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Jon Witt
BATTERY SCIENCE
April 11, 2022

RESEARCH

Costs of Electric Car Battery Replacement

When it comes to electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, many shoppers wonder how long it will be until they have to replace their battery. Then what will it cost to replace that battery?

We know that batteries degrade as a result of a phenomenon called “calendar aging.” Like human aging, calendar aging is a baseline of decline over time. Other types of battery performance loss are tied to use and exposure. We wrote an entire article on battery degradation.

I go through the details and cite examples for each EV model, but here is a quick overview of the vehicles that I cover in this article.



How Much Does an EV Battery Cost to Replace?

Replacement ranges from $0 to $20,000 based on dozens of factors. If a battery is within its manufacturer warranty, typically 8 years and 100,000 miles, then you should get a replacement battery at no extra cost. But what if it is out of warranty?

Battery replacements are still rare so up-to-date data on costs can be difficult to find. As battery prices continue to decline, the price you would pay today is different than the price you would pay next year or in 5 years. in 2019, the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School for Business aggregated data found across academia, news, search engines, experts within the industry, and public statements by manufacturers.

They found a 16% decline in battery pack cost between 2007 and 2019. The authors estimated in 2019 that the average cost of battery packs was $161/kWh. With that estimate, in 2019, the cost of an out-of-warranty 100 kWh battery, as is common in Tesla long range vehicles, would be at least $16,100 before labor, taxes, etc. If the trend in battery price reduction stays constant, then by 2025 the price in 2019$ should be ~$56/kWh, or $5,600 to replace a 100 kWh battery. That’s a big change in overall cost.

How does this compare to other aggregators of battery costs?
According to an April 2019 report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the projected cost by 2025 should be $120/kWh to $135/kWh. This is less generous than the Wharton analysis, suggesting by 2025 a 100 kWh battery replacement out of warranty may cost up to $13,500. The ICCT report does note that battery cost forecasting has consistently underpredicted actual battery cost reduction. They provide a caveat that if a slightly rosier analysis is performed, battery pack-level costs could be $89/kWh by 2025 and $56/kWh by 2030.

According to the latest forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), in Dec 2020 the average price of battery capacity was $137/kWh, with an expectation of average price close to $100/kWh by 2023, seven years sooner than Bloomberg NEF models suggested in 2016. Cited within the 2019 ICCT report, the BNEF models estimate that by 2030, average battery pack level costs will be $62/kWh. A 100 kWh pack may cost at least $6,200 to replace by 2030.
Back in 2016, McKinsey reported that the average battery pack price was ~$227/kWh, with projections estimating average EV battery pack prices below $190/kWh by the end of 2020. Those expectations were clearly exceeded as demonstrated by the 2020 Bloomberg NEF report just described.

Back in 2016, McKinsey reported that the average battery pack price was ~$227/kWh, with projections estimating average EV battery pack prices below $190/kWh by the end of 2020. Those expectations were clearly exceeded as demonstrated by the 2020 Bloomberg NEF report just described.

Real-world Replacement Cost Examples

The limitations of this analysis is that it doesn’t include the labor costs, tax policy, business models, and other externalities related to a battery replacement. It doesn’t cover any business profits and markups nor if a car bought in 2017 will benefit from battery pack cost reduction in 2030. Additionally, this analysis does not consider the possibility of replacing only parts of battery packs that have gone bad, which may be covered by warranty. Furthermore, it is difficult to anticipate the development of third party battery replacement services independent of the original manufacturers.
However, in order to get a glimpse into some real world examples of battery replacement costs that EV drivers have experienced, I found some helpful examples. Overall, it doesn’t appear that EV owners are benefiting from the Bloomberg reported average of $137/kWh price.
Here is what I found on 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 is lots more on each one of those vehicles. Keep scrolling to see the details!


BMW i3 Battery Replacement Cost

  • A BMWi3 battery pack with originally 22 kWh of capacity, but with approximately 17.14 kWh of capacity today is selling for $2,500 on ebay. This equates to roughly $145/kWh.
  • In 2016, BMW reported that replacing an i3 battery would cost about $16,000. This was for the 2013-2016 model years which have 22 kWh packs, equating to $727/ kWh in real 2016 dollars.
  • InsideEV reported in 2015 that a 21.6 kWh battery pack would cost $13,725, equating to $635/kWh. These prices were based on an online parts ordering store.

