There’s no arguing that electric cars are here to stay for the future. All major car brands now have electric car models in their lineups.
New cars on dealership lots are now scattered with hybrid cars and all-electric cars alike. Although they look like normal cars, you’ll have to know a thing or two about electric cars to tell them apart.
One huge difference with the electric car is that battery banks power it. Most often you’ll find that these are lithium-ion batteries.
But the question is, do electric cars always come with batteries?
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at electric car batteries and if they are always included.
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Can You Buy an Electric Car Without Batteries?
At the moment, you can’t buy an electrical vehicle without batteries installed. The reason for this is due to the few manufacturers who want to drive down the initial price of electric vehicles.
Check our rundown of how much batteries cost in 10 electric cars.
This is because lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles are very expensive. So the price drops significantly if the car does not have a battery.
This will allow those that want an electric vehicle to purchase it at a lower price range. And if you’re looking at higher premium cars, this saves a bit of money.
There is still some confusion around selling EVs without including batteries. The manufacturer will not be able to warranty a reliable performance.
A manufacturer is responsible for dealing with selling the car as a whole to guarantee reliable performance. If an after-sale battery is used, there is no way for the automaker to ensure good performance.
It would also be quite expensive to buy lithium batteries on their own. These batteries differ in terms of capacity, power, and reliability.
If electric car batteries were to be sold separately, manufacturers would need to price their cars competitively. This would affect market prices and the automaker’s confidence in their models.
This is because automakers always want to test their vehicles for reliability before selling them. If they sell the car without the battery, they won’t be able to guarantee its reliability with third-party batteries.
Looking at the forecast for the electric vehicle industry, it’s easy to tell that it is expanding rapidly. This is to say that there is a possibility that future EVs will run on other technology rather than batteries.
Are Batteries Included in the Sales Price of Electric Cars?
Batteries are still the most expensive component in an electric vehicle. The total cost of the vehicle includes the cost of the battery.
This means that if you buy a Tesla Model S at $106,000, the battery is included in the final sale price. At the moment, the battery pack of a Tesla can account for up to 20% of the total purchase price.
EV batteries are expensive and the price keeps on soaring even higher. This is after research showed that battery prices would decrease.
The most expensive components found on electric cars are the battery pack, electric motor, and transmission.
Electric car batteries are largely expensive because of the materials that go into manufacturing them. Cobalt, nickel, lithium, and manganese are the metals found in lithium batteries and they are hard to mine.
Back when electric cars were still new in the industry, some automakers would sell you the car without a battery. This would mean you could buy the car and have the option of leasing the battery.
This practice has since changed in the world where you now have the battery price included in the overall vehicle price.
Battery packs are the most expensive of these components and can account for up to 40% of the cost of the vehicle. Recent economic struggles around the world have seen prices for battery packs increasing.
Do You Pay for Batteries Separately?
Today, all purchase prices of electric vehicles are now inclusive of the battery. So you do not pay separately for the battery installed in the car.
Because batteries are now expensive, they also increase the overall purchase price of electric vehicles. At the moment, you cannot purchase a car that excludes the battery pack as standard.
Lithium-ion batteries are quite expensive even though they are used in the majority of electronics nowadays. The same batteries used in EVs can be found in smartphones, solar systems, and portable power banks.
Even though they are so common, a large-sized car needs much bigger battery banks. This is what adds to the overall price of the car on purchase.
For example, a 60KWh battery is enough to power a large-size all-electric sedan. This battery was just under $2,000 a year ago but has now increased to about $7,000.
Costs of Electric Car Battery Replacement
|Electric Car Model
|Estimated Price Of Battery
|Tesla Model 3
If you were to buy a battery pack of a size that would power an electric car, it would be expensive.
This is because of the scarce materials needed to manufacture the battery pack.
We can see that smaller cars like the Chevy Volt and Hyundai Ioniq have cheaper prices.
This is because smaller cars don’t need as much power and therefore use smaller battery packs.
Sometimes an EV battery pack needs to be replaced and this can cost you up to $25,000. Batteries replaced before the manufacturer warranty, typically 8 years and 100,000 miles, will be at no extra charge.
With that said, it is important to keep your battery in good working order to avoid high replacement costs.
Do Electric Cars Come With Chargers?
Electric vehicles do come with their own charger for charging the battery. You can expect to find a standard 120-volt, level one portable charger when purchasing an EV.
You have the option of separately buying a 240-volt, level-two charger which will charge the car much faster. These are available to buy as an upgrade and are not typically included as standard when buying a car.
The 120-volt charger is slower and will “trickle charge” your car. This charger is ideal if you’re using the car for shorter trips.
If you’ll be traveling longer trips and need to charge the car faster, the 240-volt charger will be your best bet. Although these are a bit more expensive, they are convenient for larger battery cars and long trips.
For level 2 charging, all EVs typically use the J1772 connector for fast charging. However, Teslas enable usage of the J1772 and CHAdeMO connectors.
There are three different types of charging, namely Trickle Charge, AC Charge, and DC Charge. The slowest of these will be trickle charging, which is commonly done at your home.
You have the option of charging at home and charging at a public charging station. Home charging will be much slower than at a public charging station.
You’d have to pay more to properly install a level1 or level 2 charging station at home. You can expect to pay between $1,200 and $7,000 to install a functional charging station in your home.
Public charging stations can charge more than 50kW through a voltage above 450V and current up to 125A. These are considered ultrafast charging points and can charge a car from 20% to 80% in about 40 minutes.
In conclusion, it is best to use a fast-charging point for long-distance travel. Home charging should be sufficient for a daily driver.
Can You Buy New Batteries for Electric Cars?
Replacing an electric car battery can cost up to $20,000. This depends on factors such as battery make and capacity and car model.
It is estimated that electric vehicle batteries can last between 10 and 20 years. This is because of their higher energy density.
For a Tesla, it can currently cost between $13,000 and $25,000 for a battery replacement. These lithium batteries are prone to degradation and capacity loss.
The biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturers are the Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology CATL, LG, Panasonic, and Tesla.
It is important to note that buying directly from these companies will be very expensive. This is because they mostly supply their batteries to the auto industry and not individual buyers.
The best way to buy a battery pack separately would be to find local manufacturers. This will be cheaper, but caution should be exercised to find the right battery to power your EV.
The biggest battery manufacturing companies are mostly in Asia and supply most automakers worldwide. China is where most of the raw materials are converted into working battery packs.
You can spot a dying EV battery with a reduced driving range and longer charging times. It is best to keep an eye on your battery’s performance when it is new.
With that said, nowadays it will not be necessary to buy the battery pack separately. Most manufacturers and automakers now include the battery in the final price of the car.