How much do replacement EV batteries cost when the warranty runs out? While many reports show that most EV batteries are likely to outlast the car, there are also plenty of sensational stories about sky-high repair bills.
We hope the following info helps you understand current EV battery replacement costs and how they might change in the future.
Today’s blog post will focus on average battery replacement costs for EVs, current labor pricing for EV service, and whether electric car battery packs can be repaired. We’ll finish up by walking you through some battery replacement costs from several major EV manufacturers.
How Much Does an EV Battery Cost?
As of early 2023, the Department of Energy lists the current cost of lithium-ion battery packs for EVs at $153 per kWh. For example, that means that the base cost of a new Model S battery pack (100 kWh) would theoretically be $15,300 at the time of writing (not a bad estimate for Tesla, actually; see the last section for details).
The cost of batteries for electric cars has gone up from a former low of $138 per kWh in 2021. While it’s still a far cry from 2008’s price of $1,355 per kWh, today’s inflated price is mostly due to supply chain issues and materials shortages as more automakers put their efforts towards manufacturing EVs.
Industry leaders still expect the price of batteries for electric cars to fall back down closer to $100 (and optimistically less than $100) per kWh in coming years, though instability in the materials market makes generating a timeline difficult.
The average size of an EV battery pack is around 40-43 kWh worldwide, but in the US it’s closer to 60-75 kWh. That puts the estimated average replacement cost for an EV battery between $9,180-$11,475 in the US. It’s important to note that Tesla still dominates the US EV market, and the average electric battery replacement cost will reflect Tesla’s pricing and may not be accurate for other brands whose production costs are still much higher.
The lowest replacement cost should be around $3,500-4,500 for an older Nissan Leaf battery pack (24-30 kWh, refurbished).
The highest electric vehicle battery replacement cost we’ve seen so far is for the Long Range battery pack for the F-150 Lightning at about $47,000 (note: Ford does design the Lightning to hopefully never need a full replacement; we’ll get to that later). However, we suspect that the real award for most expensive battery replacement for an EV may go to 213 kWh pack on the 2023 GMC Hummer EV SUV, since it has the biggest battery pack out there so far.
Note: For more information on EV battery manufacturing costs and why the price has been affected so much by world events, be sure to check out the Institute for Energy Research’s article detailing last year’s cost increase for EV battery packs.
Labor Costs for Electric Vehicle Battery Replacement
EV Battery replacement labor costs depend on where you live, how experienced your dealership or service center is with the High Voltage system, and if you have more problems than a “simple” battery swap can fix. Replacing the battery itself isn’t usually a long procedure, especially if you are dealing with a swap-friendly EV like the Nissan Leaf. Most battery swaps take less than 15 hours, with some coming in at only about 3 hours.
So let’s talk about labor prices. In 2022, the average cost for auto repair labor across all 51 states was $142.86 per hour (calculated using data from CarMD.com’s state index). With the exception of the Nissan Leaf, most EVs currently need a dealership that is equipped for EV service with HV-trained personnel on staff in order to do a battery diagnosis and swap. That means that labor for an EV repair in the current market will probably be higher than the national average.
For dealership EV repairs, the labor cost is closer to a 20% or more increase over the national average, or approximately $171.43 and up per hour. In states like California, the cost is much higher, with some reports of EV labor costs skyrocketing over $250 an hour.
With these estimates in mind, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,550 for labor on an EV battery replacement job. Please note that these numbers can vary widely between EV manufacturers and dealerships.
How Long Does it Take to Replace an EV Battery?
The actual work for replacing an EV’s battery only takes about a day for many EV brands. However, the entire process from contacting a service center or dealership to finally getting your repaired EV back in your driveway can be anywhere from a week to a few months.
Why does replacing an EV battery take so long?
First, supply chain issues and battery materials shortage has a huge effect on repair shops even within dealerships. Manufacturers are already hurting for battery supplies; the trickle down effect results in repair shops not getting priority for battery pack shipments.
Second, many battery replacements aren’t done with a brand-new battery pack. The pack is often refurbished or repaired by the manufacturer and matched to the age of the car if possible. These packs tended to be in even shorter supply than the new packs, and each may have to go through several inspection and certification processes before heading to a repair shop.
Finally, EVs that need a battery replacement tend to be older and may be using technology that has been retired (i.e., no longer manufactured). For example, some early Nissan Leaf and Tesla battery packs are only available refurbished (with supplies dwindling), so it may take extra time to locate a suitable replacement pack for an earlier model from these manufacturers.
