People don't get that, on a large industrial scale, you actually have to think about supply. They think you just spend money and supply shows up because they are used to thinking on a household scale where supply is generally infinite for anything they could possibly consume.
I think one pervasive economic fallacy is that any amount of money can fix anything. We just need to find someone to write a big enough check, either the government or wall street and all those batteries will materialize instantly out of some technology horn of plenty. This has driven the focus on "stimulus" and "aggregate demand" in various forms of economic dialogue. We could use more supply side thinking about very large problems that the economy faces, especially in the public sector. Health Care, for example, is one of those things where, if you're not thinking about supply, spending more money just makes everything more expensive.
Off grid energy storage has been severely hampered by the lifecycle cost of $ per kWh stored. Lead acid batteries suck, lithium ion/liPo has until very recently been very expensive in $/kWh. Other energy storage systems have been limited in scale or are only feasible at very specific places, such as large scale pumped-storage hydroelectricity.
If the cost of $$$/kWh stored comes down far enough, it will be entirely possible to build a home that has no connection to the electrical grid at all. Assume this prototypical home is in an American city where electricity from the grid costs 8 cents per kWh. If you make a refrigerator sized battery low enough cost it may be possible with TODAY's cost of solar panels to have a lifecycle cost of 6 cents per kWh consumed. While simultaneously having the effect of making that home energy-independent from the grid and the whole thing being its own immense UPS.
The powerwall is the first step towards this.
They work (as in: are being used in Africa & South America to power mobile networks). Also my (office) building is powered by one.
They don't cost much more than lead-acid
They last much, much longer than lead-acid or lithium*
There is no limit to the number of power cycles(!!) and they can be deep-discharged.
They do have disadvantages - they aren't suitable for cars, and are currently fairly noisy when cycling, and have lower power density than lithium* batteries. They also need to be periodically complete discharged (although most have software to make sure each individual cell does this as part of the normal use)
Disclaimer: An investor in Redflow owns my building (hence the power source)
From the wikipedia article, it appears that typical flow batteries only reach 10% to 20% of lithium polymer's power density.
That means that it would take a flow battery that weights 5 to 10 times as the standard lithium polymer batteries that equip a Tesla/Nissan Leaf/whatever electric car you imagine to deliver the same power.
Very true, but, interestingly, large-scale electric vehicle adoption may help this: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/09/3775606/used-sec... as lightly used car batteries may cease being attractive for use in cars but be very attractive in terms of base-load storage.
There is a guy with videos on youtube who has purchased battery packs from crashed Tesla Model S and retrofitted an old volkswagon bus for 100+ mile EV range.
"Joe’s “donor” Model S will be brought back to life by Otmar in the form of a stretched Volkswagen Vanagon called Strechla.
The Vanagon will exist only on the outside. On the inside, underside and everywhere in between, you’ll find Model S."
edit: added more words
scroll down a bit into the older videos and you will see the VW.
And a battery trailer, inspected by the DMV.
I am too lazy to put numbers on this, but this cost is currently much too high to make it economically viable to use car batteries for energy storage.
Electric car batteries can endure thousands of full cycles before their useful capacity drops down to 80%. That figure can be as high as tens of thousands, depending on who you ask.
Suprisingly, for LiMn, temperature and age have a much greater effect on lifetime than cycles.
PS: The real advantage of hydro is you can invest in capacity or peak load as more or less separate things.
5.5 years is about the lifespan of servers in a datacenter. What's wrong with managing energy storage the way we manage datacenters? We don't expect servers to last 20-50 years. And no doubt, as battery tech improves, the lifespan will improve too. But the infrastructure to get good storage needs to start somewhere. Run them as datacenters for now while waiting for battery tech to get better.
Don't forget computer investment has long operated under the assumption of rapidly declining prices. With that slowing data centers may go to a 10+ year cycle.
