There are several factors that determine the replacement cost of an electric car battery, including the make and model of the car, the size and capacity of the battery, market prices, and the cost of labor. The data at this time is limited, as only a small number of EV models have been on the market long enough to warrant a battery replacement. On average, you can expect the replacement cost of an electric car’s battery to run from $5,000 to upward of $15,000, according to an article from Consumer Reports. As a general rule, the larger the battery is, the more expensive it is to replace. If the electric car is still under its factory warranty, the replacement pack would be free to the customer. Here are more details about why an electric car battery’s replacement cost can vary so widely.
An electric car battery hooked up to an EV charger; a conceptual image © Canva
Battery pack type and capacity: Some automakers have designed their electric car battery packs with a modular design, meaning that some portions of the battery pack can be replaced without having to replace the whole thing. In these cases, an individual module can cost anywhere from $1,000 to upward of $3,000 depending on its size. Other automakers chose to use an integrated battery pack, meaning that if some cells in the battery fail, the entire battery will need to be replaced. In this scenario, you’d pay the full price of the battery pack.
Labor rates: While most of an electric car’s battery replacement costs go toward the parts themselves, it will still need a qualified mechanic to install them. Auto mechanics’ labor rates vary by city, state, and whether the technician works at a dealership or an independent shop. A ballpark figure for labor costs to replace an EV battery would be about $900 on the low end and upward of $2,000 on the high end.
Warranty coverage: Electric vehicles are federally mandated to have an eight-year or 100,000-mile (whichever comes first) warranty, covering the electric motor and the battery. Though battery cells degrade over time, the warranties also cover premature degradation, with each manufacturer stating the percentage threshold in its warranty.
Average lifespan of electric car batteries
The lifespan of an electric car battery depends on several factors, including the battery’s chemistry, operating temperatures, charging habits, and the vehicle’s battery cooling system.
The U.S. Department of Energy has predictive modeling by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that indicates that modern EV batteries can last 12 to 15 years in moderate climates, while those in extremely hot or cold climates can expect a lifespan in the eight- to 12-year range.
Story by Ronald Montoya for Stacker©