According to a recent statement made by company execs for Bloomberg, Tesla Motors believes that cheaper batteries will make its Model S sedan profitable with much lower sales than Nissan Motor Co. seeks for its Leaf car. Their new four-door all-electric sedan, expected to cost $57,000 (€42,833), will use cheaper battery cells similar to those in laptops, that will turn a profit for the California-based company after just 20,000 annual deliveries, Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel said in an interview.
Nissan’s choice to use a larger type of lithium-ion battery for the Leaf means “they will have a cost challenge that will be more difficult to solve. It will require a lot higher volume before they really get to a cost point that is internally sustainable,” according to Straubel. By comparison, Nissan’s CEO has said combined battery-car sales for Nissan and affiliate Renault SA may need to reach as high as 500,000 units per year before turning a profit without government aid.
Tesla’s battery packs, which comprise of thousands of small lithium-ion cells similar to those used in portable computers, may cost just $200 (€150) per kilowatt hour, compared to about $700 to $800 (€524 to €601) per kilowatt hour for large-form cell lithium-ion packs, stated Martin Eberhard, a Tesla founder and former chief executive.