New data shows that only 1.5% of EV batteries have been replaced among 15,000 owners in a testament to EV durability that helps to dismantle consumer fears about maintenance cost and resale values, according to a study by Recurrent, an EV and battery analytics firm.
Battery replacements for popular EV models can cost from $5,000 to $20,000 based on numerous factors. If a vehicle is within its manufacturer warranty – typically eight years and 100,000 miles – a battery can be replaced at no extra cost to the owner as long as minimum range or state of health thresholds are reached. That makes EV range and battery transparency essential for people who are buying or selling a used EV.
"Used EV shoppers worry that the car battery will degrade quickly like a mobile phone battery, and not be able to hold a charge within a few years," said Liz Najman, lead researcher at Recurrent.
"That is not a good comparison because EV packs are complex technology with battery management systems that carefully regulate things like charging and temperature. This research shows that batteries are holding up better than expected and replacements are not an automatic surprise expense for owners at 101,000 miles."
While the data show that battery replacements are rare, maximum range does decrease over time as EVs are used and charged. Recurrent helps EV owners measure and maintain their batteries, and used EV buyers understand batteries and range as they are shopping.
Today about 15,000 EV owners from all 50 states track their battery for free with Recurrent, and used EV shoppers can get reports on nearly 80% of used EVs for sale at U.S. dealerships.
“It is encouraging to see this latest study as another challenge to the idea that electric cars are a ticking time bomb of maintenance costs,” said Scott Case, CEO at Recurrent. “Vehicle ownership is full of surprises. While no one can change that, I hope that we begin to make sure that batteries are not one of those surprises.”