Pure Electric Vehicles are the vehicles that run on one power source only: the electric battery. These are also known as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). EV batteries go through a ‘discharge’ cycle when driving and a ‘charge’ cycle when the car is plugged-in. The quantity of charge the battery can hold is affected by repeating this process over time.
The battery pack of an electric vehicle accounts for about 40%-50% of its cost. And this cost is the largest single factor in the price differential between EVs & conventional vehicles. This cost not only affects the buyers during time of purchase, but also after a few years.
A very common question being asked in EV forums in India these days:
If a battery is within its manufacturer warranty, typically 8 years and 100,000 miles, then you should get a replacement battery at no extra cost. But what if it is out of warranty?
Currently, the price of a 1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack capacity is between Rs 18,000-22,000. With this figure is mind, the replacement price of a Tata Nexon EV Battery Pack (31 kWh lithium-ion) will be around Rs 5.50 lakh to Rs 6.20 lakh, while the replacement price of a MG ZS EV Battery Pack (44.5 kWh lithium-ion) will be around Rs 6.60 lakh to Rs 8.50 lakh.
According to a report by McKinsey, the cost of batteries dropped from $1000 to $227/kWh (nearly 80%), between 2010 & 2016. As battery prices continue to decline, the price you would pay today is different than the price you would pay in 5 years time.
The below graph shows an analysis of the same:
The battery on an electric car is a proven technology that will last for many years. In fact, EV manufacturers guarantee it. Most companies offer a five to eight-year warranty on their batteries.
For example, Nissan offers an 8 yr warranty on its EV batteries, while MG Motors offers a 7 yr warranty period globally.
A study by Wharton School of Business:
The study observed a 16% decline in battery pack cost between 2007 & 2019. The researchers estimated in 2019 that the average cost of battery pack was $161/kWh. With that estimate, in 2019, the cost of an out-of-warranty 100 kWh battery, as is common in Tesla vehicles, would be $16,100. If the trend in battery price reduction stays constant, then by 2025, the price should be $56/kWh, or $5,600 to replace a 100 kWh battery.
Addressing the same issue in electric two-wheelers:
Jeetender Sharma, the founder of Okinawa, gave a statement that their scooters which run on lithium-ion batteries might need a replacement after five years. The company offers a three year warranty on its Li-ion battery powered scooters. When asked about the cost for the replacement, he confirmed that it is around Rs 20,000. This cost though is expected to go down in the coming years, with the large scale commercialization of these batteries. Currently all Okinawa dealerships are equipped with the required parts. This means a customer need not worry about going elsewhere to replace the battery. All these dealerships have stocks of the battery.
While battery replacement cost is a big burden on the EV user, most of the times it is an exaggerated issue. Most EV manufacturers offer warranties upwards of 7 years on the battery pack. And most EV users will tend to opt for buying a new EV in future rather than replacing a battery. Those that don’t and who would prefer battery replacement, will find that battery prices at that point in time has gone down considerably and isn’t that big a headache as was once thought. MG Motors website has answered a similar question addressing this in mind: