How much do electric car batteries cost to replace? Finding a new battery for your electric car is no easy task. The good news is that they last for a while before requiring a replacement.
Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the expenses associated with electric car batteries.
A recent energy report released by Bloomberg studied the cost of EV battery pack replacements. It found that the average price of EV battery packs was $137 per kWh. Furthermore, experts predicted that the average price for battery packs would drop to $100/kWh.
The price drop is due to more efficiencies in the battery manufacturing process. In addition, the world’s supply chain or metals used in battery packs should also improve. Bloomberg suggests replacing a battery pack may cost just $6000 by 2030 for 100kW modules. This translates to $62 per kWh.
This report is in stark contrast with McKinsey suggesting a price of $227/kWh. These numbers are demonstrably bigger than Bloomberg’s predictions. As we’ll see below, Bloomberg’s numbers are more reflective of real-world trends.
Why Would Electric Car Battery Packs Need Replacement?
Electric car batteries tend to degrade with time. The exact scientific reasons for battery degradation are complex. However, here are two reasons they could require replacement:
This means that the battery’s original advertised capacity has dwindled with time. As a result, the electric car would lose a significant amount of range.
Power is related to how quickly a battery can discharge its energy. This also impacts your electric vehicle’s acceleration. As the battery power fades, so too does your car’s ability to accelerate. Over time, it would be impossible to reach top speeds.
What it Costs to Replace an Electric Car Battery
The costs of an electric car depend on a number of factors. You may qualify for a free replacement if your battery is still covered under warranty.
Without a warranty, however, you may have to pay around $140/kWh for the battery. If a vehicle has a 100kWh battery pack, it would cost $14,000 for a replacement.
For perspective, the cheapest Tesla Model 3 costs $47,000. This means that a new EV battery may cost half the price of new Teslas.
However, there are other factors at play here. Let’s take a look at them below:
- The vehicle that you are driving.
- The components of the battery. Batteries with more expensive metals will cost higher.
- The size of the battery pack itself.
- Is the battery covered under the manufacturer’s warranty?
It is also worth noting that some electric vehicle batteries are relatively affordable. Cheaper EV batteries cost as little as $3,000 to replace. Others may have a price tag of as high as $20,000 or even more.
As you can imagine, these numbers are not cheap – even at the low end. Even the cheapest EV batteries are as expensive as replacing a gasoline-powered vehicle’s transmission.
However, EV batteries’ prices will decrease as manufacturers become more efficient. Tesla continues to expand its battery production capacity on a large scale. Other EV manufacturers are also following suit.
All this competition will bring down the costs in the coming years.
It is worth noting that the price of electric car batteries have improved substantially. The price of new EV batteries was more than $1000/kWh over a decade ago. With new advancements, the prices have declined to $200/kWh or less.
In the coming years, we can expect the prices to improve because of increased competition.
It is also worth noting that EV battery packs are incredibly durable and efficient. Instead of breaking down and failing, they simply lose capacity over time. This is almost analogous to the battery in your smartphone. You notice that your smartphone is losing its charge more rapidly each passing year.
Manufacturers are looking into cheaper ways of manufacturing EV battery packs. They are looking into more affordable metal alternatives. Another trend is toward EV battery packs without liquid components. These tend to be more affordable in the long run.
Older electric cars may require a new battery pack to stay operational.
Let’s take a look at some real-world examples of EV battery replacement costs.
Note that the price of EV battery packs can depend on a number of factors. These include tax policy, cost of labor, and even supply chain problems. The case studies below don’t take these factors into account.
Additionally, the examples don’t discuss the price of merely replacing a battery part gone bad. It can be much cheaper to replace a specific component or part of a battery. Furthermore, we may see the rise of third-party battery replacement vendors in the future.
This is definitely true in the case of electric bikes where off-brand vendors offer replacements. Off-brand replacements are usually more cheaper and accessible to the general public. But the market for electric vehicles has not evolved to this stage yet.
Here’s a look at the data from various electric car battery packs.
The cost of replacing a 24kWh battery in a Nissan Leaf is about $5,500. Note that the price above also takes into account labor costs. The battery itself costs $4,500. This translates to $187/kWh for the battery – which is on the expensive side.
But prices can be much higher depending on where you live. For example, Canadian drivers may be quoted a price of 15,000 for replacing the battery.
Buyers can choose from several options in terms of battery capacity.
- A 30kWh pack costs anywhere from $3,500 to $4,500. The ratio of price to kWh comes down to $150/kWh.
- 40kWh battery packs start at $6,500 at a ratio of $187.5 per kWh.
