How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Cost in 2023?

Batteries are driven by atoms, not bits – making them so sophisticated to progress faster than the items of the digital and information technology world. EV batteries have dramatically advanced in the past two decades. Still, the batteries age and eventually die, whereas the prices are far higher.

What is more, here we are in 2023, where these limitations can still cause reverberations down the spine of EV owners when replacing them – the latter factor being the most dominant. But there is not much to worry about. Let us explain.

How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Cost?

As of 2022, car battery cells cost around USD 128 per kilowatt-hour for replacement. Since power ratings differ for each brand and type of car – the rating may vary from below 50 to well above 100 kilowatt-hours – EV owners can expect to pay between USD 2,000 and 20,000 for a new battery.

However, the price is not fixed and may vary yearly, depending on various aspects discussed shortly. Generally, a trend of falls has been witnessed so far – for instance, in 2010, car batteries cost a whopping USD 1,000 per kilowatt-hour, but a decade later, in 2020, they cost only USD 137. But as per the latest CNBC report, the trend will reverse over the next four years due to the scarcity of raw materials, sending the price back to the 2020 range in 2026. The good news is that the price will begin falling again: and can be around USD 90 by 2031.

Fact: EV batteries account for 30 to 40 percent of the car’s total cost.

6 Factors That Determine Electric Car Batteries Cost?

1. The Car

The way each car’s parts are expensive, i.e., a Mercedes or Mazzanti, EV enthusiasts can expect the same for their electric cars. Take MINI Cooper SE. Its battery is 29 kilowatt-hours, compared to a GMC Hummer EV Pickup. Based on the 2022 cost, there is a difference of USD 20,000 between the two batteries.

2. Battery Type

As technology evolves, changes take place in EV batteries too.

Take lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo4) batteries, for instance. This relatively newer technology is a less expensive addition to EVs. As Tesla has revealed its intention to shift to LifePo4, the buyers will feel joy. When the regular EV battery price stood at USD 137 in 2020, LiFePo4 was 100.

3. Warranty

Generally, EV batteries that are new and packed by the manufacturer come with a warranty of about three years, meaning that you soon need a replacement which increases the cost. The same batteries but old and refurbished – hence without any warranty – come at almost half the original price. A consumer going for second-hand batteries can, therefore, be at a significant advantage in terms of price.

4. Manufacturers

As the basic economics goes, the greater the number of manufacturers, the lesser the cost. Currently, China is leading the EV battery industry – accounting for over 80 percent of the industry. But more countries will see a significant share of the market soon. Biden administration, for instance, has already earmarked USD 3 billion for EV battery manufacturing. With increased manufacturing, the cost will decrease globally.

5. Demand

EV is a fast-growing industry. Let’s talk about the battery industry alone. An increasing trend shows the battery market in 2020 was valued at USD 91 billion and is still growing, valued at USD 900 billion by the end of the current decade. With the increase in demand, extracting some precious elements used in batteries is not coping, and the next four years may cause prices to increase more than expected. 

6. Design Changes

Simple design changes can significantly impact price tags and consumer continence. Such change we expect to hit the EV batteries quite soon – the battery pack design will get simpler and will use a standard product for a range of vehicles. Manufacturers will save money by designing the same product for different EVs rather than making a separate one for each brand, thus lowering the market price.

What Are the Cheaper Ways to Replace Electric Car Batteries?

Among the ways to purchase a cheaper battery, EV owners can struggle with fewer options because of their personal choice and car needs. One thing to note is that recycled batteries come as the best selection – they are not only easy on the purchaser’s pocket but also good for the ‘collective’ gains of the people and environment around them.

Though the lithium-ion batteries recycling industry is lagging behind the necessary transformation, we can expect the recycling industry to turn around soon. Purchasing a recycled battery can have multifold benefits. It will lower the cost, reduce the risk of environmental degradation, and contribute to lowering the pressure on the mining of new metals, which means lowering global prices too.

How to Keep Electric Car Batteries Healthy?

Avoid Heat Exposure

High temperatures are notorious for shortening battery life because of accelerated corrosion. Likewise, as voltage and temperature are the prime drivers of chemical reactions, a hotter battery can result in faster working.

Since some EVs come with an automatic cooling system for batteries, they work hard to keep the system when parked in direct sun, leading to discharging and unnecessary utilization of charge cycles.

Do Not Charge 100 Percent

Fully charging the batteries can give a longer running time, but it is not a good idea because of the stress it puts on the system. As a rule of thumb, an EV battery can be used for years if kept on 50 and 90 percent battery charge.

Keep Away From Fast Charging

Fast charging can damage the batteries by flowing too much current into them though it is very convenient when you require a quick refill. It will be hard to notice the changes occurring this way, but if we compare a battery using standard charging and another using fast charging for eight years, the former will have about ten percent more battery life.

Be Careful While Storing

Experts suggest that batteries must be at around 40 percent charging if batteries are to be stored. This can help reduce capacity loss while increasing the battery lifetime. If you are planning not to use your EV for a while, consider using a timed charger that charges the batteries automatically whenever the capacity reaches a particular set value.

Avoid Hard Accelerations

Hard accelerations can cause batteries to drain faster, thus requiring more charging and eventually reducing their life. It works somewhat similarly to the gasoline engine: the faster the acceleration, the more the gas is burnt.

How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Cost in 2022?

Standing at USD 128 per kilowatt-hour, an EV owner can expect to pay between USD 2,000 and 20,000 to replace the batteries. But that is not all – fortunately, some solid silver linings exist in the price trends.

In the long term, EV battery costs will drop far below the current levels. And with the evolving technologies, the battery might not need replacement shortly. Who knows! Tesla has already started demonstrating EV batteries that can last for millions of miles without charging – outlasting the traditional lifespan of a car!

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