Chevrolet Bolt's Battery Pack Replacement Costs Almost Half as Much as the Car

There's a reason Tesla is investing billions of dollars in the Gigafactory, the plant where it produces the battery cells and battery packs for its vehicles, together with Panasonic: they represent the key to bringing an EV's selling price down.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt underpinnings 1 photo
Photo: GM
The issue of the battery cost in EVs is just as old as the vehicles themselves. And while nobody really cares how much it is as long as the overall price of the car is acceptable, there's always the question of what happens if it would ever need replacing?

Carmakers have anticipated this and have come up with various solutions, the most common of which being a very long full warranty for the battery pack. If you know the manufacturer of your car will replace it if anything goes wrong over the next eight years, that's enough peace of mind for most people.

Others, such as Renault, offer the option of never actually paying for the battery, but rather lease it. Its cost is taken out of the car's purchase price - thus making the acquisition more tempting - but the owner has to pay a monthly installment for the battery pack. With the sum amounting to under $1,500 a year, that's actually quite a convenient deal since if anything were to go wrong with the energy storage device, Renault would pay for everything.

However, even though it's too early to talk about it since all EVs are still in their warranty period, how much does it cost to replace the battery pack? Green Car Reports brought the question to GM, the makers of the fine 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt.

The answer from one of Chevrolet's Communication specialists is both worrying and soothing. "The current list price of a Bolt EV HV battery pack is $15,734.29," he says, which means you'd have to add the extra labor cost over this already dizzying value.

That was the worrying part. The Chevrolet official continues with a more detailed response: "The Bolt EV battery is covered by the electric-car propulsion warranty (8 years/100,000 miles or 10 years/150,000 miles, depending on state) and Bolt EV customers shouldn’t expect to pay parts costs for warrantied repairs.

In [almost seven] years of Volt sales we have yet to replace a single battery pack under warranty for general capacity degradation, and many owners are still reporting they enjoy the same range capability they had when they purchased the car.

Whole battery-pack replacement is also largely mitigated by the design, manufacturing technique, dealer diagnostic, and repair tools included to support the manufacture, sale, and service needs of the Bolt EV, meaning individual modules can be replaced should it be required.

In addition to the 3-year/36,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage, Chevrolet warrants certain components for each Bolt EV for 8 years or 100,000 miles (160, 000 kilometers), whichever comes first, from the original in-service date of the vehicle ... for repairs to the specific electric propulsion components of the vehicle

So it's not all doom and gloom. Besides, you'll probably want a new car eight years from now anyway, so it anything goes wrong, it'll be the next owner's problem.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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