Living Smarter Logo Living Smarter

Can you change the battery in an electric car?

You absolutely can get the battery in your electric car changed. If somehow you get in a situation where this is needed, just contact the manufacturer, they’ll either guide you to a local authorized workshop or replace the battery themselves.

wouldn’t recommend you to do it yourself, even though it could be a dead battery that you think is fully depleted, there could still be some high voltage remaining which can be dangerous to work with. You need special education and training in handling dead batteries.

How often do you need to replace the battery in an electric car?

Maybe you’ll not need to replace the battery ever. In fact, a lot of 10+ years old Teslas are still driving with their old batteries and they are fine.

Maybe when you have driven +100,000 miles the battery will have degraded 10-30% depending on your charging habits. But the battery could still be healthy.

The only situation where you might want to consider replacing your battery is when you get limited by the ever-decreasing range.

So when you can’t get to your destinations anymore and the range is becoming a liability to your everyday needs, this is when I would consider it.

However, this would probably take several hundred thousand miles if you treat your battery well enough.

Most manufacturers are even +100,000 miles or +10 years in their warranties because they trust heavily in their technology. Some people who need the full range at all times are starting to sell their “old” batteries and actually change them every year or so.

This you could make a good deal on. If you have a 5-10 years old Tesla, it might be a good deal to buy a 1-3-year-old battery from guys who just keep replacing them every year.

If you are looking out to buy a new battery keep an eye out for this.

Are electric car batteries expensive?

Depending on how you would define expensive, I would say that the batteries are a main part of the EV, so it’s okay for it to not be a cheap part. Like the gas intake of a combustion engine, it has to work properly for you to even drive in it.

The price of batteries is on a steep decline while the production increases almost exponentially.

Source: Bloomberg – LI-ION Battery Pack Cost And Production, 2010-2030.

What the chart from Bloomberg shows is the high prices from 2010 where a kWh cost more than $1,000 and now the general cost is under $400. Actually, prices are found lower than $200 in some cases.

How do you dispose of an electric car battery?

If you get your battery replaced at an authorized workshop, they’ll take care of the battery and make sure it’s recycled properly. If you somehow happen to keep the battery yourself, you can ask your local recycling center if they take electric car batteries, they might refer you to the nearest battery recycling center.

You should NOT try to dispose of it yourself. The contents of the batteries are not environment-friendly and they are actually poisonous to the groundwater.

Do NOT try to burn it. Leftover energy in the batteries will make it burn ferociously and you’ll not be able to contain it in any way.

What happens when an electric car battery dies?

When the battery of an electric car dies the battery won’t be able to hold a charge anymore.

A battery for an EV large sections of smaller batteries. These smaller batteries will die out and the charging system will see this and stop trying to recharge them.

When a lot of the smaller batteries or sections of batteries have died out, the car will lose a significant amount of range when fully charged. This is the time you might want to consider replacing it.

When you retire your batteries they go to a battery recycling center that will try to recycle as many parts and ingredients as possible.

The battery recycling centers are increasingly getting better at this and as of now, good recycling centers can recycle up to 60%. One company has made it possible to recycle 80% of the battery.

VW and Tesla have other plans with their retired batteries. The retired batteries might not be good enough for electric cars, but they still hold a significant amount of storage.

This they plan to exploit and build power walls from retired batteries. Tesla already has a power wall, I do not know yet what VW will call theirs.

But the plan is to have a “super-charger” installed at home, where you can quickly fill your batteries without drawing them directly from the grid.

The retired battery pack can also be used, like Teslas power wall does now, as a compensator for buying when electricity is cheap and sell unsued power when the price is high.

It is also a great way to store the energy from your solar panels or wind turbines, this way you’ll know that 100% of the energy is renewable, and your own renewable energy that it.

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.