Electric car batteries are the core of any EV, and with good maintenance, can last for up to two decades!
Usually lasting from 10-20 years depending on upkeep, these powerhouses not only give drivers peace of mind but also reliability. Electric cars offer a sustainable option that keeps you running without worry.
But, when the time does come to replace an EV battery, it can be confusing for some. So, how much will a battery replacement cost you? $25,000? $30,000?
Battery replacement can range from $3000 to upwards of $10,000 depending on the quality and capacity of your battery cells. Professional installation is also an added cost that needs to be taken into consideration when it comes time to replace your electric car’s battery.
The answer depends on several factors. For example, the make and model of your electric car will have an impact on pricing. The larger the vehicle and the more advanced technology used, the higher the cost.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what factors influence EV battery replacement costs and how you can prepare yourself financially for a potential future expense. We’ll also look at some tips on prolonging the life of your EV battery and strategies for saving money if you need to have your existing one replaced.
Read on to learn more!
Table of Contents
How Long Does an Electric Car Battery Last?
The lifespan of an electric car battery can vary depending on several factors, including the type of battery, driving habits, environmental conditions, and how well the battery is maintained. Generally, electric car batteries are designed to last for many years, but their capacity and performance may gradually degrade over time.
Factors influencing electric car battery lifespan:
- Battery Chemistry: Different chemistries have different lifespans. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common and have varying subtypes, each with its own characteristics.
- Depth of Discharge: Frequent deep discharging and full charging can accelerate battery degradation. Shallow discharges are generally better for the battery’s longevity.
- Temperature: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can negatively impact battery life. High temperatures can accelerate degradation.
- Charging Habits: Consistently using fast chargers or charging to 100% regularly can put more stress on the battery compared to slow charging or keeping the charge level in the mid-range.
- Vehicle Usage and Driving Habits: Heavy use of the car or aggressive driving can affect the battery’s lifespan.
- Battery Management System (BMS): An efficient BMS helps optimize charging and discharging, which can positively impact the battery’s life.
- Battery Cooling/Heating: Some EVs have active thermal management systems to regulate battery temperature, which can aid in preserving the battery.
- Chemical Degradation over Time: Even if the car is not used much, lithium-ion batteries may degrade due to the passage of time.
What Are Signs of a Bad Battery?
Signs of a bad battery can apply to various types of batteries, including those used in vehicles, electronics, and other devices. Here are common signs that indicate a battery may be failing or nearing the end of its useful life:
- Reduced Driving Range: If you notice a significant decrease in the driving range of your electric car, it could be an indication of battery degradation. As the battery ages, its capacity diminishes, resulting in reduced driving range on a full charge.
- Increased “State of Charge” Inaccuracy: The displayed state of charge (SOC) on the dashboard might become less accurate over time. The SOC might show a higher percentage than what the battery actually holds.
- Slower Charging: A deteriorating battery may take longer to charge fully than it did when it was new. Charging times might be prolonged as the battery’s internal resistance increases.
- More Frequent Charging Needed: If you find yourself needing to charge your electric car more frequently than before for the same driving habits, it could indicate reduced battery capacity.
- Visible Physical Damage: If you notice any visible damage to the battery pack, such as leakage, swelling, or deformities, it’s a clear sign of a problem.
Can EV Batteries Be Repaired?
EV batteries depend on the specific issue or damage the battery has encountered. In some cases, certain battery components can be repaired or replaced, but it’s important to understand that EV batteries are complex and sophisticated systems. Unlike simple lead-acid batteries found in conventional cars, modern EV batteries are typically made up of lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells that are tightly integrated and managed by sophisticated battery management systems (BMS).
Here are some scenarios where EV batteries might be repaired or serviced:
- Cell Replacement: If a few cells within the battery pack fail, it may be possible to identify and replace the faulty cells. Some manufacturers design their battery packs with cell modules that can be individually replaced, making it easier to repair isolated cell failures.
- BMS Reprogramming or Replacement: Issues with the Battery Management System can sometimes be resolved by reprogramming or replacing the BMS.
