Should You Be Worried About Replacing a Used EV’s Batteries?

2017 Chevy Bolt

One of the benefits of owning an electric car is not needing to buy gasoline. The cost savings add up year after year, even when you include the cost of electrons to recharge the batteries.

Two of the biggest concerns since the advent of hybrid and EV technology are electric range and potential cost of replacing battery packs.

Range anxiety has mostly been solved as EV range steadily increases to over 200 miles per charge. Replacing battery packs has, so far, proven to be a non-issue, but it’s bound to become one as the earliest EVs continue to age. How much should people expect to pay once the inevitable happens?

About half of what the car cost new, at least according to Chevrolet.

The good news is that battery packs rarely need to get swapped. Their reliability, whether in a Tesla, Nissan, Toyota, or Chevy, has proven to be fantastic, with the noted exception of some early Nissan Leaf vehicles.

If you buy a Chevy Bolt and need a new battery pack after the warranty expires, you can expect to pay a cool $15,734.29 for a replacement, not including installation. Ouch.

The good news is that automakers are including long warranties on the battery packs. However, that won’t help the owner down the road who buys the car used.

Other automakers are coming up with innovative ways to give buyers peace of mind, one of which is to lease the batteries rather than including them in the sale of the car. That makes the price of the car lower, but requires a small monthly payment to cover the battery lease. Renault, for instance, leases the batteries for about $1,500 per year, which cuts into fuel savings but includes free replacement if needed.

Carmakers selling vehicles in the U.S. are using the long warranty method and offer coverage of up to 150,000 miles. Auto Evolution quoted a Chevy rep who said,

In [almost seven] years of Volt sales we have yet to replace a single battery pack under warranty for general capacity degradation, and many owners are still reporting they enjoy the same range capability they had when they purchased the car.

So far, battery packs are proving to be reliable, but buying out-of-warranty used cars could become an expensive proposition.

Would you rather lease the battery pack in your new EV or own it and risk expensive replacement?

-tgriffith

Find Certified Pre-Owned Cars and Used Cars in your area at CarGurus.

Used Chevrolet Bolt
Used Chevrolet Volt
Used Nissan Leaf

2 Comments

  1. my research 3 years ago on buying a used battery for a used Ford Escape Hybrid, which were warrantied, showed about a fifth of that cost or about $3000. If you hang onto your Bolt for 10- 12 years, (Bolt warrantee is for 8 years or 100K) which you prob won’t, you should remember that that you got paid $5000 to buy the car. They paid for your battery. The used battery is not warranteed for that long but how much longer will you own this electric car? ? 200K or 16 yrs? Electric car batteries have shown to be excellent – beyond expectations. If you are buying a used elec vehicle, the battery should not be your biggest consideration. Used elect vehicles have terrible resale value so enjoy the price but know that no one will buy an electric vehicle on the third owner unless you replace the battery. Locate a dealer that will service it before buying.

  2. Car batteries are the heart and soul of any car. Batteries, if they go out, may then hassle the car owners to no end. It is important to realise that taking good care of the batteries will ultimately enable good care of the car itself. Thus, you can follow our guide on the best car battery. To know more about this app please visit http://bestcarbatteriez.com/

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