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How Much Is an Electric Car (EV) Battery to Replace?

EV Car Battery Replacement Costs & Frequency
Melissa Brock
Melissa BrockUpdated April 5, 2023
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Electric vehicle (EV) batteries can be expensive. Depending on the type of EV you own, the battery could set you back $3,500 to $20,000. Based on a federal requirement, the manufacturer’s warranty for an EV battery covers battery replacement for eight years or 100,000 miles. But if you exceed that time frame or mileage, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket to get the battery replaced. Here’s what you need to know about electric car battery cost, how long your battery is likely to last, plus financing options to help cover the expense, should you have to replace your battery.

Average Electric Car Battery Cost

Just how much is an electric car battery? Electric car battery replacement cost largely depends on the make and model of the car. As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive your car is, the more the battery will be to replace. EV battery replacement cost is one of the major costs of owning an electric car.

Cost By EV

These are the approximate prices EV owners may expect to pay for the following types of vehicles, depending on the kilowatt hours of the battery pack and model and year of the EV:
  • BMW i3: $16,000
  • Chevy Bolt: $16,000
  • Chevy Volt: $4,000
  • Hyundai Ioniq: $2,800
  • Nissan Leaf: $3,500 to $9,500
  • Tesla Model 3: Up to $12,000
  • Tesla Model S: $12,000 to $22,000
  • VW e-Golf: Over $23,000
If you don’t have the money to pay for an electric car battery cost upfront, there are top personal loans that could help with this expense.

How Long Your EV Battery Will Last

How often do EV batteries need to be replaced? These batteries are generally designed to last the lifetime of an electric vehicle. However, because they need regular recharging, EV batteries usually experience natural degradation, and there's no set rule for how long a battery will last. For example, Nissan Leaf owners have reported batteries that lasted eight to 10 years, while Prius hybrid owners said their batteries lasted eight to 15 years. Batteries may degrade for a number of reasons, including natural aging, being exposed to high or low temperatures (which causes thermal expansion and contraction in the battery), and being operated at a high or low state of charge.Where you live also factors into the longevity of your battery. Plan for about 12  to 15 years if you live in a moderate climate, and eight to 12 years of life for your battery if you live in a harsher climate.

Signs Your EV Battery Is Going Bad

There are some red flags that can signal your battery may need to be replaced. Watch out for: 
  • Charge signals that keep changing: If your battery shows that it’s fully charged, but then minutes later looks like it’s been drained, it may be failing.
  • Low battery level after the car is parked for a while: If the battery is consistently dead in the morning after being parked overnight, you may have a bad battery.
  • The fan is always running: This could signal that the battery is overheating, which could cause it to die sooner than later.  
Recommended: Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

Can You Repair It Yourself?

In a word, no. EV battery repair is a relatively new concept, and there are only a few places nationwide that know how to do it. As an EV owner, you should never attempt to repair an EV battery on your own. It should only be done by a professional who is qualified in EV battery repair.

Do Extended Warranties Cover EV Batteries?

Extended car warranties generally don’t cover EV batteries. EV batteries are covered by a separate warranty. As mentioned earlier, the federal government requires manufacturers to give buyers an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty on EV batteries. The state of California requires a longer warranty of 10 years or 150,000 miles. And some EV warranties cover battery replacement cost if the battery falls to 60% to 70% capacity. If you own a Tesla, for instance, the company will generally replace your battery if it’s below 70%. Nissan Leaf owners can get their battery replaced under warranty when it falls below 75%.

Added Costs to Be Aware Of

Added costs, such as the labor for installation may factor into the EV battery replacement cost. For example, in a 2014 Tesla Model S, the labor might be $1,500, according to some reports. In a 2014 Nissan Leaf, the labor could be about $388.

Alternative Funding Options for Replacing an EV Battery

If you don’t have the money to pay for EV battery replacement and the warranty has expired, there are ways to finance the expense. These are some financing methods for an electric car battery cost that you may want to consider.

Credit card 

You could cover the cost of your EV battery replacement with a credit card, which can be quick and easy to use. However, credit cards typically have high interest rates, so unless you pay off the balance quickly, you may end up owing quite a bit in interest. If you can qualify for a credit card with an introductory 0% APR, you wouldn’t owe any interest until the introductory period ends. But if you can’t pay off the balance by that time, the interest will kick in and you’ll need to pay it.

Personal line of credit

A personal line of credit (PLOC) is a revolving line of credit that gives you a certain amount of funds for a certain amount of time. You’ll need to be approved by a lender, and a PLOC comes with interest you pay on the funds you take out. However, the interest is typically a variable rate, which means it can go up. Make sure you’re comfortable with that possibility.

Personal loans

If you’re wondering, are there personal loans for car repairs, there are. Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including car repairs. With a personal loan, a bank, online lender, or credit union lends you a lump sum that you repay with interest in installments over time. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you may get on a personal loan. Once you’ve met the personal loan requirements and you’re approved, you may expect to receive funds quickly, typically within one to five days. Depending how much your EV battery replacement costs, you could consider looking into small personal loans for a few thousand dollars. Or, you may need a larger loan. Personal loans are available in different amounts, so you can explore the various options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth it to replace the battery in an electric car?
Do electric cars last longer than gas cars?
What if I can't afford to buy a new EV battery?
Do hybrid cars require batteries to be replaced?
Photo credit: iStock/Pofuduk Images

About the Author

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock is a higher education and personal finance expert with more than a decade of experience writing online content. She spent 12 years in college admission prior to switching to full-time freelance writing and editing. Her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, Investopedia, The Balance, FinanceBuzz, The Journal of College Admission, MarketBeat, College Finance, Rocket Mortgage, LeverageRx, Benzinga, Morty, Ally, and more.
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