Replacing an EV Battery
Battery technology is changing at an astounding rate. The cost of batteries is going down and expected to continue to drop. Plus, EV battery packs have a warranty from the automaker of eight years or 100,000 miles. Add to that the fact that today’s batteries are built to last longer than the cars they serve. Chances are that you will sell your EV for another zero-emission vehicle long before you need to replace the battery.
But that’s not the question, is it? The question on the table today is, what would it cost to replace the battery pack in your EV? Let’s find out.
The Cost to Replace an EV Battery
Depending on the EV you drive, replacing the battery pack could be free if your car is still under warranty, or it could cost up to $20,000 depending on the make and model of car. It could also cost as little as $2,500 to replace the battery.
The batteries used in hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius are smaller and less expensive to replace than the big heavy battery packs found in vehicles such as the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck or Tesla Model S. For instance, replacing the battery in a Prius might only cost you $2,700 while replacing the battery pack in that Tesla could set you back up to $20,000.
As of this writing, battery replacements are fairly rare and there isn’t much information out there on costs to replace EV batteries. So, consider that the cost of batteries will continue to drop as more people purchase EVs. The price you would pay today will be more than it would be if you replaced the battery ten years from now when it is showing signs of age through battery degradation.
The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office estimates the cost of electric vehicle lithium-ion battery packs have declined 89 percent between 2008 and 2022, using 2022 constant dollars. A recent report by McKinsey & Company suggests that EV batteries could drop a further 70 percent in price by 2025. According to this study, the price of lithium-ion EV battery packs could fall from $500-$600 per kilowatt hour today to around $160 by 2025 due to a rise in EV sales and a drop in component prices.
Also keep in mind that EV manufacturers are turning to solid-state battery packs which are less expensive, last longer, and are capable of taking consumers over 500 miles on a charge.
Real-World Replacement Costs
So far, we have only talked about the replacement battery cost through the manufacturer. But third-party batteries could cost less. Companies such as hybrid2go and evsenhanced.com offer full-service battery replacement with lifetime warranties.
What would it cost to replace the battery in a few of America’s favorite all-electric cars, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt? As of this writing, the battery would cost approximately $6,200 for the Leaf and $16,000 for the Bolt. The popular BMW i3’s replacement battery runs around $13,500. However, you can find replacement batteries for both the Bolt and the i3 on eBay for as little as $2,500.
The vehicles that offer the most range, and therefore have the largest battery packs, obviously cost more to replace. The Tesla Model 3 will take you over 300 miles on a charge and the replacement battery costs around $16,000. Labor costs to replace that Tesla battery will run you an additional $2,300. That’s because swapping out the battery pack on most electric cars is a complicated task, similar to replacing the engine in a gasoline-powered car.
While the physical labor only takes a day or so, getting the replacement battery can take weeks. Also keep in mind that not all battery replacements mean that you need to replace the entire battery pack, Sometimes the mechanic can just replace the defective cells to save you time and money.