Changing the battery in an old electric car – that’s how expensive it can be

Changing the battery in an old electric car thats

One of the inconvenient truths about electric cars is that their batteries deteriorate over time, and the question is what happens when the battery has lost too much capacity and needs to be replaced.

When it arrived in 2013, the BMW i3 was a high-tech and quirky little car, built as an electric car from the ground up and with a lightweight body made entirely of carbon fiber.

However, replacing the battery can be an expensive story, reports Cars scoops.

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Can be prohibitively expensive

The American website has trawled through forums and websites about the BMW i3, and came across several reports of quotes of over $30,000 for a battery replacement.

One i3 owner even received a quote of a whopping $71,000.

The model, which was taken out of production quite recently, was offered from the start both as a pure electric car and equipped with a gasoline-powered range extender.

The reason for the expensive repairs appears to be the design of the high voltage battery.

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Many expensive offers

The battery consists of eight cells, and it only takes one of these to go bad for repair costs to skyrocket.

Two i3 owners, one on Reddit and one on Facebook, claim to have seen bills of $33,000 for a battery replacement at a dealer.

Another received an offer of 38,000 dollars, corresponding to almost 400,000 kroner.

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“Is this correct?”

The most extreme example you will find, however, is a Reddit user who posted a picture of his quote along with the short text “is this correct”?

You absolutely understand the question, because at the bottom of the paper it says 71,208 dollars and 27 cents.

This corresponds to over SEK 740,000, for which you can buy a brand new electric car of a significantly more luxurious and newer design.

It is also roughly 50 percent more than what a brand new BMW i3 cost in the last year the model was sold new in the US, and over five times more than the cheapest examples on the used market.

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Can get away cheaper

However, it should be remembered that these quotes are from authorized BMW dealers, where they are happy to change more or larger components instead of spending time on troubleshooting.

Carscoops notes that the consensus is that it’s usually only one of the eight cells that goes bad, and that these are available from BMW for under $3,500.

If you find a knowledgeable garage without a BMW connection that is willing to change individual cells, it shouldn’t be impossible to get away with less than $10,000.

However, the offers from BMW show that an old electric car may well become an expensive history, although ownership is cheap as long as the car works properly.