Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Someone once told me that to make one Coke can would cost over $1,000. I wonder how much a volt would cost if they produced them in the same volume as Corollas.
Maybe more. Would it increase demand for lithium batteries, driving prices up?
The Coke can is a really poor comparison. You are comparing the mass production of a commodity item to a machinist hand-crafting one in a machine shop. The Volt is not a hand-crafted one-off. And they didn't load the full production cost into the first 1,000 units, they are amortizing it over some number (the 120,000 'potential' customers?).
Here's a homework project for you T-Al. The Volt has a 16 kWh battery. Laptop batteries are mass-produced. So add up the cost of 16 kWh worth of laptop batteries, and see what you get. Even then, you need to consider that laptop batteries often only last a few years, because they suck out a lot of watt-hours from that package. The Volt needs to be much gentler on its batteries to extend their life, so it takes more/larger cells to get that 16 kWh out w/o running them through such a wide charge/discharge range.
I think you'll find the raw batteries alone cost far more than any ICE, and anything with that many batteries will have to have a higher sticker price than ICE until battery prices come down.