 electric vehicle by 2023. Hitting that sticker price -- about $15,000 cheaper than the company's least expensive model today -- is seen as critical to deliver a true, mass-market product. Getting there means finding new savings on technology -- most critically the batteries that can make up a third of an EV's cost -- without compromising safety. Alongside Musk, traditional automaking giants including Toyota and Volkswagen are pouring tens of billions of dollars into the race.

1. Why are EV batteries so expensive?..

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