- Cooling/Heating System Repair: Some EVs have active thermal management systems to regulate battery temperature. If there are issues with the cooling or heating components, they may be repairable.
- Connector or Wiring Repair: Problems with battery connectors or wiring might be fixable without the need for a full battery replacement.
How Much Does an EV Battery Replacement Cost?
When purchasing an electric car, you must consider the cost of replacing its battery. Spend some time researching into what factors are involved in a new battery installation and how to extend its lifespan.
The make and model could influence price too, so be sure to factor that in with your budgeting as well.
If you’re the proud owner of an electric vehicle (EV), then one of the most important things to consider is how much it will cost to replace your car’s battery. A new EV battery can be a significant investment, but with proper care and maintenance, it should last for many years.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular electric car battery replacements:
EV Battery Replacement Cost for Tesla Model 3
According to industry estimates, it would cost roughly $15,799.27 to have a professional replace the battery on your Tesla vehicle – though no pricing information is available from the official Tesla website.
This estimate takes into account the expense of the battery ($13,500) and a professional’s labour costs to install it. If you are confident in your skills, you can save money by performing this task yourself.
But we would suggest you leave this job to the professionals. However, if all goes well we can see more battery-related solutions like the one offered by Our Next Energy, a Michigan startup.
Imagine being able to double the range with their battery replacement and upgrades.
EV Battery Replacement Cost for BMW i3
In 2016, BMW reported the cost of replacing 22 kWh batteries in their i3 models to be around $16,000. Fortunately, though, savvy shoppers are now able to purchase these same batteries on eBay for as low as a mere $2,500 – that’s an astounding saving!
This means upgrading your battery on a BMW i3 could very well be much more economical than initially thought. It is essential to ensure the battery you are purchasing second-hand is of good quality.
A cautionary tale though: eBay had its capacity reduced to 17.14kWh and is charging $2,500 for it – always double-check before taking the plunge and buying pre-used!
EV Battery Replacement Cost for Nissan Leaf
If a battery replacement is needed for a Nissan, the cost could be as high as $10,000 – with expensive labour charges included. Thankfully, reputable suppliers of used or new batteries have recently emerged; also providing less costly labour services. Local independent shops are now offering these battery replacements at much lower rates than what Nissan has been previously charging customers.
Installing a 24 kWh battery in your Nissan Leaf may be more cost-effective than other car batteries. The upfront fee is around $4,500, and labour adds an extra thousand to that figure. However, many owners believe it’s worth it because the battery will last longer.
EV Battery Replacement Cost for Chevy Volt
In 2018, the estimated expenditure for a 6kWh battery installation amounted to an impressive $16,250 including labour costs. Although this estimate has since been revised due to a recall – attributed to a manufacturing fault – it does not detract from its overall value.
The setup also includes $870 in installation fees making it even more attractive for consumers looking for quality assurance and energy-saving solutions.
However, this cost can fluctuate drastically since some drivers have managed to find batteries on sites such as eBay at a fraction of the amount that dealers or repair shops are charging.
For a 2016 to 2018 model battery, you can easily find one for $3000 instead of the original price. That’s an astonishing savings of over ten thousand dollars!
Due to its older technology, finding a compatible battery for older Volts could be quite challenging. Also, Chevrolet discontinued their Volt model in 2019 after all. So don’t forget to shop around, but be sure that it isn’t counterfeit or from third-party providers as this could void your warranty.
What if You Have a Warranty?
If you have a warranty for your electric vehicle (EV) battery, it typically provides coverage for a specific duration, either in years or mileage. The warranty will cover defects and significant capacity loss during this period. If your battery experiences a defect or fails prematurely, the manufacturer or warranty provider will usually replace it with a new or refurbished battery, based on the warranty terms.
Additionally, some warranties cover capacity loss beyond a specified threshold, ensuring that you receive proper support if the battery’s capacity drops below acceptable levels. It’s important to review the warranty documentation to understand any limitations or exclusions that may apply and follow the manufacturer’s procedures for warranty claims through authorized service centers.