Chevy Bolt Battery Replacement Cost

As you may be aware, currently all Chevy Bolt batteries are set to be replaced under a recall for a manufacturing defect in their batteries. Perhaps it can help you get a sense of when the pre-recall Chevy Bolt batteries may no longer have met your needs and may need a battery replacement. Below are some examples of Chevy battery replacements costs prior to the recall.
  • According to a post on chevybolt.org, a dealership 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 equates to approximately $271/kWh, about 68% higher than the 2019 average price.
  • According to Chevrolet themselves, in 2017 they reported that the price of a battery pack for a Chevy Bolt was $262/kWh.
  • According to a 2020 Greencars, a 66 kWh Chevrolet Bolt battery costs ~$16,000, or $250/kWh.


Chevy Volt Battery Replacement Cost
  • According to a 2020 Greencars report, 16 kWh Chevy Volt batteries cost ~$4,000 to replace, about $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, placing it at $467/kWh in 2021.
  • For the 2016-2018 Chevy Volt, battery packs are priced at roughly $3,000 on ebay. These batteries are 18.4 kWh, equating 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 $2,853.53 as of August 2021. With a battery size of 1.56 kWh in a Hyundai Ioniq HEV, that equates to ~$1,829/kWh, approximately 1335% larger than the 2020 $137/kWh average cited above.



Nissan Leaf Battery Replacement Cost

We also wrote an entire LEAF guide to battery replacement. While it has some of the same info, it could be helpful to dive a bit deeper.
According to a post in the MyNissanLeaf.com forum, as of Jan 30, 2020, the cost of labor and replacement of a 24 kWh battery in a Nissan Leaf is $5,500. It appears the battery itself would cost $4,500, placing the $/kWh at $187/kWh, which is 36% above the quoted 2020 $137/kWh price.
  • According to a 2020 Greencars report, the Nissan Leaf 40 kWh battery costs $5,500 or about $137/kWh, which is right on target for the average 2020 price.
  • A 2013 Nissan Leaf owner in Canada reported that a dealership quoted him for $15,000 CAD for a replacement battery.
  • Cashcarbuyers reported in Sept 2020
  • 30 kWh pack price ranges from $3,500 to $4,500, at most $150/kWh.
  • 40 kWh pack price ranged between $6,500 and $7,500, at most $187.5/kWh.
  • 62 kWh battery pack is expected to be between $8,500 and $9,500, at most $153/kWh.


Tesla Model 3 Battery Replacement Cost

Current Automotive posted the 2020 receipt of one customer’s replacement of a remanufactured 75kWh battery 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 the Bloomberg cited average of $137/kWh. Since Tesla Model 3s are so new, there is likely very little data on repair costs in the public domain.



Tesla Model S Battery Replacement Cost

  • In April 2021, FindMyElectric reported that there were a few cases where the price of the batteries cost $12,000 to $15,000.
  • A used 2014 Tesla Model S owner reported that a full battery pack replacement would have cost $20,000, including labor, in Dec 2020.
  • On Tesla motors club, there are two reports of owners of (2012 and 2013) Model S’s being quoted in 2021 $22k for full battery replacements out of warranty.

VW e-Golf Battery Replacement Cost

A replacement battery for a 2017 to 2018 VW e-Golf is quoted as $23,442.91 by Pignataro VW as of August 2021. Given that the 2017 e-golf battery pack is 35.8 kWh, that equates to $654/kWh, a whopping 477% more expensive than the average 2020 price.

Battery Monitoring to Avoid Replacement

It should not be a surprise that treating your battery nicely can expand its life and delay replacement. Here are some tips on how to give your battery the TLC it needs.
  • Avoid extreme high or low battery levels.
  • Limit DC fast charging to special occasions.
  • Small, frequent charges are better than large, infrequent charges.
  • Get your battery to room temperature before charging when possible. Usually this is accomplished by your vehicle automatically once plugged in.
  • Park in the shade during warm months to keep your battery cooler.
  • A/C and heat use a lot of energy so consider preheating your car while it’s plugged in or using seat warmers.
  • Accelerate slowly to increase range.
  • Avoid excessive highway speeds.
  • Check out your manuals battery maintenance tips.
  • Swap your tires for more efficient tires; seasonally appropriate.
LINK

Nice to see all the Chevy Bolt EV owners onwards from 2017 got a free battery back replacements, obviously you have to have a bit saved up or prepared budgeted in taking out a loan just in case they die just after the warrant runs out, you never get these sorts of details in the glossy brochures it's a bit of a taboo. Nice to see a website giving some definitive answers, somewhere down the line the original new car owner or a second hand EV car buyer will be hit with the battery replacement costs, big bill to budget in.