In any event, we’d advise you to keep in contact with your service center or dealership when there’s uncertainty about a timeline for EV battery pack replacement. Be sure to address how long they intend to keep your EV, whether they will provide a loaner vehicle while yours is in the shop, and whether it’s still safe to drive your EV until the parts come in.
Can You Do a Partial EV Battery Pack Replacement?
If not all the cells in an EV’s battery pack are bad and only one or two are causing problems, trained personnel should be able to isolate the problem with either software or through inspection. In theory, the repair can be made by replacing only the one cell in the battery pack. In reality, most EV battery packs are constructed in a way that makes replacing only one cell difficult (or impossible). Typically, replacing groups of cells or whole sections of a pack would be the best solution.
Unfortunately, repairing only a small part of an EV battery pack is a specialized procedure, and many dealerships aren’t equipped to do it yet. A hot-button issue in the EV industry right now is that manufacturers aren’t necessarily opening up training for independent automotive technicians to learn their HV systems. At the same time, dealerships that do have access to EV training are not getting their technicians and facilities up-to-date quickly enough to meet the rising demands for specialized EV diagnosis and repair.
What the repair vs replace problem boils down to is that it’s typically easier to get an EV battery pack completely replaced rather than repaired. So, while there are partial battery pack replacement options for some electric vehicles (Ford’s F-150 Lightning, for example), for many EV brands a full replacement is the only way to fix a poorly functioning battery pack.
Electric Car Battery Replacement Cost: Examples
How much does it cost to replace an EV battery on some of the most common models being driven today? We dug into 7 EV brands and 13 EV models to see how electric car battery costs compare between manufacturers. What we found was a wide range of prices that are currently very dependent on supply and demand.
So how much does it cost to replace an EV battery in 2023? Let’s take a look:
Replacement Tesla Battery Costs: Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y
While we don’t know for sure, speculation says that Tesla has actually figured out how to manufacture their battery packs for about $100 per kWh or less. We haven’t necessarily seen this lowered cost reflected in the pricing Tesla owners have reported from replacement estimates, but it does give us hope that Tesla battery replacement costs will go down in the near future.
In general, the cost to replace a Tesla Battery will run anywhere from $7,500-$15,500.
With Tesla Service Centers charging from $150 to $255 per hour for labor depending on your state, additional labor costs should be somewhere in the realm of $450-$2,550 for a 3-10 hour job.
Be sure to check out our article Tesla Battery Replacement Cost Explained for a more in-depth discussion of Tesla battery replacement costs by model.
Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Bolt EV – Cost to Replace Battery
The Chevrolet Bolt has had its share of battery replacement drama, but the end result is that most of the packs should be covered under warranty if they haven’t had the 65 kWh battery pack upgrade. Otherwise, Chevrolet Bolt battery replacement is estimated at around $16,000 for parts and $300-$800 for labor).
We’re not sure why the Bolt EV and EUV battery packs cost so much more than the national average, but at current market prices we would hope to see the Bolt’s replacement battery at much closer to $10,000. Still, with the old battery recall making the newer 65 kWh pack common, most people should not need to pay for an out-of-warranty replacement battery on their Bolt EV or EUV for several years yet.
Nissan LEAF – EV Battery Replacement Costs
As one of the oldest EV brands in the US, the Nissan LEAF is one of the more likely candidates for battery replacement (or even an upgrade). We’ve covered the LEAF’s battery replacement costs and considerations in depth in a previous article, but in general, a Nissan LEAF battery replacement costs anywhere from $3,500 to $14,500 (depending on the size of the battery pack and availability).
Labor costs will vary; one of the benefits of the LEAF’s long legacy is that independent mechanics have had plenty of time to study them. You can expect to pay from $300-$1000 in labor for an uncomplicated swap.
BMW i4 (eDrive40) EV Battery Replacement Cost
Since the BMW i4 has only been in production since 2021, reports of out-of-pocket replacement costs are few and far between. We can estimate that the cost of replacing the BMW i4 battery may be $13,000-$15,000 for the 83.9 kWh pack. However, most i4’s will still be within warranty for several years, so costs may be lower by the time an out-of-warranty replacement is necessary.
Labor costs to diagnose and repair a BMW i4 battery should run close to $600-$2,000 from a dealership.
