When it comes to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, many buyers wonder how long it will be before the battery needs to be replaced. so how much will it cost to replace that battery?
We know that batteries degrade as a result of a phenomenon called “natural aging.” Like human aging, calendar aging is a baseline of decline over time. Other types of battery performance loss are related to use and exposure. we wrote a whole article on battery degradation.
I go through the details and cite examples for each ev model, but here’s a quick overview of the vehicles I cover in this article.
how much does it cost to replace an ev battery?
the replacement ranges from $0 to $20,000 depending on dozens of factors. If a battery is within the manufacturer’s warranty, usually 8 years and 100,000 miles, then you should get a replacement battery at no additional cost. but what if it’s out of warranty?
Battery replacements are still rare, so up-to-date cost data can be difficult to find. As battery prices continue to drop, the price you would pay today is different than the price you would pay next year or 5 years from now. In 2019, the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of Business aggregated data found in academia, news, search engines, experts within the industry, and public statements from manufacturers.
found a 16% decrease in the cost of battery packs between 2007 and 2019. The authors calculated the average cost of battery packs in 2019 to be $161/kWh. With that estimate, in 2019, the cost of a 100 kWh out-of-warranty battery, as is common in Tesla long-range vehicles, would be at least $16,100 before labor, taxes, etc. if the trend in battery price reduction remains constant, then by 2025 the price in 2019$ should be ~$56/kwh, or $5600 to replace a 100kwh battery. that’s a big change in total cost.
how does this compare to other battery cost aggregators?
according to an april 2019 report from the international council on clean transport (icct), the projected cost for 2025 should be $120/kwh to $135/kwh. This is less generous than Wharton’s analysis, which suggests that by 2025 an out-of-warranty 100 kWh battery replacement may cost as much as $13,500. The ICCT report notes that battery cost forecasting has consistently underestimated actual battery cost reduction. provide a caveat that if a slightly more optimistic analysis is done, costs at the battery pack level could be $89/kwh by 2025 and $56/kwh by 2030.
according to the latest forecast from bloomberg new energy finance (bnef), in December 2020 the average price of battery capacity was $137/kwh, with an average price expected to be close to $100/kwh for 2023, seven years ahead of Bloomberg nef models suggested in 2016. Cited in the 2019 icct report, bnef models estimate that by 2030, average battery pack tier costs will be $62/kwh. replacing a 100kwh pack can cost at least $6,200 by 2030.
in 2016, mckinsey reported the average price of battery packs to be ~$227/kwh, and projections estimated average prices for electric vehicle battery packs to be below $190/kwh by the end of 2020. those expectations were clearly exceeded, as evidenced by the 2020 bloomberg nef report just described.
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real world replacement cost examples
The limitations of this analysis is that it does not include labor costs, tax policy, business models, and other externalities associated with replacing a battery. It does not cover business profits or margins or whether a car purchased in 2017 will benefit from reduced battery pack cost in 2030. In addition, this analysis does not consider the possibility of replacing only those parts of battery packs that have been damaged. damaged, which may be covered under warranty. furthermore, it is difficult to anticipate the development of third-party battery replacement services independent of the original manufacturers.
However, to take a look at some real-world examples of battery replacement costs ev drivers have experienced, I found some helpful examples. Overall, it doesn’t appear that EV owners are benefiting from Bloomberg’s reported average price of $137/kwh.
This is what I found in the following electric vehicles.
- bmw i3
- chevrolet bolt
- chevrolet volt
- hyundai ioniq phev
- nissan leaf
- tesla model 3
- tesla model s
- vw e-golf
There’s a lot more to each of those vehicles. keep scrolling to see the details!
bmw i3 battery replacement cost
- a bmwi3 battery with originally 22kwh capacity, but about 17.14kwh capacity today sells for $2500 on ebay. this equates to approximately $145/kwh.
- In 2016, BMW reported that replacing the battery in an i3 would cost about $16,000. This was for the 2013-2016 model years that have 22 kWh packs, which works out to $727/kWh in US dollars. reais from 2016.
- insideev reported in 2015 that a 21.6 kwh battery pack would cost $13,725, which is equivalent to $635/kwh. these prices were based on an online parts ordering store.
chevy bolt battery replacement cost
as you may know, all chevy bolt batteries are currently scheduled to be replaced under a recall due to a manufacturing defect in their batteries. I may be able to help you get an idea of when the pre-recall Chevy Bolt batteries may no longer meet your needs and you may need a battery replacement. Below are some examples of Chevy’s pre-recall battery replacement costs.