Looking forward to seeing somebody crack the solid state cell battery tech one day.
 

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I'll take the Ioniq for 2853, Alex.
 

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After getting to finally see a Hyundai Ioniq 5 out on the streets I've decided it really looks pretty dang good in person. I;m not in the market for one of these but that one I like. :)
 

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I notice that people are are starting to sell used BEV batteries on line and still getting good $$$ for them as others use the battery modules for things other than cars. All I’m saying is that it looks like the future will be selling and recycling these batteries and that numbers and price assumptions being floated.

Has anyone heard much about say, Prius hybrid batteries, new battery packs or refurbished units? I’d imagine by now people would be dealing with longer life issues…
 

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This is where a ELR looks good compared to other "EVs".
It was a very expensive car when new.
A replacement battery is inexpensive relative to the purchase price.
 
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I'll take the Ioniq for 2853, Alex.
Plus all the trade war from the Korean Government that comes with it. We are getting hosed.

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Car



Yet here is a clear reason why the Ultium system is so genius. Once can just replace the cells that need replacement, not the entire pack, and software will tell your friendly technician which cells need replacing
 

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Ummm..I don't think Alex can hear you...his batteries died :(
Those in The Great Beyond can hear all. Yes we can! They, I mean. Yes they can!
 
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I would expect that 8 or so years down the road you wouldn't be looking to swap for a new battery that is exactly what you have now. I would expect newer, better and cheaper batteries will be available, as well as even cheaper "remanufactured" replacements.

It also appears that the Ultium batteries are made up of lots of individually replaceable cells, which could mean only replacing a few cells, or even the individual modules (which contain a number of cells).
 

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I would expect that 8 or so years down the road you wouldn't be looking to swap for a new battery that is exactly what you have now. I would expect newer, better and cheaper batteries will be available, as well as even cheaper "remanufactured" replacements.

It also appears that the Ultium batteries are made up of lots of individually replaceable cells, which could mean only replacing a few cells, or even the individual modules (which contain a number of cells).
The Small block approach is what Ultium is, ultimately, keep it cheap and affordable
 

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I don't think these are terribly accurate.....
Basically we're seeing the end of used cars. If nobody can afford a new battery, they'll always have to buy a new car.
No, cars will just last longer. With the thermal management of the battery, except in extreme cases, there isn't that much degradation that you'd have to get a new battery after 100,000 miles. Maybe cars won't be disposable anymore....that's a good thing.
 

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Basically we're seeing the end of used cars. If nobody can afford a new battery, they'll always have to buy a new car.
So in essence, you are seeing a Car depreciate 100% in 8 years, well be basically Scrap Value in 8 years, so depreciate 80% in 8 years. All of a sudden $39900 starting price for a Silverado EV, doesn't sound that cheap does it?

$39900- 80% =$8000 or $31900 over 8 years
Silverado Gas 2014 value right now with 100,000 miles WT was worth around $39500+ in 2014, today a Dbl Cab with 100K miles is worth $13000 on trade or $26000 in Depreciation (if you could find one)
 

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So in essence, you are seeing a Car depreciate 100% in 8 years, well be basically Scrap Value in 8 years, so depreciate 80% in 8 years. All of a sudden $39900 starting price for a Silverado EV, doesn't sound that cheap does it?

$39900- 80% =$8000 or $31900 over 8 years
Silverado Gas 2014 value right now with 100,000 miles WT was worth around $39500+ in 2014, today a Dbl Cab with 100K miles is worth $13000 on trade or $26000 in Depreciation (if you could find one)
What is all this nonsense? ICE engines aren't warranted for any longer than EVs. Do their engines all suddenly die at 80,000 miles? Are ICE vehicles suddenly all worthless at 80,000 miles?
 

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What is all this nonsense? ICE engines aren't warranted for any longer than EVs. Do their engines all suddenly die at 80,000 miles? Are ICE vehicles suddenly all worthless at 80,000 miles?
Read what I said. in 8 years a EV is basically a Go Kart living on Borrowed Time. or a $20,000 Battery Rejuvenation Choice.

An ICE vehicle is still worth Keeping on the Road.

There will be Remanufactured Batteries for 1/2 price in 8 years, or will there because of the Metal Shortage for building New Batteries?
 

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ICEVs or EVs, rust just isn't the issue it used to be.
Eh, the cradle in my SS tells a sad story, and it only got daily winter use for the first 3 years. I guess the Aussies didn't have to deal with road salt.
 
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