On Quora a person claims that lithium ion batteries improve roughly similar to Moore's law:

The installed price of lithium ion batteries is dropping in half every 18 months and they last twice as long ... just like Moore's law for computer chips... well not quite Moore's law but something very similar.

Is that claim accurate?

1 Answer 1


No, that claim is highly inaccurate. I'm guessing that it's somehow related to the part of a talk that was widely quoted (also by mainstream media):

Shai Agassi, the founder and former CEO of Better Place, also touted the importance of the rate of battery innovation during his talk at the Cleantech Investor Summit. He said the energy density of batteries goes up 15 percent every 18 months; the cost per kilowatt hour goes down 15 percent every 18 months; the life cycles of the batteries (how many times it can charge and recharge) goes up 15 percent every 18 months; and the cost per lifecycle-mile does down 50 percent every 18 months. “If you don’t like the margins in this [electric car] business just wait 12 months,” said Agassi.

Thus this directly contradicts both claims about the cost and how long they last. I don't really know what "cost per lifecycle-mile" is supposed to mean.

  • I think "cost per lifecycle-mile" is the manufacturing cost divided by the number of miles you might expect to drive before the batteries no longer take a useful charge and need to be completely replaced (the average number of miles driven per recharge multiplied by the number of recharge cycles). It may also include recharging costs, but I doubt it.
    – Henry
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 16:49

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