Scaling Up Volume and Building Integrated Supply Chains Can Lower Battery Costs for Electric Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers

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PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, CALSTART released Commercial Vehicle Battery Cost Assessment: Strategic Sourcing Challenges for North American Truck and Bus OEMs and Tier 1 Suppliers, authored by YUNEV LLC, to provide insight on the factors affecting battery costs for the U.S. commercial vehicle industry and offer an overview of current battery sourcing and supply chain considerations.  

“It’s critically important to understand the industry’s battery needs and challenges,” said Kevin Walkowicz, senior director at CALSTART. “A successful and rapid transition to zero emissions depends on a strong, sustainable and low-cost North American battery supply and sourcing chain.”

“The electric commercial vehicle industry is not a level playing field with one fixed battery cost,” said Kevin Beaty, principal consultant at YUNEV LLC and lead author on the report. “This report seeks to demystify some of the cost elements and sourcing dynamics to support more informed decisions in the continued electrification of commercial vehicles.”

Key points in the report:

  • There is a range of battery costs across manufacturers and forecasts should be viewed in the context of manufacturing volumes and the different levels of experience of manufacturers with battery electric vehicles.
  • Battery pricing reflects the early commercialization stage for commercial vehicles and the existing range in scale and expertise of battery sourcing among manufacturers.
  • Battery manufacturing at scale remains one of the greatest obstacles to achieve price parity with conventionally fueled vehicles but this could be accelerated by a more rapid rollout of zero emission commercial vehicles.
  • Battery purchasing dynamics are different for commercial vehicle manufacturers that have not achieved high sales volumes.
  • Some electric commercial vehicle manufacturers can leverage scale and more attractive pricing from battery sourcing and/or production activities in markets outside North America.

The report concludes noting that battery cost disparities will likely persist across the industry as electric commercial vehicle manufacturers continue to evolve and grow at different rates. Efforts to address costs and scale will be key for early-stage manufacturers to compete and successfully deliver products that meet fleets’ budgets. Therefore, purchase incentives and other policies are needed to help early-stage manufacturers and specific vehicle platforms while they are at sub-critical volumes.


A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 280+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry.


YUNEV is an advanced transportation business management consulting firm focused on serving global original equipment manufacturers, leading suppliers and start-ups in the e-mobility, smart mobility, electric vehicle, and lithium-ion battery markets. Clients include corporations, start-ups, investors, non-governmental institutions and privately held firms.

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