How Often Should an Electric Car Battery Be Replaced, and Why Is It Necessary?
Electric vehicle batteries cost more than gas-powered vehicle batteries, but they last much longer. Most experts say that electric car batteries will last for up to 200,000 miles, or 10 years if you drive 20,000 miles each year! Gas vehicle owners may only get a few years out of their battery before they need to change it.
It’s important to understand the main factors that affect the cost of an EV battery replacement.
- The size and type of your vehicle are key considerations; larger, more powerful models will typically require a heavier-duty battery with a higher price tag.
- The age and condition of your car also play into this equation – the older and less well-maintained it is, the more likely you are to need a new battery sooner.
- Each electric car battery will eventually lose its storing power, regardless of the type – typically between 10 to 20 years. To understand why this occurs, it is important to consider a few factors:
- Repeated usage causes the electrodes inside the battery to degrade, diminishing its performance over time.
- The electrolyte solution in the battery evaporates, leading to a diminished capability for conduction.
Eventually, the seal on the battery case weakens and becomes vulnerable to outside elements like air and moisture. When these contaminants come in contact with electrodes and electrolytes, they can cause extensive damage to the battery components.
How to Extend EV Battery Life?
Ensure your EV battery remains in optimal condition by following these simple guidelines. After all, you don’t need to spend an excessive amount of money due to inadequate maintenance of expensive EV batteries when just a few steps can extend their life and performance.
If you want to maintain your EV’s battery and ensure it works at its highest efficiency, here are a few simple tips that can help:
- Reduce the amount of time that your EV battery is left unused or idle. Make sure to charge it whenever possible, and if you are not planning on using it for a few days, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place with temperatures between 40-80°F (4-26°C).
- Make sure to monitor the temperature of your EV battery and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. Heat can cause your battery to degrade faster, and cold weather can reduce its charging capacity, resulting in shorter trips.
- Check for any signs of corrosion or damage on your battery terminals and connectors regularly, if necessary clean them with a brush or sandpaper.
- Ensure that you are using the correct charger for your EV battery and make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging it up.
- Keep an eye on your EV battery’s performance, look out for any warning signs or sudden drops in range, and take action if necessary.
What To Expect In The Future?
Last year, Avery Siwinski purchased a Ford Focus electric vehicle for $11,000 – with just over 60,000 miles. But unfortunately, after only six months of owning the car and enjoying its cute features, she was charged an eye-watering $14k bill to replace the battery!
Even worse? The dealership was unable or unwilling to get her a replacement and was offering her only $500 as compensation – how scandalous! But then 2014 Focus is known for its share of misery.
Recent studies have shown that older used electric vehicle models tend to experience a relatively low rate of battery failure.
Instead, their remaining capacity decreases annually by an average of 2 percent, which means after 10 years the available range should be around 80% of its original state.
This indicates that even at such a later age of the EV, the battery pack will still hold some significant value – especially if they were equipped with ample power supply when new.
Owning an electric vehicle can be a smart and eco-friendly choice, but it’s important to consider the potential cost of EV battery replacement. While prices can vary widely depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the size and type of battery, it’s safe to say that replacing an EV battery is not a cheap endeavour.
Remember how once we told you about the lego style battery pack swapping startup? Battery replacement is going to cost at least some significant money till more such startups join the race to offer solutions.
An average EV’s battery replacement need not be costing you $25,000 to $30,000. Don’t let anyone tell you that replacing electric vehicle batteries will cost between $25-30K – it’s simply not true!
There are steps you can take to mitigate the expense. Regularly maintaining your battery, such as by keeping it charged between 20% and 80%, can help prolong its lifespan. Additionally, shopping around for the best price and considering options such as refurbished batteries can help reduce the cost of replacement.
For most electric cars, the battery replacement cost is much lower than that. In addition to being affordable, replacing the batteries in an electric vehicle can actually help increase the efficiency of the vehicle.
That’s because new batteries are designed to be more efficient than older models, and that increased efficiency will help you save money on fuel costs in the long run.