A recent study from Recurrent has revealed that electric vehicle (EV) battery replacements are generally uncommon. Excluding high-profile recalls such as GM’s issues with the Chevy Bolt EV, only 2.5% of electric vehicle battery packs in model years 2011 to 2024 have been replaced thus far.

Critics of electric vehicles often cite battery replacements as a major drawback, arguing that EVs are an inferior alternative to combustion-powered cars. This criticism stems from the high cost of EV batteries, which can amount to as much as 50% of a car’s value, potentially causing significant headaches for customers. However, Recurrent’s findings offer a different perspective: “Across all years and models, outside of big recalls, only 2.5% have been replaced. This increase from last year is entirely due to older cars. For cars older than 2015, replacement rates are 13%, but under 1% for cars from 2016 and newer.”

Even battery-related recalls have not resulted in significant financial inconvenience for consumers. Recurrent’s study noted that battery replacements occurring under warranty have been managed by automakers themselves. This has been the case for GM with the Hummer EV’s batteries, as well as for Rivian’s all-electric adventure vehicles. One Hummer EV owner shared their positive experience with a battery replacement handled by GM.

“GM called and asked if they could have my battery for an engineering study. They offered me $250.00, a new battery, and a loaner vehicle. The dealer turned it around in one day, as this was the second time they replaced my battery. Win-win for everyone,” the Hummer EV owner noted.

Overall, the study highlights that battery replacements in electric vehicles are relatively rare, especially in newer models, and are often managed smoothly under warranty, minimizing any potential hassle for EV owners.

By Impact Lab