As we explained in one of our most recent files, candidates for the purchase of a new electric car have nothing to fear in terms of battery life. These usually last between 10 and 20 years, so you’re likely to change cars long before you notice any real battery issues.
It is true that the maximum capacity of the batteries decreases over time. But this capacity reduction is quite slow and depends on many factors such as temperature, if you load it often in fast charge and if you manage to keep the load in the optimum zone from 20% to 80% at all times. In addition to both new and used cars purchased from dealers, the service life of the item is guaranteed by the manufacturer’s warranty.
There are “Residual Guarantees”, but only through the official purchase channels
At Tesla, for example, there is one “standard residual limited warranty” 4 years or 80,000 km in used vehicles. Therefore, it is advisable to be well informed about this point when buying. But here’s the thing: What if you buy your electric car out of the ordinary? What financial risk do you run in the event of a battery failure? This is a real issue in 2022, mainly because with the war in Ukraine the price of gasoline and diesel is exploding.
And that consumers are being pushed like never before to replace their thermal car with an electric one. However, with the explosion of demand, and global logistical difficulties, the usual circuits become saturated. Delivery times for new vehicles sometimes exceed 12 months. The traditional second-hand supply is drying up and many sellers complain that they have managed to sell their vehicle in a few days.
As a result, more and more people risk buying an electric car by other means, for example directly from one individual to another, or through third-party sellers, without authorization. In these cases, the residual battery warranty is often extinguished. As a result, it is legitimate to wonder what might happen in the event of a breakdown. But don’t panic: A used car battery is unlikely to fail suddenly.
Why your car battery is unlikely to fail
The first important point to note is that the batteries of electric cars do not suddenly fail. They 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 will continue to degrade over time. In general, the degradation of the maximum capacity is faster in the first years than in the rest of the useful life of the vehicle.
In addition, we can clearly see that most electric cars produced in the last ten years are still operating, which shows that this element is much more durable than some might think. In fact, the problem of battery life will only be imposed on you if you buy a used vehicle and take its life to the limit. As we have suggested above, it is possible to curb this wear and tear as much as possible.
In particular, you need to avoid fast chargers, avoid extreme temperatures, and most importantly avoid charging the battery beyond 80% and let the charge drop by 20%. Under these conditions, the reduction in maximum capacity will be much slower and you will be able to travel longer without having to set aside money to replace the battery of your electric car.
Replacing the battery of an electric car is still expensive, but costs are dropping very fast
There is relatively little accurate information on the cost of battery replacement for all electric car models. But we know the prices of certain referrals, and our fellow Bloombergs also offer some dollar prices. For example, replacing the battery in a Tesla Model 3 costs about € 15,000. But it can reach € 23,000 for the most expensive battery. Bloomberg also notes that the 65 kWh package of Chevy Bolt costs $ 8,905 to replace. The newspaper claims that some models with modest capacity already involve much lower replacement costs
But keep in mind that these prices are dropping at breakneck speed. In 2010, the cost per kWh of this type of battery exceeded $ 1,000. But in 2016, the cost per kWh of electric battery had already dropped to around $ 230, and by 2021 it was $ 132 on average (source: visualcapitalist). Of course, here we are talking about averages. It all depends on who makes these batteries and therefore 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 safe bet that this threshold will gradually reach the entire industry from 2023 and that costs will be further reduced in the coming years. Along with the new electric car batteries, we also need to talk about an alternative that you would like to see on tighter budgets. In fact, it is possible replace your used electric car battery … with a used battery.
In this case, depending on the characteristics of the spare part, it is possible to increase the autonomy of your electric car at a much lower cost. Although it still depends on the number of charge cycles of the item and whether the battery still benefits from the famous residual warranty. So, are you ready to take the plunge into buying a used electric car? Share your opinion in the comments of this article!