They're buying off-the-shelf batteries from the same suppliers that build batteries for the rest of the portable electronics industry. Since batteries are a resource intensive product (they're made from commodity materials that must be mined and processed), there is always going to be a fixed cost associated with their production. Here's a free hint: more electric cars being sold will only put more demand on battery manufacturers, and I don't have to explain how supply and demand works.
You are dead-on with with the reflection on the maturity of electric vehicles. They've been around a LONG time.
But regarding battery manufacturing, you may have missed the recent news about Tesla's plans for building the world's largest battery factory this year - it seems that Musk has anticipated your concern:
I haven't done the math, but I suspect that even if MANY millions of people were charging cars at night, it still wouldn't approach the daytime load of the grid. Keep in mind that most people would only need to top off their charge from their short (25 miles perhaps) daily commute.
This is exactly my description. I have a 12.5 mile commute each way to work and back. I am currently converting a 2002 Ford Focus to full electric. I expect to have a total range of about 40 miles per charge.
The charger I'm using is what I would consider a middle-of-the-road charger, in terms of power consumption (about 4.8KW). It is wired for a 240 VAC, 20 amp circuit, and should be able to charge my 144 volt, 28 KWH pack in about 6 hours. Keep in mind, 4.8KW is less than the steady state power consumption of a typical 1.5 ton capacity heat pump. The grid will trivially be able to handle this kind of load during the night.
article is not that exciting since anyone that cares about mileage has probably already figured out advancing the cam slightly will give better bottom end power and better mileage. But, it is still interesting to get some halfway decent numbers.
After being pressured by their user base, MvixUSA, the distributor of the Mvix MX-760HD Wireless Media Center, has obtained the source code to the firmware from the Korean manufacturer, Unicorn Network Total Solution, and made it available for download on their website. The firmware is based on the uClinux kernel. This is reminiscent of the fight that the community had to go through with GamePark Holdings, Inc. to have them
"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -- Carl Sagan, Cosmos