I agree with you on hydro, gravitational storage is relatively simple to do. But it takes space. Batteries could make more sense for microgrids.
That 200 mile charge may still be perfectly usable in a house, particularly given you can fit a couple cars worth into your basement without issues. The resulting battery cluster doesn't have to be particularly compact or light-weight.
The real question is "how much space are you willing to sacrifice for energy self-sufficiency?"
In the UK, electric bills hover around $1200 a year for electric/gas households and $2000 a year for full electric.
Renewable households will have a HUGE potential market.
U.K. Residential market is 26
million houses. Theoretical price point of $1500 dollars (one years energy cost) = 39 billion dollar market not including the massive combined secondary services in maintenance, installation training providers, parts, etc.
USA residential would be 6 times that and the provision of renewables to corporates is almost incalculable.
It's an entirely new economic ecosystem divorced from petrochemical.
It a price point higher than $3000 dollars we are getting into a market cap of many trillions worldwide.
I had a 3.8kW solar system put in for £5k last year and have yet to really run the numbers on savings; the payback period is 10 years of feed-in tariff cheques. If I went off-grid that would be reduced. I don't really see why I'd want to go off-grid for its own sake, I'd rather better explore the possibilities of net metering and sharing power with the rest of the city.
As air conditioning, but there are other solutions! Ice has neigh-infinite charge/discharge cycles and big institutions have been doing this for years. If your "campus" is more than a few hundred tons of AC it's probably cooled by ice.
It's not been terribly economical to do this at a small scale but as solar gets cheaper and batteries don't there are people working on the problem.
Batteries, at whatever price you pay for them are a really in-efficient way to store and retrieve energy compared to the grid.
If you haven't, I highly recommend Paul Starr's Social Transformation of American Medicine. The number of MD medical school seats in the US has remained at about 16k-17k for 100 years.
All those unemployed doctors are more likely to settle for working for a cheap hospital and earn 'only' ~$150k than switch careers or stay home on welfare. This would eventually decrease the cost of basic care.
With consolidation of hospitals and other healthcare facilities: less options coupled with desire that even the most expensive healthcare procedures must be available to all irrespective of individual affordability, we are going to have ever increasing healthcare costs.
The thinking behind trying to pump up demand is that if people are buying more, the Fortune 500 will put that money to work selling things.
Traditional supply-side economics is basically "shove money into those companies however possible".. but they're already sitting on piles of cash and doing nothing with it. How does more of that help?
Are you trying to tell me that the money isn't trickling down to the underpaid employees working for those companies? LIES.
Tesla is currently producing around 100,000 cars/year. Each car has about 80kWh of battery on average (the options right now are 75 or 90), so that's about 8GWh. If they meet their goal of 400,000 Model 3s produced in 2018, assuming 55kWh of battery for those cars, that's 22GWh, not counting what goes into continuing Model S and Model X production. I'm not sure it's as small a fraction of global production as you say.
One of the statistics they like to quote about their Gigafactory is that its final production will equal the total global production by the industry when construction started in 2013.
It turns out even with 2Billion Phones at 5Wh, a conservative estimate, we are only at 10GWh. Billion Phones!, 10GWh!, 5 times more then the World Capacity in 2013 from 1 Factory!
All these numbers and scales are so mind bogglingly huge that i fail to comprehend.
I frequently see people discussing range impacts based on a complete misunderstanding of the magnitudes involved. They'll ask about how much range you'd expect to lose from running a dashcam or charging a phone, or recommend turning off headlights to conserve energy.
And of course I can't blame them at all. We're used to battery-powered devices where things like screen brightness are critical to battery life.
But then you run the numbers, and realize that a fully-charged Tesla could run the headlights for over a month before draining the battery, or that it could charge an iPhone 20,000 times....