- And the price of 62kWh battery packs starts at $8,500 at a ratio of $153 per kWh. Paying for the larger battery is cheaper in terms of cost-to-capacity ratio.
The cost of replacing a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is roughly $2,000. The battery size has a capacity of just 1.56 kWh. This equates to a whopping $1829 per kWh. This is significantly more expensive, per kWh, than average battery packs.
In 2017, the price of a 2011-2015 Chevy Volt battery pack started at $6,000. These batteries have a capacity of 17.1 kWh. This puts the price at $350/kWh in 2021. These battery packs have increased in price to $467/kWh in 2021 at $8000.
Buyers may find used but cheaper battery replacements for $3,000 on eBay. These batteries have a capacity of nearly 19kWh.
The price of Tesla Model 3 Battery packs with a capacity of 75kWh is $14,000. This does not consider the price of labor which starts at $2,300.
This means that the total cost of replacing the battery pack is about $16300. The ratio comes down to $180 per kWh, which is expensive.
It can be difficult to retrieve exact prices for newer Teslas because of limited data.
The cost of replacing a Tesla S Battery pack starts at $12,000. The prices may increase to $15,000 and roughly depend on the driver’s location. This also includes the price of labor and parts.
This forum suggests that Tesla Model S battery packs can cost a whopping $22,000. This is mostly because the cars came out in 2012 and 2012. Also, these battery replacements are not covered under the warranty.
Used battery packs for a BMWi3 are selling for $2,500 on markets like eBay. A battery pack with 22kWh of capacity equates to about $145/kWh.
This strongly contrasts with reports from BMW that advertised costs of $16,000 for replacements. This translates to over $700/kWh for 22kWh battery packs.
The above report is outdated by several years.
Battery packs for VW e-Golfs are generally expensive. Prices start at $23,500 for a 35.8 kWh battery pack. This equates to roughly $654 per kWh. This is significantly more expensive than average prices for battery packs.
How Are Battery Packs Replaced (for Teslas)
You can have your Tesla’s battery pack replaced in a number of ways. The best option is to visit your nearest Tesla Service Center.
This is a convenient option if your battery pack is still covered under warranty.
You may require a third-party option if the battery pack is out of warranty.
It is rare to find third-party vendors for batteries. However, many vendors are starting to offer this service as Teslas become more popular. These vendors may also specialize in EV battery repairs. But this is a specialized trade, and the costs are expected to be very high.
Another option is to look for a slightly used battery pack. This will cost slightly less but help you use your electric vehicle.
Replacing an electric car battery is a complicated task. No wonder why the labor costs are in excess of $2000 per replacement. It can be compared to swapping out an engine in a car.
It is also worth noting that electric car batteries are very heavy. The fact that they store so much electrical energy makes them extremely hazardous. Experts have to train to minimize the risk of getting electrocuted.
You will need to make an appointment with a qualified mechanic. They will raise the vehicle a few inches into the air to access the battery. This will allow them to remove the battery and reinsert a new one. To do this, they will reattach the proper cords.
Mechanics often require access to specialized training and equipment to make this possible. Another complicated task is to update the car’s software to use the new battery.
The replacement itself only takes one day to complete by an experienced professional. However, if they need to order parts, the timeline can take several weeks. The supply chain for electric vehicle batteries tends to be very complicated.
Not all cases of battery replacement require removing the entire battery module. Sometimes, mechanics can simply swap out defective cells that makeup modules. They will simply replace the defective modules and save the owner a lot of money.
You should take a few precautionary measures to maximize the lifespan of your EV battery. Here are a few guidelines that you can follow:
- Avoid fast charging except for emergencies. This is especially true in cold weather because the process will deplete total lithium content.
- Keep the charge status at between 30 to 80 percent. Letting it dip exceed the threshold can shorten its lifespan and reduce capacity.
- Always use slow charging at home if possible
- Preheat the battery in cold weather before charging it.
- Keep the car parked under shade in the hotter months. This will ensure that it never gets too hot.
- It is also ideal to heat or cool the interior of the car when charging.
- Don’t dry at top speeds or accelerate very quickly unnecessarily. Keep the showiness to a minimum!
- Consult the car’s user manual for specific tips and guidelines related to maintenance
We recommend booking your electric vehicle for a professional service at least once a year. More frequent servicing may be required if you commute with your EV daily.
We hope this helps you get a clearer picture of the expenses associated with EVs. Prices will come down in the future, making it very economical in the long run. Do you have questions about electric car batteries? Send your questions to us for more information!
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