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Video: How much does it cost to replace a battery in an EV (electric vehicle)?

Electric vehicles are becoming very popular, which means, soon, there will be more electric cars on our roads and more EVs on the used car market. One of the biggest concerns consumers face is the cost of a replacement battery in a used EV.

The need for a battery replacement is rare, but as time goes, the distance EVs cover will increase, leading to some level of battery degradation (we’ve all experienced this with mobile phones and laptops). We’ve also seen some reports of motorists accidentally damaging EV batteries, either during unplanned off-road excursions or driving over an object that wasn’t meant to be on the road. So, what are the cheapest to repair? Let’s take a look.

For this report we’re looking at seven different EVs that we found on the used car market. These were hand-picked mainly because the for sale listing showed the VIN (vehicle identification number), which is what’s needed for service and parts departments to look up prices.

We rang around various service and parts centres for each of the seven vehicles to get a price on a replacement battery – we’re talking about the big battery that supplies energy to the electric motors, and not the accessories battery which also exists in EVs.

To compare the results, we’re looking at the battery replacement price against the vehicle price, when it was new. As these vehicles are less than four years, you could expect similar prices for brand new EV battery replacements as well.

Starting with the ‘best value’. A 2021 Porsche Taycan 4S sedan. This vehicle had a retail price of $189,800 when it was new, and, according to the official Porsche Centre that we rang, the price of a new 79.2kWh battery is $68,000. That means the battery makes up 35.8 per cent of the vehicle’s overall cost.

Next up, a 2022 BMW iX3. It features an 80kWh battery and the vehicle was priced from $114,900 when new. A replacement battery is, according to the official BMW service centre we rang, $58,529. However, this battery pack is split up into four modules and it is possible to replace separate modules. We couldn’t obtain a price for each module, likely as they are set at slightly different rates. But, that means the total battery makes up 50.9 per cent of the iX3’s total value.

Next, a 2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor. It was priced from $69,900 when new, and the price of a 78kWh battery replacement, according to the official Polestar service department we spoke to, is $45,000. It works on an exchange system whereby you supply them with your old/damaged battery. Polestar also offers a refurbished battery from $12,000 (also exchange), according to the service centre we spoke to. That is good to see some level of recycling happening. For the new battery, it means it is 64.3 per cent of the cost of the vehicle.

What about a 2023 Kia EV6 Air? Well, when this vehicle was new it was priced from $72,590. According to the official Kia service centre we spoke to, a replacement 77.4kWh battery costs $54,633.45. That works out to be 75.2 per cent of the value of the entire car. A bit ridiculous, right?

Next up, a 2023 MG ZS EV. It was priced from $46,990 when new, but a replacement 72.6kWh battery will set you back $40,000. However, as far as we understand, this battery pack can also be split up into more affordable sections. Even so, the total battery price works out to be 85 per cent of the value of the entire car. How can that be? Shouldn’t that mean the petrol MG ZS should cost around $15,000? Considering the ZS shell, wheels and tyres, and all of the interior and features is only worth $6990, apparently.

Lastly, it terms of outright ridiculousness, a 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric (the long range one). This vehicle is priced from $58,000, new. We spoke to an official Hyundai service centre and they looked up the cost of replacing the battery. The quote we were given? $85,000. That means the battery is worth 146.5 per cent of the entire vehicle. The service department said the computer system won’t actually allow you to order it, so obviously Hyundai would prefer you just buy a new car.

As for the seventh vehicle, we chose a 2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance. Now, this had a retail price of $95,358 when new. However, we couldn’t obtain a quote for a battery replacement. Instead, the service department said we need to use the Tesla app. Apparently, it is easy to look up the cost of parts. Since we don’t own a Tesla and don’t have the app, we couldn’t obtain a price for you. However, please feel free to comment below if you do own one and can see the price.

We found a report by the NRMA that showed a price that somebody on a Tesla owners Facebook group had posted up. It was $15,269.11, but that was for a base spec Model 3. Although it’s not completely accurate for our example, that works out to be 16 per cent of the value of the car, if that price is indeed correct.

So, what does this all mean? Should you shop around and investigate the costs of replacement batteries if you’re in the market for a used EV? Well, to some degree, yes. But the potential problem we all face is, in the future, there are going to be loads of EVs on the used car market, and, by the looks of these prices, not many people are going to want to pay for a replacement battery. Instead, we’ll be buying a new vehicle entirely as the price is pretty similar. At this point anyway. And that’s only if you need to replace the battery.

Battery prices are expected to come down as the technology becomes more widespread, but still, does that mean there are going to be loads of electric vehicles piling up in the future? At the moment, there isn’t a major battery recycling plant up and running in Australia. Not to the scale of being able to manage this influx of EVs.

Now is the time when the Australian manufacturing industry needs to get back into gear. What do you think?

MG ZS holding yard

Brett Davis

Brett started out as a motor mechanic but eventually became frustrated working on cars that weren't his. He then earned a degree in journalism and scored a job at Top Gear Australia back in 2008, and then worked at Zoom/Extreme Performance magazines, CarAdvice, and started PerformanceDrive/PDriveTV in 2011 with Josh Bennis, and ran it for 12 years. He's now the owner and managing editor here at Driving Enthusiast.

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