Electric vehicles are growing in popularity worldwide, with sales doubling in 2021 to a new record of 6.6 million, the International Energy Agency said in May.
But some research has shown that it’s more costly to repair an electric vehicle than a gas-powered one.
VERIFY reader Donald wants to know if the higher cost extends to replacement batteries for electric vehicles. He said he’s heard stories that it will cost $25,000 to $30,000 to replace electric vehicle batteries and asked the team to look into these claims.
Does it cost between $25,000 to $30,000 to replace most electric vehicle batteries?
No, it doesn’t cost between $25,000 to $30,000 to replace most electric vehicle batteries.
Electric vehicle batteries do cost more to replace than those for gas-powered vehicles, but they also last much longer on average, experts say.
WHAT WE FOUND
Though it typically doesn’t cost $25,000 to $30,000 to replace most electric vehicle batteries, it’s still much more expensive than replacing the battery in a gas-powered vehicle. That’s largely because the materials they are made with are costly.
All-electric vehicles have an electric motor instead of the internal combustion engine in gas-powered vehicles. A large traction battery pack powers the electric vehicle’s motor and must be recharged to keep the car running.
Kathleen Long, chief revenue officer at RepairPal, told VERIFY the typical cost of a replacement electric vehicle battery is between $5,000 and $9,000.
A simple refurbished electric vehicle battery can cost as little as $2,000, while the price can climb to well over $10,000 for one that works with a newer electric vehicle, AutoTrader author Andrew Ganz wrote in October 2021.
For example, a battery replacement for a Tesla Model 3 or Model S could cost between $12,000 and $15,000, according to Jerry Insurance. On the high end, a Ford dealership in Lakeland, Florida, lists the price of a replacement battery for a 2021 Mustang Mach-E at over $23,000.
The cost of battery replacement for other popular models, such as the Nissan Leaf, can range anywhere from about $3,000 to $9,000, Jerry Insurance says.
In comparison, the average cost of a replacement battery for gas-powered vehicles is about $350, RepairPal estimates.
More from VERIFY: Yes, electric vehicles lose range in cold weather
Though electric vehicle batteries are more costly than those for gas-powered vehicles, they have a much longer lifespan. Many experts estimate that the average electric vehicle battery will last around 200,000 miles – that’s 10 years if you drive 20,000 miles every year. People who own gas-powered vehicles may need to change the battery every few years.
And there are some situations where an electric vehicle owner can have their battery replaced free of cost.
“Manufacturer warranty is typically eight years and 100,000 miles – under warranty, there should not be any cost for the battery replacement,” Stephanie Valdez-Streaty, director of research and development at Cox Automotive Mobility, wrote in an email.
If your vehicle is outside of the warranty, you’ll need to pay for the battery replacement.
Hybrid vehicle battery replacement quoted at $30K, but this isn’t the norm
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use batteries to power an electric motor and another fuel, such as gasoline, to power an internal combustion engine.
Though most electric vehicle battery replacements don’t cost $25,000 or more, VERIFY found at least one example of such a high price tag for a hybrid EV.
A post that circulated on social media in late August 2022 listed the cost of a replacement battery and labor for a Chevy Volt, a hybrid electric vehicle, with just over 70,000 miles at around $29,000. Roger Dean Chevrolet, the Florida dealership that gave the repair estimate, addressed it in a comment on its Facebook page.
The estimate was for a 12-year-old vehicle that was out of warranty “and for a battery that is extremely hard to get, due to the older technology of the 12-year-old vehicle,” the dealership wrote. Chevy discontinued the Volt in 2019.
Generally, hybrid battery replacement costs can range from $2,000 to $8,000, though the price can vary depending on the make or service center, a Toyota dealership in Cincinnati says on its website.