A more productive criticism would have been to offer an improvement, rather than to just point to the imperfections in an attempt to estimate the future impact of a new technology.
edit: added second paragraph
After a quick Google search, the number of vehicles Tesla sold in 2015 does in fact seem to be a bit uncertain. It seems they sold over 50,000 vehicles, but I've not found a more precise number, in a few minutes of looking.
Sales from previous years seem to be:
2012 - 2,650
2013 - 22,477
2014 - 31,655
though I got these numbers from a quora post, so take them with an adequately large dose of salt.
edit: added google findings, tweaked wording to be more specific
During 2015, we achieved significant efficiencies in Model S production and produced 14,037 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2015. We began production of Model X in the third quarter of 2015. We plan to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles in 2016.
Precision isn't particularly helpful for this sort of rough projection. Which highlights that your original criticism wasn't particularly productive.
clarification: In claiming that we're about where we started, I'm saying that a 10-20% correction doesn't significantly impact a rough order of magnitude estimation. The estimate was in the precision bounds of its stated goal. Therefore the estimate wasn't "ridiculous" at all, or at least, you haven't shown that it was.
Note: This is rough, back of the envelope projection meant to improve on a 5% figure that someone pulled out of the air.
I can't figure out which part of this you object to. You seem to accept all the numbers, but continue to argue about the shape of the box they're presented in.
How delightfully condescending of you. Yes, I didn't realize that the 5% number came from you, that hardly makes me "confused". Taking that into light, it's not obvious to me how a very rough back of the envelop projection is significantly more ridiculous than a number pulled out of thin air. My whole problem is that you called it ridiculous when it was clearly meant to be a rough order of magnitude projection. You can't really criticize a number pulled out of the air, because it goes without any attempt at justification. But a back of the envelop calculation can be improved in a piece-wise fashion to hone in on a better result. So any attempt to model a phenomenon (as long as it doesn't come with unjustified claims of precision and certainty) is an improvement over a number pulled out of the air. But that process is short circuited when people just dismiss the projection out of hand as you did. This is why I appealed for an improvement in my first comment. It's really easy to shit on someone else's effort, but it is completely unproductive. If you see a problem, then fix it. Then you're adding to the conversation, rather than just shitting on a little bit of effort someone put out there.
I don't think measuring it in terms of GWh is the best way to go about it, because a huge number of lithium ion batteries manufactured are NOT the type Tesla needs to use. Their battery packs are composed of 18650 size cylindrical cells.
Vast amounts of LiIon batteries manufactured today are pouch/flat type cells for laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other portable consumer electronics.
I would be very curious to see a number of the total estimated quantity of high-capacity 18650 cells manufactured worldwide in one year vs. the number of 18650 cells consumed by Tesla.
Back in 2013, the global production was estimated to be 35 Gwh (cf. Gigafactory announcement presentation).
How much has it grown in the past 3 years?
The article also mentions 70% growth in the last year. Assuming equal growth in the other years, It would be about a factor of 5.
Interestingly (for me), when I leased my leaf the sales guy was talking about how Nissan could make a car with a much better range, but chose not to. It was amusing hearing it from a (otherwise backwards) dealership.
It makes sense, of course. What I keep wondering is, if energy density (not just cost) increases significantly in the future, couldn't existing electric vehicles be retrofitted with "aftermarket" cells? Currently, resale value is pretty low, mostly due to battery concerns (both longevity - which I think is unfounded - and hopes of better tech). But, with otherwise so low maintenance costs, I figure these cars could have a pretty long life.
Wait, what? How did he justify that? That sounds like saying Apple could easily make a laptop with much better battery life but chose not to. Why would they ever do that?
Elon Musk claims the same thing about Tesla - that he could easily increase the range on Tesla's cars if they wanted to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsixsRI-Sz4 . But with a range of ~300 miles he thinks they're fine.
But I agree, if I was buying an electric car, a standardized battery would be a huge draw.
Although, learn? It's easy to look at things in retrospect and say this billionaire was correct - but one might be committing the Texas sharpshooter error then. Vinod Khosla bet heavily on bioethanol over electric cars.
Better to say that demand is necessary but not always sufficient. Proven demand is a great motivator, but the manufacturers may require a lot of lead time if it's unexpected.
China has much more intervention in their economy to do this sort of thing, with the banks acting as partially privatized central planning. The role of government in economic planning is certainly an area for policy wonks to carefully consider. In a democracy there's a bit too much incentive for the public to, as Marx noted, vote themselves money from the public treasury.
That's exactly why I started http://openbatt.org
The problem exists partly because incremental knowledge gains, such as additive formulas, are hard to trade.
I think we need an independent UL/CE for evaluating and lifecycle testing and certifying cells are less likely to short out or die prematurely by digging deep into how a battery is made against its specifications, conducting MTTF tests and many other tests and approaches for holistic grading and improvements. Otherwise, fake and shoddy cells will continue to flood the market with phony and dangerous goods. It can't be leveraged as a bureaucratic industry or incumbent protectionism, but to keep standards high as are for all other wall-powered devices. This will knock players whom can't or won't make good products out of the supply-chain, but they deserve it.
For the nation that is supposed to be the foremost in the world, and has been supposed to be for a century and a half, if that is true, all our talk of technological innovation and futurism is for naught, because we cannot even house and clothe everyone in our collectively agreed upon minimum possible conditions.
My point is systemic changes have to be looked at as a whole system. An economy and 300 million lives is very complex.
I guess what drives the price of batteries is the fabrication process?
What do you mean by this? I was under the impression that "supply side economics" meant throwing money at your problem to solve it (and removing regulation). That sounds like it's exactly what you're arguing against.
Disclaimer: I own one (Model S P85+, about 2 years old). And everyone I let drive it (yes, I am crazy enough to do that... As a fan who pushes the bleeding edge, it's important to share the experience in order to change minds... Anyway, my insurance covers me even when I'm a passenger!) cannot stop talking about it afterwards. I actually think Tesla's market is limited right now not only by the people who can't afford one, but by the people who haven't even had the opportunity to drive one yet and have thus not yet had their eyes opened...
Driving is believing. If you have any opportunity at all to experience driving one... Do not hesitate. It makes everything else feel like a noisy clunker.
The older guys I let drive it, like the real car guys of old... they have the best reactions. The look of shock and disbelief on their faces... The stories they start telling about their first muscle cars... The whooping and "OH MY GOD"'s and whatnot... It's totally awesome
What I can say with certainty is that the free charging is nice, and that brushless electric motors have historically had extremely long run times before they break down. And by the time it is time to replace the battery, it will be extremely cheaper and likely much higher capacity and allowing for a higher charge rate. That is all based on extrapolating current trends in battery technology.
Lastly, you're getting a car that will outperform cars that cost more than twice as much. Is that a steal? I guess it's all relative.
The intangible value proposition is the experience of driving and owning one.
I don't know anything about the eight year lifecycle thing, but historically, Tesla has treated past owners of its cars very well, such as offering owners of their first car a battery upgrade and things like that.
I think Musk is smart enough to know that pissing off well-heeled customers is not a good long term business proposition. Whatever you've heard about "8 years and then dead" is probably hysteria or FUD
Basically you can drive a Tesla past 8 years, but after any repair, it can only be re-validated for the road by Tesla. Given Tesla has no warranty after 8 years and no published pricing yet for servicing after 8 years, we don't know whether we'll be able to have a car revalidated, let alone repaired.
1. Aggressive cash-negative growth. Tesla is not going to make profits with Model 3. Currently Tesla needs more capital to finance future losses instead of than future returns. Musk has wooed many investors that may not be as patient as they should. Musk estimates that Tesla will make profit in 2020, but it's not looking good.
