The Nissan X-Trail FCV is a zero-emission fuel cell vehicle that emits only water. The cost of a electrified vehicle (EV) battery is approximately $14,000 in some countries while the operational cost of an EV is $750 per kilowatt hour. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty /Gulf News

Abu Dhabi : Environmentally conscious customers can choose to drive electrified vehicles (EV) that help cut green house gas emissions, as EV prices are expected to fall 50 to 60 per cent in the next five years, an expert told Gulf News.

The price of the battery, the costliest component in an EV, is almost equal to the price of a car.

The cost of a battery in some countries is approximately $14,000, and the operational cost of an EV is $750 per kilowatt hour, Anil Khurana, partner, PRTM Management Consultants, said during the World Future Energy Summit in a session titled "What is needed to make electrified vehicles a reality, and who is going to pay the $100 bill."

"The existing range of the EV is 150 kilometres (once the battery is charged). All these costs will go down with the development of technology as research is under way on 2,000 designs of batteries," Khurana told Gulf News.

According to Jorg Kruhl, head of new technologies, E.ON, the commercial market for EVs will begin to grow by 2011 and even though battery technology will definitely be a bottleneck, batteries are the key to success for an EV given that the proper policies and regulations are in place.

Some of the market targets for EV include individuals with second cars, individuals driving from work to home, and fleet and delivery services, said Kruhl. "In five to 10 years private parking and fleet management will be the basis of a proper EV infrastructure. That's why we need public domain battery chargers and a proper identification policy."

Besides economical interests and concerns about oil shortages in the future, ecological aspects are one of the political drivers for the electrification of the transportation sector, said Dominik Noeren, project lead, Electrical Energy Systems, Fraunhofer — Institute for Solar Energy ISE.

Range and costs

The range of an electrified vehicle (EV) is 150 kilometres with existing battery technology.

In Europe 80 per cent of the cars run 70 kilometres per day, and 50 per cent of the cars run 40 kilometres per day

The operational cost of an EV is $750 per kilowatt hour, and is expected to fall by 50 to 60 per cent in the next five years, due to improvements in technology.

A five-point agenda to make EV available:

1. Incentives (economies suggest the need for a mix incentives for the next four to six years)

2. Risk sharing (we have to create private-public partnerships and coinvestments are necessary since some of these are a public good)

3. Policy (changes in regulations, eg. Reselling of electricity ensuring balance)

4. Technology (cost improvements - batteries - charging speeds - justified by returns)

5. Standards (for charging, communication).

Source: Anil Khurana, Partner, PRTM, Management Consultants