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BTS_TECH TALK


Tech Trends Driving Dramatic Disruption


Electrification, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things revolutionize the school bus market. Written By Jim Harris


T


he price of Lithium-ion batteries has plum- meted by 89 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), and the trend will continue.


The largest cost of electric vehicles (EVs) historically has been batteries. In 2016, for instance, batteries were 48 percent of the cost of electric vehicles. Today, that’s fallen to only 26 percent, according to BNEF. Electric vehicles are getting cheaper and cheaper every year.


Tesla Battery Day Tesla’s Battery Day was on Sept. 22, which happened to


coincide with my Tech Talk on Day 2 of the virtual Bus Technology Summit presented by School Transportation News. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced many inno- vations that will dramatically drive down battery prices even further over the next three years. By the end of 2023, batteries will be 56 percent cheaper per kWh—$58/ kWh based on BNEF’s weighted volume average price. This will completely disrupt the $10 trillion global transportation market and it will have a profound impact on the school bus market. By the end of 2023 electric vehicle (EV) passenger cars will become cheaper than gas powered autos. Musk announced that Tesla will release a $25,000 EV, which


28 School Transportation News • NOVEMBER 2020


has been nicknamed the Model 2 by the company’s fans. Given that the average new gas car costs $35,000, that spells big trouble for the U.S. auto industry.


Transportation Markets Transforming Faster Than Expected Because of exponential improvements in the price


performance of technology, transportation markets are changing faster than most people realize. In 2008, when Google introduced its autonomous ve-


hicle, the self-driving technology cost an extra $200,000 in addition to the cost of the car.


SOURCE: BNEF


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