For car makers looking to board the electric bandwagon, building battery plants may be a sign of weakness, not strength.
Batteries are by far the most expensive component in electric cars, costing roughly $7,500 a piece, estimates stockbroker Liberum. Battery technology also determines crucial performance features such as power and range that have held back sales.
Even so, it may be a mistake for car makers to assume battery production is a core competence. Changing consumer tastes and the emergence of self-driving technology suggest driving experience will eventually take a back seat to digital experience—presumably in the form of software that helps drivers or entertains passengers.