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I know that it is impossible to know what a replacement battery pack for the Bolt will cost at this point, I'm wondering how much a replacement LEAF battery, or Volt battery costs? They might be a good indicator of future costs.

I always felt that battery technology would advance and when time came to replace, you could get an even better battery, or at least the same battery but at a lower cost. I also thought there would be a vibrant aftermarket for batteries. I don't think we have come that far yet.

So if I buy a Bolt and after year 6,7 or 8 the battery gets kind of tired, how much do you think it might set me back to get her back up to 238, or even better?
 

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See... now that's a pricey piece to replace. A crucial pricey piece. This is why I'd rather go the lease route and escape any of that potential costs after warranty is over.
 

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Since the Bolt has a higher range, I assume it's going to cost substantially more to replace as they're usually priced by the kWh.
 

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I don't believe that you guys, who haven't driven (or just saw) a Chevy Bolt EV are discusiing this type of negative news. Gas engines fail more often, yet who talks about that?

First, GM has a long warranty covering the Volt and Bolt EV battery. Look that up before worrying about paying for a replacement.

Second, present Chevy Volt owners has passed six years of ownership, and a few have passed over 100,000 miles and not one had a battery failure (there may have been less than six complaints from over 120,000 Volts sold). That is proof of a high quality product.

As I posted above, not one gas engine has such a warranty, and all manufacturers had gas engine failures (some killing their drivers), but who promotes that news?

Don't spoil the good news that EVs can provide! If someone comments about "battery failures", just tell them that the Chevy Volt, after six years and over 120,000 units sold, still have the battery working as new, and for over 100,000 miles, too! Post the good news and make more EV fans!!
 

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I didn't start this tread to complain, or disparage the Bolt, or any EV. Just trying to be realistic. I have always kept my new cars for ten years. The current one is going on eleven and my commuter car that I bought used, is now 15 years old and going strong. This car is different though, as I will likely be able to notice the degradation in performance over a ten year time.

In addition, a ten year old Bolt with it's original battery will likely be almost worthless on the used market because a replacement battery would likely cost more then the car would be worth. Kind of sad, but it would seem that many of the more affordable BEVs (those that are $40,000 and under new) are likely to be retired and scrapped much sooner than their ICE brothers.

Using the LEAF battery as a benchmark, the Bolt battery might cost around $13,740, maybe even more as it is my understanding that it is a more complex battery pack. Then there would be install charges as well. This is the kind of repair estimate that condemns most used cars.

My experience with Li-Ion power tool batteries is, they tend to degrade in the amount of charge they can hold, but work fine until one day they just suddenly die and can't be charged anymore. I suspect the car battery would behave the same. The question is, is there some way to see this end of life coming in the car battery? Would the owner have a clue as to the day the car just won't run anymore on this battery?

Due to the economics of the battery pack, BEVs truly seem like they are disposable cars.
 

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You seem to be discounting falling battery costs. In ten years, the cost/kWh will be substantially lower, so it could very well be under $5K.
But....
Technology will have moved on and ten years from now many factors will make the Bolt "worthless" on the used market. Faster charging (350 kW?), wireless charging, autonomous driving, etc.
BEV's are "disposable" primarily due to the rapid improvements being made. But there will always be a market for used vehicles.
 

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Let's hope that along with falling prices, a replacement pack might offer greater range and faster charging. If this is how things go, the car might be useful until it falls apart.
 

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Let's hope that along with falling prices, a replacement pack might offer greater range and faster charging. If this is how things go, the car might be useful until it falls apart.
Much of what you asking for is controlled by components outside the battery pack itself. DCFC is not even offered as an upgrade - if your Bolt wasn't ordered with it, you can't add it later. You might be able to install a bigger pack, but would likely require software or firmware updates to accommodate it. But if cell voltages or other parameters have changed in ten years (likely), the Bolt will probably not be able to accommodate them without changing out a lot of the electronics.
 

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Supposedly GM is paying LG Chem $145 per kWh of battery capacity. That pencils out to just under $9K for the battery. If we assume that in 7 or 8 years that cost will be driven down to less than $100 per kWh, and there's not a huge amount of markup on a replacement battery, you are talking about spending maybe $7K or so for a replacement battery itself, and maybe another $1K or $2K for labor. Will it be worth replacing in 8 years? Who knows. That partially depends upon what other electric vehicles are out there in 8 years and what sort of range they have and how much they cost.