2. No sustainable competitive advantage in technology. Most of the important intellectual property is owned by Panasonic. Cars are nice and different, but they have suffered from reliability problems. Tesla's warranty costs are also higher than its competitors ($2,000 in warranty accruals and $1,000 on repairs per vehicle in last year).
3. Tesla is small manufacturer and it has fragile and stretched supply chain (Tesla manufactures tens of thousands of cars, competitors manufacture millions). Subcontractors are not going to squeeze their profit margins for Tesla.
Even if his dream "all cars will be electric" will become true, Tesla as a company is not necessarily the winning bet.
Also, in reading some of the background on the numbers, journalists seem to be failing (surprise!) to distinguish between $/kWh per battery cell vs battery pack.
Indeed; last time I checked, Tesla is shipping working cars and SpaceX is successfully putting satellites into orbit/delivering supplies to the ISS.
But the differential in price, in New England where I live, between peak and offpeak electricity, is US$0.027 (2.7 cents) per kWh. I worked it out: my investment in a battery setup at those rates would take about 17 years to pay off: far too long.
If we want this to work, we need a smart grid: a grid that can announce pricing based on current costs. Then we need baseload electricity costs (hydro, nuclear, gas, coal) to be significantly lower than peakload (fuel oil, Storm-King style pumped gravity storage) costs.
The smarts for a household energy storage system wouldn't be hard to work out IF the grid were smart enough to advertise present costs, and meters were smart enough to bill for present costs. My Power Wall could charge with cheap power and run my lights during a nasty summer brownout.
I understand they're experimenting in Europe with announcing prices using the FM radio sub channels now used to display song names. That's interesting.
Lots of utilities have adopted smart meters, Ontario and British Columbia certainly have. I don't know as much about the states.
If photovoltaics and/or wind become extremely cheap, to the point where the cost is 1 cent/kilowatt-hour, it would even be economical to crack hydrogen from seawater via electrolysis (a process that consumes vast amounts of electricity) and use hydrogen as storage.
Elon Musk mentioned recently that he expects a yearly capacity increase of 5% for the foreseeable future.
Which is an argument made by those on the free-market side of the political spectrum—that technology will help us solve this problem more quickly and efficiently than central planning and energy austerity. As someone who favors free markets, I have gone out of my way to be an early adopter of electric cars (2008 for me) and home solar (2015 for me) because I want the free market to solve these issues. To be clear, I recognize that incentives such as tax breaks have facilitated this. I obviously take advantage of these programs, but I would be on board with electric cars and home solar even without the tax breaks.
How do you even calculate that?
For you to calculate externalities, you'd need to be able to assign costs. What's the cost of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? You can't calculate something like that.
So let me answer with a simple NO. We don't need anything like that. Cleaner technologies are overtaking and will replace fossil fuels. Our energy generation technology has never been stagnant and it won't be now. We'll move on to the next thing soon enough.
And it is pretty obviously the right way to think about the problem, if you spend two seconds considering it:
The environment is a public good. Which means that it is owned by all of us. Which means that when it is harmed, we have all lost something of value. Therefore, the people doing the harm owe us money in the same way that Subway owes you money if they accidentally put arsenic in their meatballs. Why do places like Subway so rarely have arsenic in their meatballs? Because it imposes an enormous cost on them, so they optimize their business to avoid that cost. If environmental pollution entailed similar costs, businesses would optimize those costs away (to the extent possible).
This is ultimately a far more effective solution than any regulation ever could be. It's just a matter of choosing the right price. Because then what you have is the ability for private individuals to make a living for themselves rooting out cheaters and suing them in court. The system becomes self-policing because everyone's monetary incentives are aligned with the environment, and it is all mediated by one very simple, elegant idea: property rights.
The environment is our collective property and right now private individuals and entities are destroying it for free. That is simple theft, and fixing the enforcement of those rights is the solution.
Personally, I would install transparent tariffs for the whole world - they would be based on the estimated cost of externalities depending on the laws in the country of origin, and go down as soon as said countries adopt (and credibly enforce) better environment protection laws.
