One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to electric vehicles is just how much it will cost to replace a battery when the time comes to swap it out for a new battery pack.
While electric vehicles offer major cost-savings over their internal combustion siblings in the short to medium term, it’s important to map out EV battery replacement costs if you’re planning to hold onto your electric vehicle for the long term.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how - and why - batteries degrade over time, and how much you can expect to pay to replace your electric vehicle’s battery pack here in Australia.
Why Do Batteries Degrade and Fail?
Batteries big and small degrade over time, as the internal components age and struggle to hold and discharge electricity at the same rate as when they were factory fresh.
Lithium-ion batteries that power an electric vehicle begin to degrade the moment they are produced at the factory, meaning their most efficient lifespan is finite.
In much the same way your smartphone’s battery life will diminish over time, bringing its operating use from something like 12 hours of screen time to around eight, as electric vehicles age, their range figures will drop to the point that replacing the battery pack itself might make sense.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Battery in an Electric Vehicle?
If and when you’re taking the plunge and replacing the battery of your electric vehicle, you can expect to pay around $203 per kWh of capacity at the current rate for lithium-ion cells.
Using a 64kWh battery pack for reference, which is a relatively compact unit, the cost of replacing a battery pack in an EV would equate to around $12,992, plus installation fees.
For a more compact 50kWh battery, the cost of a replacement would sit roughly at $10,150, using today’s current price landscape.
The good news is that prices for lithium-ion battery components are falling at a consistent rate, and are expected to reach around $148 per kWh in the next few years, which would make it more affordable to replace a larger battery pack on an electric car.
By the end of the decade, when costs per kWh of battery packs are expected to drop to around $86 per kWh, the price of replacing a 64kWh battery pack would be around $5500.
- Current Prices for Electric Vehicle Battery Packs: $203 per kWh of capacity
- Forecasted Prices for Electric Vehicle Battery Packs: $86 per kWh of capacity
Battery Replacement Costs for Popular Electric Vehicles
Using the current price formula, we can give you some rough indications of how much a battery replacement would cost for some of Australia’s most popular electric vehicles.
Keep in mind that these are loose indications that, moving into the future, will fluctuate.
Thankfully, the price of a replacement moves with the overall trajectory of lithium pricing, making replacements more affordable as we move into the future.
For now, let’s take a closer look using the formula of $203 per kWh as a reference point, and the forecasted $86 per kWh we’re expected to see closer to the end of the decade.
- Battery Pack Size: 62.3kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $12,586
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $5,332
- Battery Pack Size: 60.48kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $12,180
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $5,160
- Battery Pack Size: 50.2kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $10,150
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $4,300
- Battery Pack Size: 82kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $16,646
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $7,052
- Battery Pack Size: 69kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $14,007
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $5,934
- Battery Pack Size: 77.58
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at $203 per kWh: $15,631
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $6,622
- Battery Pack Size: 66.5kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $13,499
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $5,719
- Battery Pack Size: 77.4kWh
- Battery Pack Replacement Cost at Current $203 per kWh: $15,631
- Replacement Cost at Forecasted $86 per kWh: $6,622
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What is the Manufacturers’ Warranty for an Electric Vehicle Battery?
Most manufacturers producing electric vehicles today package their EVs typically with a five-year warranty for the car itself, while the battery and high-voltage components are backed by an eight-year warranty here in Australia.
Some manufacturers offer firm warranties when it comes to capacities and battery degradation, so be sure to take a closer look at these details when shopping around between electric vehicles.
Will a Battery Need Replacing During the Life of an Electric Car?
The need to replace the battery pack of an electric vehicle depends largely on the year it was manufactured, the number of kilometres driven, and even things like the climate you’re living in; with lithium-ion batteries disliking cold temperatures.
Manufacturers say that their current electric vehicles have lifespans of anywhere between 15-20 years, while the batteries themselves have a one- to two-decade lifespan, depending on their usage.
The latest range of electric vehicles have high-capacity lithium-ion battery packs that are said to retain up to 90 per cent of their capacity after driving around 150,000km, showing that the latest battery tech has come a long way when it comes to battery degradation.
How to Prevent Battery Degradation in an Electric Car
There are a few simple things you can do to optimise the efficiency and lifespan of the lithium-ion battery pack powering your electric vehicle, these include:
- Avoid the charge dropping below 20%
- Capping your charges at 80%
- Avoid extreme heat and cold
- Moderate your use of DC fast-chargers
- Avoid heavy throttle inputs
- Allow the battery pack to cool down (or warm up) before charging
- Install the latest software updates that pre-condition and monitor the battery
FAQ: How Many Years Will an EV Car Battery Last?
Much like a typical engine, it’s impossible to say exactly how many years an EV’s battery pack will last, though the general consensus is a lifespan of ten- to twenty years, depending on how many kilometres are driven, charging habits and external factors like hot and cold weather.
FAQ: Can You Just Replace a Battery in an Electric Car?
Yes, if circumstances dictate, and your electric vehicle isn’t efficiently holding or discharging electricity, you can replace just the electric battery in your car without needing to replace other major components.
While swapping batteries, you may need to replace certain weather-proofing elements of the pack assembly.
FAQ: How Much Does it Cost to Replace Ioniq 5 Battery?
With current pricing of $208 per kWh in mind, the cost of replacing a Hyundai Ioniq 5’s 77.58kWh battery would total around $16,000, though keep in mind that the vehicle is packaged with an eight-year warranty that covers any battery replacement costs.
By the time the warranty expires, prices per kWh for lithium-ion battery packs may well have fallen closer to the predicted $86 per kWh, which would bring the cost of replacing an Ioniq 5 battery closer to $6,622.
If you’re looking to make the switch over to a battery-electric vehicle, be sure to reach out to one of our automotive specialists who can help find your dream car at the best possible price.