You can't compare the longevity of Li-Ion batteries in consumer devices like power tools or cellphones to predict the longevity of Li-Ion batteries in a car. Their usage profiles are different, their charging systems are much different, and their battery chemistry is much different.

Being an EV early adopter carries a certain amount of risk. Based on the questions you are asking, which are good ones to ask, it sounds like your level of risk tolerance may not be sufficient to be an early adopter. With such a relatively expensive car, it's prudent to be cautious and wary.

I will point out that some 16 years ago, such questions were being asked about hybrids. There were predictions that the batteries would last only 4 or 5 years and have to be replaced at a cost of $10K. We all know how well those predictions panned out.
 

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See... now that's a pricey piece to replace. A crucial pricey piece. This is why I'd rather go the lease route and escape any of that potential costs after warranty is over.
$6K for new battery is comparable in price to a new automatic transmission in a lot of cars these days. And people pay to replace them all the time out of warranty. The battery in my Highlander Hyrbid costs about the same amount, and it's just as much a crucial part of the car, and yet you don't see people balking on buying a Highlander because of that.
 

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Supposedly GM is paying LG Chem $145 per kWh of battery capacity. That pencils out to just under $9K for the battery. If we assume that in 7 or 8 years that cost will be driven down to less than $100 per kWh, and there's not a huge amount of markup on a replacement battery, you are talking about spending maybe $7K or so for a replacement battery itself, and maybe another $1K or $2K for labor. Will it be worth replacing in 8 years? Who knows. That partially depends upon what other electric vehicles are out there in 8 years and what sort of range they have and how much they cost.
Well, those numbers aren't that bad, but it seems that battery prices haven't fallen all that much, have they? Can we assume that battery prices will fall that much in 7 to 8 years? Unless everyone switches to a new chemistry, isn't there potentially a lithium shortage that could actually drive up prices in the future?

IIRC, there are three South American companies that pretty much control production of lithium today. They own the easy to extract lithium. So until someone comes up with an equivalent of fracking for lithium mining, the world is a little bit at the mercy of these three players much like we have been controlled by OPEC and the Saudis. They can just reduce production to keep prices high.

People have been trying to bring alternate production online, but not a lot of success to date. Still, fracking for oil has shown us once again, where there is a will there is a way. Anyhow, it's just something to think about, but not stress about.

You can't compare the longevity of Li-Ion batteries in consumer devices like power tools or cellphones to predict the longevity of Li-Ion batteries in a car. Their usage profiles are different, their charging systems are much different, and their battery chemistry is much different.
No, I get that they are very different in some ways, but I wonder if automotive batteries have the same sort of failure mode where they work one day and then suddenly dead the next? Maybe the battery management system tells you, or forces you to replace the battery long before they just up and die? Just curious, that's all.

Being an EV early adopter carries a certain amount of risk. Based on the questions you are asking, which are good ones to ask, it sounds like your level of risk tolerance may not be sufficient to be an early adopter. With such a relatively expensive car, it's prudent to be cautious and wary.
It's true that I'm not usually an early adopter of anything. I'm usually the last guy to get onboard with new tech because I'm too cheap and want my money's worth out of the old tech first. Still, on the other hand I'm no stranger to taking a leap of faith if I'm passionate about it.

In 2005 I paid for and ordered a 2006 Pontiac Solstice just because I thought it was so awesome. I never even drove one before as they didn't exist and wasn't 100% sure I would be comfortable in it. My Solstice is the 51st one they built and one of the first in California. It all worked out and I still have it today.

After 12 years of renting airplanes, I decided to actually buy and own one of my own and owning your own airplane is just about the dumbest thing one can do financially. I'm six years in now and it has been very expensive but no regrets. The older I get, the more I feel it's only money and you need to use it sometimes.

I'm pretty fired up about an electric car right now!
 

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$6K for new battery is comparable in price to a new automatic transmission in a lot of cars these days. And people pay to replace them all the time out of warranty. The battery in my Highlander Hyrbid costs about the same amount, and it's just as much a crucial part of the car, and yet you don't see people balking on buying a Highlander because of that.
New transmissions are definitely pricey if they're running a CVT which granted, almost all of them are turning to that now. But regardless, this isn't shying me away from getting a Bolt, just moves me more towards the leasing a Bolt area. By the time the lease is over, there's going to be something newer with a longer range and just a better product in general out. No point in buying one if I don't plan on keeping it for so long, and especially because I won't be spending that kind of money on it to repair.
 
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