As we explained in one of our recent files, candidates for buying a new electric car have nothing to fear in terms of battery life. These usually last between 10 and 20 years – so you will probably change cars long before you notice any real problems with the battery.
It is true that the maximum capacity of batteries is reduced over time. However, this reduction in capacity is quite slow and depends on a lot of factors such as temperature, whether you charge it often in fast charging, and whether you manage to keep the charge in the optimal 20% – 80% zone at all times. In addition, on both new cars and used cars purchased from dealers, the service life of the item is guaranteed by a manufacturer’s warranty.
There are “Residual Guarantees”, but only through official purchasing channels
At Tesla, for example, there is one “standard residual limited warranty” 4 years or 80,000 km on used vehicles. It is therefore advisable to be well informed about this point when purchasing. But here it is: What if you buy your electric car off the beaten track? What financial risk do you run in case of battery failure? This is a real issue in 2022, especially because the price of gasoline and diesel is exploding with the war in Ukraine.
And that consumers are being pressured like never before to replace their thermobile with an electric one. But with the explosion in demand and global logistical difficulties, the usual circuits are saturated. The delivery time for new vehicles sometimes exceeds 12 months. The traditional used supply is drying up and many sellers report that they have managed to sell their vehicle in a few days.
As a result, more and more people are taking the risk of buying an electric car in other ways, for example directly from individual to individual or through third-party sellers without approval. In these cases, the remaining warranty of the battery often expires. As a result, it becomes legitimate to speculate on what might happen in the event of a collapse. But do not panic: it is unlikely that your used car battery will suddenly fail.
Why your car battery will hardly ruin you
The first big point to emphasize is that electric car batteries do not fail suddenly. These are components designed to be extremely durable and resilient. Instead of a battery whose charge drops to 0% a day, the only real risk is that the maximum capacity continues to deteriorate over time. In general, the degradation of the maximum capacity is faster in the very first years than in the rest of the vehicle’s lifetime.
Moreover, we can clearly see that most electric cars produced over the last ten years are still running, which shows that this element is much more durable than some might think. De facto, the problem of battery life will only impose itself on you if you buy a used vehicle and take its life to the extreme. As we suggested above, it is possible to curb this wear and tear as much as possible.
It is especially necessary to avoid fast chargers, avoid extreme temperatures and above all avoid charging the battery above 80% and let the charge drop to below 20%. Under these conditions, the reduction in maximum capacity will be much slower and you will be able to drive longer without having to put money aside to replace the battery in your electric car.
It is still expensive to replace the battery in an electric car, but the cost drops very quickly
There is relatively little accurate information on the cost of battery replacement for all models of electric cars. But we know the prices for certain references, and our colleagues from Bloomberg also present some prices in dollars. For example, replacing the battery in a Tesla Model 3 costs around € 15,000. But it can go up to € 23,000 for the most expensive battery pack. Bloomberg also points to the Chevy Bolts 65 kWh package, which costs $ 8,905 to replace. Dagbladet claims that some models with modest capacity already involve much lower replacement costs
But it should be noted that these prices are falling at a dizzying rate. In 2010, the price per. kWh on this type of battery over $ 1,000. But in 2016, the price per. kWh electric battery already dropped to around $ 230 – and it was at $ 132 on average in 2021 (source: visualcapitalist). Of course we are talking about averages here. It all depends on who makes these batteries, and therefore on the make and model of your electric car.
In China, for example, some manufacturers claim that they have already fallen below $ 100 / kWh. And it is a sure bet that this threshold will be gradually reached by the entire industry from 2023, and that costs will fall further in the coming years. Alongside new electric car batteries, we also need to talk about an alternative that should appeal to tighter budgets. It is actually possible replace the battery in your used electric car … with a used battery.
In this case, depending on the characteristics of the replacement part, it is possible to increase the range of your electric car at much lower cost. Even though it still depends on the number of charge cycles of the item and whether the battery still benefits from the famous residual warranty. So ready to take the plunge to buy a used electric car? Share your opinion in the comments to this article!