Are LFP prices artificially high?

Supervstech

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Cost is irrelevant to sale price.

market value is king.


profit drawn from building, marketing, future sale reduction pricing, etc.
I would be EXTREMELY surprised if sales were anywhere close to material and labor and manufacturing costs...
 

12VoltInstalls

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Also known as Charging what the market will bear.
Yes. I’m not anti-capitalist but I think a number of market segments have exceeded a moral threshold these days, however.
I know a guy who worked with gigawatt inverter installations. The company can’t buy/import residential-sized batteries for a decent price. Whoever the offshore supplier is won’t do it no matter the volume.
But the super high voltage “cabinet” batteries or whatever they call them (ive never seen one but apparently as big as an suv) he said were dirt cheap.

That’s one reason I think lfp is gougy- and probably not limited to the domestic middleman.
 

NwCali

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Ill say this, No one really seems to "recycle" the "rare" things in them.... So.... I'd say the "rare" things in them are not so "rare" afterall. Its been a few moments since I followed up on why not/why to. The plastic would be recyclable.... heck...from what I remember almost all of it is...

So yeh, its "artificially" high. I'd say in part cause they want to get every .01$ out of it while they can.

I have mixed thoughts on it all.... It comes with being a war veteran who's seen too much. The price of oil is far higher than it seems....

I'm going to go back out to putting LED's on my mini truck that will hopefully soon be powered by Lithium's and charge from solar... :)
 

NwCali

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Yes. I’m not anti-capitalist but I think a number of market segments have exceeded a moral threshold these days, however.
I know a guy who worked with gigawatt inverter installations. The company can’t buy/import residential-sized batteries for a decent price. Whoever the offshore supplier is won’t do it no matter the volume.
But the super high voltage “cabinet” batteries or whatever they call them (ive never seen one but apparently as big as an suv) he said were dirt cheap.

That’s one reason I think lfp is gougy- and probably not limited to the domestic middleman.
The US Government is now handing out "research" money for the things other countries have put into service..... We are talking about the batteries your talking about btw..
 

12VoltInstalls

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If there is such a fat margin, why not set up your own battery manufacturing facility?
One one hand- that’s not my area of expertise, nor do I have an imagination of where/how to get the funding. Interesting thought though.
On the other hand- this is an emerging, maturing technology. The other major players still import all their battery components. The current battery tech is likely to be different in just a few years… which may be why everybody big is limiting their risk to inventory and not investing their risk in the manufacturing equipment.
 

12VoltInstalls

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The US Government is now handing out "research" money for the things other countries have put into service..... We are talking about the batteries your talking about btw..
Stuff like this makes me sick.
That can only happen if “we’re” behind and/or someone didn’t have due diligence at a high level.
 

stienman

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Read the section "Synthesis Processes" under the "research" heading:


If you can produce this cathode material with a high purity, quantity, and in a form that can be applied to film at a very low cost, then you'll be able to take over the world.

Until then, making a lifepo4 cell is going to be expensive.
 

OnTheRoadAgain

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One one hand- that’s not my area of expertise, nor do I have an imagination of where/how to get the funding. Interesting thought though.
On the other hand- this is an emerging, maturing technology. The other major players still import all their battery components. The current battery tech is likely to be different in just a few years… which may be why everybody big is limiting their risk to inventory and not investing their risk in the manufacturing equipment.

Tesla model 3 batteries are made in the USA.

AllCell is another big US based battery manufacturer and there are several more.

The point being, the technology already exists in the USA to build the batteries here.

I think your point is good in that considering the rising shipping costs, chance of getting a bad cell from China etc, then
it stands to logic that we "should" be nearing the point where these batteries could be made domestically in the USA competitively.

What I "think" might cause many manufacturers hesitation to jump into a market dominated by China is their history for unfair competition practices and flooding the market with cheap goods in order to corner the market.

China will not let go of it's Lithium battery dominance without a bloody fight.

Supposition, of course, with a touch of fact.
 

wattmatters

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What I "think" might cause many manufacturers hesitation to jump into a market dominated by China is their history for unfair competition practices and flooding the market with cheap goods in order to corner the market.
Can't win on this thread. First it's gouging, now it's dumping stuff too cheaply.

Not uninformed really. But thanks
Nothing personal. Can you enlighten us with data/evidence battery suppliers are gouging? Or is it just good old supply and demand?
 

Hedges

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I think the normal business model is manufacturers in China dump product at illegally low prices, and American companies buy from them and mark up exorbitantly, gouging consumers for cr*p that carries their brand name, previously known for quality.