Luckily, the amount of pollution generally goes down as countries grow richer. China is doing it cleaner then Britain or the US did it back in the day.
We need Free Trade so that we can grow, growth will lead (on avg) to a cleaner environment. The next society can then maybe do it completely with clean energy.
That not strictly speaking true. We all have a stake in it but we don't own it. Also 'the environment' is not a singular thing, lots of people own lots of different parts.
> Therefore, the people doing the harm owe us money in the same way that Subway owes you money if they accidentally put arsenic in their meatballs.
That might be true, but if their tiny bit of a harmful substance in every single sub, they do not have to pay reparations to each person. The amount of damage done, is so small that it does not it would not be enforced. The same problem exists with environmental economics.
> It's just a matter of choosing the right price.
Prices are never a choice. The need to emerge from human interaction and property rights.
I do however agree with me. The problem is how to slice up the environment in different property rights that can be enforced. This problem can often be solved on a local level, such as forest pollution. It is however far harder to do for things that are far larger, like oceans or the stratosphere.
However, such approaches if possible are to be preferred. Sadly the typical environmentalist (and Nonprofits) are anti-market and that is holding everybody back.
You can't precisely calculate the costs of the externalities, but you can estimate it decently. A tax based on a decent estimate would be far better than just saying "zero cost, everybody gets to pollute for free" and then trying to patch it up with regulations as we do now.
I guess you mean a world just like today, but coal power instantly evaporated? There would be mass chaos and death, but again I don't see the relevance.
Anyway, to your point, I think there must be better ways to help poor people afford energy than to subsidize the electricity of wealthy people and industries. Set aside a small portion of the tax revenues for helping poor people pay for electricity. The important thing with taxing an externality is to capture the cost, what you do with the money matters much less.
You are wrong.
Realistically, though, it's more likely that the value of any carbon tax will not be calculated by some formula, but rather by what a handful of democratically-elected leaders deem is reasonable. Which might not be completely satisfying from a fairness point of view, but I think it's greatly preferable to not having a carbon tax at all (which is equivalent to saying, "quantifying harm is hard to determine, so we'll just pretend it's zero").
Some climate change reducing habits can be cost-saving though. Such as biking vs cars, reducing meat consumption, long-term investments in solar power, etc.
Just to set the record straight, the solar industry would not exist without government support. Nearly every company past and present has taken grant money from the DOE, or directly benefited from cash rebates or stimulus money. Local utilities in many states are required by local regulatory agencies to buyback excess solar power at retail prices, which for many regions is the difference between hitting the break even point in a reasonable time frame. And before the ITC (tax credit) was unexpectedly extended last year, companies were preparing to downsize considerably and were warning local politicians that without an extension, there would be massive layoffs in the industry.
With battery tech starting to become viable and with continuing efficiency improvements, we are getting closer to a point where solar might be able to compete on it's own, but in it's current form, the industry is still highly dependent on subsidies and tax breaks.
Small quibble: Wind and solar are already cheaper than utility power in ~20 states (unsubsidized), and cheap wind drove Exelon to close two nuclear power plants in the last week.
While wind and solar can now "stand on their own" as it were, we should be doing nothing but increasing subsidies to deploy them faster.
We simply don't have a free-market price in energy. I would say that in the long run the market would probably, by itself switch to renewable non-polluting energy but the governments investment has probably helped.
Governments can make really drag most markets (with a few exceptions), but they can usually kick it in the butt.
This is why most climate scientists advocate for at least a tax on all carbon. While the free market might be able to solve this world-wide on a long enough time scale we don't have the time for that to play out. We've been building our current energy and transportation infrastructure out for the past century globally based on fossil fuels.
To get a good idea on the scope of the problem I'd highly recommend start reading through some of the forum below. Some of the brightest (to me anyway :)) experts on the climate post regularly here.
