Previously  I shared GM vice-chair Bob Lutz' discussion on how much the Volt will cost, and it boiled down to how much suppliers will charge GM for the lithium-ion battery packs, clearly the biggest chunk of the total cost of the car.

As Lutz has said, one of the motivating factors for using lithium-ion cells, is that cost is expected to come down considerably as automotive cell production is scaled up.

Design News offers an interesting discussion about the current cost of the batteries.

Key factors in the batteries are energy density, recharge time, cost, durability and safety. It is explained that today's best li-ion cells hold about 150 W-h / kg, whereas gasoline holds around 4,000 W-hr/kg, or 25 times the energy per unit weight. Batteries takes hours to charge, gas a few minutes to pour in.

The USABC has set a goal cost for batteries in  40 mile EV range cars to be $293 per kwh. The best expert estimates for current lithium-ion cells are between $500 and $1000/kwh, will the cells alone at $300/kwh, packaging, cooling, and controls making up the rest.

So if we consider the Volt has a 16 kWh battery pack, that's $16,000.  What Conti/A123  or LG Chem/Compact Power plans to charge GM for those packs, based on tens of thousands of units, is of course publicly  unknown.   Between the lines, I get the feeling more than GM would like.  However, one certainly one can see the competitive value of having two teams pitted against each other.

Source ( Design News )