- According to a post on chevybolt.org, a dealer quoted a Chevy Bolt owner in November 2018 $16,250 for a battery replacement, with $870 for labor. Given that Chevy Bolt batteries are rated at 60 kWh, that works out to about $271/kWh, about 68% more than the 2019 average price.
- According to Chevrolet itself, in 2017 they reported that the price of a battery pack for a chevy bolt was $262/kwh.
- according to a 2020 greencars, a 66kwh chevrolet bolt battery costs ~$16,000 or $250/kwh.
chevy volt battery replacement cost
- according to a 2020 greencars report, replacing chevy volt 16 kwh batteries costs ~$4000, roughly $240/kwh.
- a 2011-2015 chevy volt remanufactured battery pack is priced at $6,000 at greentec auto. These batteries have 17.1 kWh of capacity, putting this price at $350/kWh in 2021 dollars. Sold with new modules, that same battery pack is priced at $8,000, putting it at $467/kWh in 2021.
- for the 2016-2018 chevy volt, battery packs are priced at about $3,000 on ebay. these batteries are 18.4kwh which equates to $163/kwh to $152/kwh.
hyundai ioniq phev replacement cost
a replacement battery for a 2018 or 2019 hyundai ioniq hybrid has an msrp of $2853.53 as of August 2021. with a battery size of 1.56kwh in a hyundai ioniq hev, that equates to ~$1829 /kwh, about 1,335% higher than the $137/kwh 2020 average cited above.
nissan leaf battery replacement cost
We also wrote a full sheet guide for battery replacement. while it has some of the same information, it might be helpful to dig a little deeper.
According to a forum post mynissanleaf.com, as of January 30, 2020, the cost of labor and replacement for a 24 kWh battery in a Nissan Leaf is $5,500. it appears that the battery itself would cost $4,500, putting the $/kwh at $187/kwh, which is 36% above the quoted price of $137/kwh for 2020.
- According to a 2020 greencars report, the 40kwh battery in the nissan leaf costs $5,500 or about $137/kwh, which is right on target for the 2020 average price.
- an owner of a 2013 nissan leaf in canada reported that a dealer quoted him $15,000 cad for a replacement battery.
- reported cashcar buyers in September 2020
- The price of the 30 kWh package ranges from $3,500 to $4,500, with a maximum of $150/kwh.
- 40kwh pack price ranged from $6,500 to $7,500, max $187.5/kwh.
- 62kwh battery pack expected to be $8,500 to $9,500 , at most $153/kwh.
tesla model 3 battery replacement cost
current automotive posted 2020 receipt for a customer’s 75kwh remanufactured battery replacement in a tesla model 3:
- battery: $13,500
- labor $2,299.27
- total: $15,799.27
this equates to $180/kwh, which is about 31% higher than bloomberg’s quoted average of $137/kwh. Since Tesla Model 3s are so new, there is likely to be very little data on repair costs in the public domain.
However, there is the occasional accident that requires battery replacement on a Model 3. Based on the data we’ve seen for most recent accident-related replacements, the total amount has dropped to $10-$12,000, with 80- 90% of that goes to the battery. however, it is encouraging that the total price has come down to between $133/kwh – $161/kwh. this is more in line with bloomberg’s estimate.
tesla model battery replacement cost
We wrote an article dedicated to tesla battery replacements, but you can get the rundown here.
- April 2021, findmyelectric reported that there were a few cases where the price of batteries was between $12,000 and $15,000.
- the owner of a used 2014 tesla model reported that a complete battery pack replacement would have cost $20,000, including labor, as of December 2020.
- at the tesla motor club, there are two reports from model s owners (2012 and 2013) are listed at 2021 $22k for full out-of-warranty battery replacements.
vw e-golf battery replacement cost
pignataro vw is listing a replacement battery for a 2017 to 2018 vw e-golf at $23,442.91 as of August 2021. since the 2017 e-golf battery pack is 35.8 kwh, that works out to $654 /kwh, a whopping 477% more expensive than the 2020 average price.
battery monitoring to avoid replacement
It should come as no surprise that treating your battery well can extend its life and delay replacement. Here are some tips on how to give your battery the TLC it needs.
- avoid extremely high or low battery levels.
- limit DC fast charging to special occasions.
- small, frequent charges are better than large charges and infrequent.
- Bring the battery to room temperature before charging when possible. this is usually accomplished automatically by your vehicle once plugged in.
- Park in the shade during warm months to keep the battery cooler.
- Air conditioning and heating use a lot of energy, so consider preheating your car while it’s plugged in or using seat heaters.
- Accelerate slowly to increase range.
- avoid excessive speeds on the highway.
- refer to your manual for battery maintenance tips.
- change your tires to more efficient tires; seasonally appropriate.
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