Electric cars offer a new type of driving, they are equipped with the latest technology and some of them also have a futuristic look. However, many people are uncomfortable with the idea of buying an electric car. After all, the combustion engine has been around for more than 100 years and therefore has an advantage over electrified models. However, its biggest defect is not the engine itself, but the built-in battery of the electric car. Because there are some open questions here.
Electric car battery: the heart is expensive
Compared to combustion engines, driving a purely electric car requires virtually no maintenance. However, the battery loses capacity over time due to wear and tear and therefore stores less energy. Replacing the battery, or rather replacing the heart of an electric car, can be expensive, although prices vary from one manufacturer to another. Volkswagen told us in a letter: “The price of spare parts for the batteries used in our all-electric ID. The models used range between 10,000 and 19,000 euros.” At Renault prices range between 4,000 and 11,000 euros.
BMW, Cupra, Audi, Skoda, Hyundai and Nissan did not provide any precise information, but if the battery needs to be replaced during the warranty period, the costs will be borne by the respective vehicle manufacturer. According to a report by Auto Bild, if there is a warranty claim, a new battery will not be used because the damaged one will be removed and replaced.
Used electric cars: small or large battery?
Many new electric car models with a smaller battery are often cheaper than with a larger one. This can also be seen in the used vehicle market. A used Tesla Model Y Long Range with more than 43,000 kilometers traveled as of 2021 costs almost 54,000 euros. The same model as a new car has a starting price of 54,990 euros. At the same time, a used Tesla Model Y, with a basic battery, manufactured in 2023 and driven only 5,000 kilometers, costs 44,000 euros.
Can a larger battery be installed?
This raises the question of whether it is possible to upgrade your electric car’s battery. So is it possible to change from a small battery to a larger one? Most automakers we contacted told us that such an exchange was not possible. BMW wrote: “We already had it on offer, but with extremely low demand. Technically it would be possible.” Regardless of whether it is a new, new or used car, it is technically possible to change the battery for a larger one, but there seems to be a lack of interest. However, Skoda, a subsidiary car brand of the VW Group, emphasized that “it was not possible [ist]”Because different battery sizes also use different drives (i.e. different electric motors and associated components such as inverters), which are coordinated with each other.”
Change the electric car battery: This manufacturer offers it
Although it may seem like a hassle, charging an electric car is necessary. What if there was an easier way? – The ideal would be to drive the car to a battery change point and perform a fully automatic battery change there. This means that you won’t even have to get off because all this will only take a few minutes and you can continue driving.
The Chinese automaker Nio implements this idea and calls it the Nio Power Swap Station (PSS). In the manufacturer’s local market the stations should be located every few kilometers. In this country, the construction of the appropriate infrastructure began in autumn 2022. The first branch was opened in Zusmarshausen near Augsburg, near the A8 motorway. There is a second PSS between Düsseldorf and Wuppertal at the Hilden motorway junction (A§/A46). The systems that can be used in Germany can change up to 312 electric car batteries per day and charge up to 13 batteries at the same time.
Combustion engines and electric cars: These are the differences in the warranty
Regardless of whether it is a car with a combustion engine or an electric engine, every new car usually has a free warranty from the manufacturer. A new car has a total of six warranties, these are: manufacturer’s warranty, paint warranty, rust perforation warranty, holding period warranty, connection warranty and mobility warranty. In an electric car there is also the so-called battery warranty.
Car manufacturers VW, BMW, Cupra, Audi, Skoda, Hyundai, Nissan and Renault give information: seven of the eight companies offer a warranty of eight years or 160,000 kilometers from the time of first delivery. French automaker Renault offers “an eight-year warranty on the batteries,” but it is unclear how many kilometers they last.