Ford F-150 Lighting Battery Replacement Cost
Ford posts their parts pricing on FordParts.com, and the MSRP for a brand-new F-150 Lightning battery pack has some serious sticker shock:
- Battery Standard MSRP: $34,393.48
- Battery Long Range MSRP: $46,907.06
Note: MSRP pricing doesn’t mean absolute price paid by the consumer. Dealerships can (and do!) charge higher or lower parts pricing for repairs, even for the Lightning battery pack.
Estimated labor cost for replacing the full Ford F-150 Lighting battery pack runs at about $600-800 for 5-6 hours of work.
However, Ford did create a battery pack that can be serviced module-by-module. While there’s not a lot of data on Lightnings that have undergone a module replacement, the different modules range in price from $4,000 to $5,000 each. For reference, the Lightning’s Long Range battery pack is made up of 9 modules, so we can at least see where the nearly $47,000 price tag for the pack comes from.
If you’re interested in an in-depth look at how the Lightning’s battery is constructed, be sure to check out Munro Live’s breakdown here:
Ford Mustang Mach-E Battery Replacement Pricing
Like battery prices for the Ford Lightning, pricing for a new replacement battery on the Mustang Mach-E can be found on the Ford Parts website:
- Ford Mustang Mach-E Battery (RWD standard) MSRP: $33,409.41
- Ford Mustang Mach-E Battery (RWD extended) MSRP: $41,060.00
The Mach-E also seems to be constructed to allow modules to be replaced individually, and the pricing for each battery module is closer to $5,000-$6,000.
Labor for the Mach-E should be similar to the Lightning for a battery replacement, around $600-800 for 5-6 hours of work.
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Battery Pack Replacement Cost
The IONIQ 5 comes with a 77.4 kWh battery pack made up of 32 modules. With current battery pricing estimates, a replacement battery for the Hyundai IONIQ 5 would cost around $12,000 (though we would estimate the real price to be closer to $15,000). You can expect labor to run at about $600-$1000 for 3-5 hours of work.
However, like the Ford Lightning, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is designed to allow for repair work on the battery. In the case of module replacement, each module costs an estimated $500.
Hyundai KONA Electric Battery Replacement
Similar to the IONIQ, replacing the Hyundai KONA Electric battery should be an uncomplicated procedure. We estimate that the price of the 64 kWh battery pack replacement costs about $10,000-$12,000 (though the current market price for a battery pack at that size is closer to $9,800). Labor will likely be similar at around $600-$1,000 for 3-5 hours of work.
Note: with the massive battery recall back in 2021 (for model years 2019-2020), KONA Electrics should all have a relatively new, redesigned battery pack that’s still under warranty for several more years.
Volkswagen ID.4 Battery Pack Replacement Cost
The Volkswagon ID.4 battery costs $27,000 (MSRP). Shopping around with different dealerships gave us up to a $3,000 discount on that number, but the ID.4 battery is still well over $20,000. While this price heads towards the higher end of electric vehicle battery replacement, at least the 82 kWh pack is larger than the average EV battery.
Labor costs to replace the VW ID.4 battery pack should come in at about $200 per hour, though the time it takes to diagnose and perform the swap isn’t particularly clear (the only situation we found mentioned was a 2022 recall replacement that would “take up to two days” as reported by electrive.com).
Cost to Replace an Electric Car Batter: The Takeaway
EV batteries are still expensive, and they do represent a problem for replacement when they are out of warranty. However, advances in technology and manufacturing are steadily reducing the cost of electric car batteries, and increased public interest also means increased service support for EVs in general.
We’re strong believers in researching EVs before buying, new or used, and it’s important to keep tabs on whether or not a manufacturer’s battery packs are living up to their claims. For brands like Tesla and Nissan, the last decade shows that most of their packs have performed well and the cost of battery replacement is a price many have been willing to pay. For brands like Jaguar and Rivian, it’s too soon to tell, and relying on their warranty periods for the next few years would be wise.
We hope you found this discussion helpful. As always, be sure to check out our used EV listings to see what’s available! You can weed out EVs that don’t fit your ideal ride by filtering for features and options like paint color, AP hardware, battery capacity, and seller location. If a feature would make your search faster, we’ve probably got an option for it!
If you’re on the opposite end of the consumer spectrum and are looking to sell your EV, we’ve got that covered, too: check out our EV Cash Offer program to see what a real, EV-informed dealership will pay for your EV today!