(Yes, I know quality products also come from China. But so many offshored products lost that.)

China's currency manipulation serves to keep their manufacturing cost artificially low. That depresses buying power of their workers, but keeps the work coming. Otherwise, could lose out to the next low-cost region.

Whether LiFePO4 is artificially high or not, I think the 280 Ah cells people here buy can build batteries in the $0.05/kWh (of cycle life) range. For my overpriced San Jose market that is 1/3 of the lowest time of use rate, so quite attractive.

A coworker said his 7kW GT PV system supplies pretty much all his power (has gas heat), but if he gets an electric car will need more.
I pointed out that if he got 35kW of battery, stored off-peak production and delivered to the grid during peak times, with net metering he could get back 105 kW off peak. The extra 70 kWh/day would cover a lot of miles.

So whether lithium batteries have room to drop or not, the value they can deliver in our market is already many times their cost. Any price reduction would be diminishing returns.
 

12VoltInstalls

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Can't win Nothing personal. Can you enlighten us with data/evidence battery suppliers are gouging? Or is it just good old supply and demand?
Other than allieTakeyerchances or whatever: nobody’s waiting for panels or batteries according to the two nat’l installers locally. They just can’t install fast enough. They have the product. So that suggests supply is fine.
I above related that mW installers buy batteries cheap- even though the offshore product for the grid-tie demand can’t be obtained at similar pricing by them AND the gridtie market exceeds commercial volume.

Since those are anecdotal from people in the industry of installing I tend to believe that opinion is true. Argue, call it whatever you want. Since people are willing to pay what stuff’s being sold at obviously demand is a component. So sorry I can’t hand you cost accounting sheets. I’m not that important. I’m just another guy that thinks $400 lifepo is possible and frustrated they’re in the thou$ands.

This is just a casual online discussion, not a 60 minutes investigation. We are just stuck dealing with the realities of retail. Batteries are supporting a new segment in a world that’s become accustomed to the markups of other ‘recent’ commodities like cellular phones that somehow have managed to sustain high margins. Reasonable pricing has developed in personal computing commodities but that arguably took over 30 years for Adam Smith’s ‘natural price’ to become sustainably “low.”

We just want cheap batteries now :)
 
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Hedges

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Interested in your calcs to arrive at this for a grid tied scenario.

LiFePO4 Battery (not including inverter)

16 cells for 48V battery, 280 Ah, $100 each plus $500 BMS
13440 Wh, $2100 is $0.16 per Wh
lifespan 3500 cycles, 1000 Wh/kWh, $0.045/kWh of cycle life.

I haven't picked a battery inverter for peak shaving. My off-grid Sunny Island has MSRP $0.85/W (although I paid less.)
People have used them to backfeed grid from stored power, not sure how they tricked it into doing so.
There are Schneider, Sunny Boy Storage, others.
Some of those (which are grid-forming for off grid use) are priced around $0.40/W.
GT PV inverters can be used, but need separate charger.
Sunny Boy Storage appears to be a grid-tied inverter programmed for bidirectional use.

Separately, cost of PV:

7.7 kW inverter and 9250 W (STC) of PV panels
5.5 hours effective sunlight on average
42.35 kWh/day, 155,000 kW in 10 years

$1800 for inverter, $0.35/W panels costs $3225
$5035 not including rack mounts and electrical.

$0.033/kWh amortized over 10 years.
Maybe replace inverter once, $0.022/kWh over 20 years.

Mounting hardware and electrical could add 50% or 100% to cost (PV panels no longer dominate system price.)

I think people elsewhere in the country pay as little as $0.05/kWh from the grid?
In my area, time of use rates range from $0.28 off-peak to $0.42 on-peak making arbitrage with batteries somewhat attractive. For EV users, $0.18 to $0.50 so more compelling. Either way PV and net metering looks good (until they jack up monthly fees and charge $70 to $100/month for having a PV system.)
I don't think utility will let you do that storing power you buy from them, but you can store what you generate from PV while powering your house from the grid (so to comply you need to regulate battery charging so it matches production.)
 

wattmatters

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lifespan 3500 cycles
Thanks.

For grid tied I think that's a bit optimistic.

I would adjust it accounting for:
- portion of capacity that's sensibly useable
- reality that not every day will a battery go through a full cycle (low solar charge days, days not there etc), 60-70% is probably more realistic
- capacity will decline with age so and will creep up before getting 3500 cycles in
 
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