Two main fears accompany those choosing to switch to electric cars. One – will there be enough places to charge it? Two – what if the battery malfunctions? While the first fear may be addressed quite easily as more and more charging stations are being built, the second still holds its ground. With more and more people buying electric cars, with more countries encouraging their citizens to go green, the used electric car markets start to grow worldwide. Buying a used electric car brings about the questions of how much life there is left in the battery and how much it costs to exchange the battery in an electric car – if it turns out the battery is on its last legs.
Say your prayers, grab your wallets
The cost of replacing an electric car battery will differ depending on the damage done to the original unit. If the battery has gone through long service and multiple charging and discharging cycles, its capacity will decrease. It will take less time to charge but will not hold as much energy as it used to. This is the most probable scenario when buying a used electric car with many miles under its belt. This situation might call for the priciest option – exchanging the whole battery for a new unit. How much does it cost to replace an electric car battery for a factory-new one? This option will have you reaching deep into your pockets – it’s not completely impossible to see a €20.000 quote. In general, the final price will depend on the manufacturer and your new battery capacity. In general, new electric car batteries cost in the range of €120 - €250 per kilowatt-hour, or kWh. The more energy you’d like the replacement battery to be able to store, the more expensive it gets. The good news here is that with new battery technologies being developed constantly, those average costs have been on a steady decline, from about €230 per kilowatt-hour in 2016 to €137 in 2020, and as low as €50- €80 predicted for 2030.
Getting a completely new battery pack from your car manufacturer is not the only option out there. One thing to do if you’re looking for a new replacement battery is to check if there are aftermarket products available. They might not have all the branding on them, but chances are, on the inside – they will look just the same as the OEM parts. Finding an aftermarket manufacturer might definitely lower the cost to replace a battery in an electric car.
But that can still be pricey. Can we go even lower? Is it possible to minimize the cost to replace an electric car battery even further?
In a nutshell, yes. Yet another route of saving some money when replacing an electric car battery is not to get a new one at all, but find a used one in a good condition. With more and more electric vehicles on our roads, it’s statistically imminent for more of those cars being involved in accidents. Sometimes, the accidents make it expensive to repair the car. Sometimes, they’re written off on the spot. Sometimes, the owner hears it’s advisable to get a new car and sell the old one for parts, or just have it towed to a scrap yard. And this is where the battery hunter comes in. if you’re lucky, you can be the silver lining to somebody else’s otherwise bleak day. Finding a car that’s been in an accident, but with a battery still intact means you can salvage the battery, keeping the cost to replace the battery in your electric car to the minimum. And as for the silver lining – the owner of the crashed car can still get some money out of the wreckage. Win-win!
How about going even lower? Is it possible to lower the electric car battery replacement cost below the cost of salvaging a battery pack from a crashed car?
There is one more way to keep that cost to minimum. This might require more footwork and effort to find a specialist who will take on that challenge, but the gain might be pushing the cost to replace a battery in an electric car to an absolute minimum. An electric car battery should really be called a battery pack. It consists of many individual cells, connected in series and in parallel, to provide adequate output voltage, output current and charge capacity. Sometimes, the problem with a battery pack not holding charge or giving out too few volts or amps might come down to aa single, or a couple of bad cells in the whole battery. With enough time, experience and the right equipment, a specialist can identify those bad apples and exchange them for new ones, for a fraction of the price of exchanging a whole battery. While he’s at it, it is also advisable to inspect the connections between the individual cells. Dirt, oxidation or mechanical failure can result in a bad connection, the inability to conduct electricity properly, and the whole battery being perceived by the onboard EV computer as “gone bad”.