Interestingly, I read it in a Theodore Roosevelt biography, but dug the numbers back up on the internet. In Boston circa 1870, the density of horses was around 700 per square mile.
That's not to denigrate the efforts of Tesla and solar/wind developers/technology companies; they just haven't received the support they should've compared to the impetus of climate change.
EDIT: Innovation is saving us from ourselves! Yay?
The issue is that people take this for granted, and don't see it for what it is, gambling, and in this case with immensely large negatives on failure, to the point where the mental model of the world many people keep is unable to accurately assess the consequences. That's a dangerous combination.
The absurd amount of money poured into green energy the past decade has made a difference. Both government, and stock-market. Green energy is definitely riding high right now with easy money.
Citation needed! In that time period, the highest energy density 18650 cells on the market have gone from ~200 Wh/kg to ~250 Wh/kg.
I think it would be hilarious if houses went back to just having a gas hookup like it was prior to the spread of electricity.
Still waiting on density improvements because frankly 400kg for 200 odd miles of range is not good. Of course with higher density means better charging and hopefully standards are ready for it
Only public statement was in response to an analyst assuming Tesla was at $260. Their investor relations team confirmed they're below $190 (back in April).
$35/kg X 12kg -> $420
On the other hand the Nissan Leaf contains 4kg or $140 worth.
I'm pretty sure a sustainable increase demand will bring more lithium onto the market.
Conventional terrorist attacks involving homemade explosives, firearms, mortars, and even rockets have been quite cost-effective enough. I'm more worried about someone combining quadcopters and explosives.
I am unable to see how Tesla car could have any impact on battery industry in terms of economy of scale. Any battery based solution for homes etc. could possibly bring economy of scale into picture.
Most of the reports I have seen tend to estimate that Auto's share would increase upto 30% by 2020 while renewable energy storage would grow to 60%.
It is not really hard to see that real breakthroughs in mass production and lowered prices for Li batteries will come not from auto applications but from power generation sector. I do not know of any sustainably profitable power company that is operating in that area. It also probably explains why Musk is thinking of things like Solarcity and Powerwall.
hint: Search "Global Demand for Li batteries" in Google images to see various charts.
Tesla have mentioned on several occasions that they will eventually take old batteries and recycle them at the Gigafactory.
We're not seeing that kind of improvement in mobile devices.
The iPhone had an 1150mAh battery and, according to anandtech , 284 minutes of talk time (3G) and 400 minutes of web browsing time (WiFi). It weighed 133 grams.
The iPhone SE has a 1,624mAh battery and gets 556.2 minutes of web browsing time on WiFi.
It weighs 113 grams.
Of course, I have no idea what percentage of weight made up the battery for either of these phones. I also have no idea what percentage of the cost to manufacture the battery made up for either of these phones. But I do know the iPhone SE @ 16GB is $100 cheaper than the iPhone 3G @ 16GB was, not accounting for inflation.
We're seeing some improvement, most definitely. But unless someone has data to compare the two batteries directly, we can't say by how much.
The smartphone world has been much more keen on improving power consumption of the hardware in question rather than power storage. At the scale of power that an automobile uses, the opposite is true.
That would mean we should see a ~37% improvement between 2008 and 2016. Seems about right.
> Every Tesla on the road today is effectively a coal powered car
Assuming that your energy is entirely produced by brown coal power plants, then even powering your electric car is still more efficient (and thus cleaner) than running a petrol car.
Power generation sources varies wildly depending on region - Nuclear, Gas and Hydro are big contributors in many areas. Wind and Solar in others.
> losing 1k on every car sold
you're conflating the profit on selling cars vs company profit. They make a profit on the sale of each Model S/X, they're investing a lot of money into expanding production.
The IEA/OCED world energy production sources for 2015 J:
21.7% Natural gas
Additionally, you could also invest in a solar setup at your own house and Tesla is working on converting Supercharger stations to solar .