London — Tesla’s lead in battery technology gives it a cost advantage that may last for several years and help the US electric-car maker face down an onslaught of new competition, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Batteries made by the US manufacturer and its Japanese partner, Panasonic, require less cobalt, the metal whose price has shot up with demand for electric cars. CEO Elon Musk said on June 5 that Tesla is targeting a cell-level price of $100/kWh in 2018 and battery-pack costs below that level within two years. Bloomberg New Energy Finance does not expect average pack prices to drop below $100 until 2025. "If Tesla reaches its pack-price milestone, it will be several years ahead of our industry benchmark," Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in the report. The researchers noted that others made batteries for as low as $120/kWh in 2017, "which suggests that Tesla is not alone in being ahead of the curve". Tesla has not been able to extend its US domin...

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