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Battery Replacement Costs for Electric Cars

Written by John Winger

Electric Car Battery ReplacementA frequent and persisting question one should ask before purchasing an electric car is; how often do the batteries have to be replaced and how much will it cost.

NEVs (neighborhood electric vehicles) such as ZAP, ZENN, and GEM electric cars contain low maintenance GEL or otherwise called VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) batteries. The typical replacement cost for a 6-pack of GEL batteries is between $500 and $800 depending on the brand and dealer from which the batteries are purchased. Some newer electric cars such as the ZENN include AGM (absorbed glass matte) GEL batteries which cost up to $1300 for a 6-pack from the dealer. These batteries have to be replaced at owner cost any time the batteries go dead and will no longer take a charge. It can happen frequently if the cars are not used regularly. For more information about these battery packs and how to take care of them please see our article Electric Car Battery Technologies.

The Toyota Prius has an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on the sealed nickel metal hydride battery. Our local dealership quoted a replacement cost of $3000 to $4000 to pay for a replacement. The motor battery receives the standard term warranty and policies.
To view Toyota's warranty information on the Prius click here:

http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/warranty.html

Lithium Ion BatteryThe GM Volt (scheduled 2010 delivery) will be comprised of 16KW lithium ion battery cells. The cells are being produced for GM by LG Chemical and will be prismatic. The battery pack will have a 10yr/150,000 mile warranty. Battery replacement costs have not been released yet.

Tesla Motors electric cars also use a lithium ion batter pack. The battery pack is rated by Tesla to last 72,000 miles. The battery pack comes with a 3yr,/36,000 miles warranty. An extended warranty on the battery pack may be purchased for an additional $5,000. As well, a replacement battery pack may be purchased for future use for $12,000.

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