How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Weigh? (Explained)

If you’re new to electric cars, you may assume that their batteries are like regular car batteries. Many people initially have that assumption, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Instead, electric car batteries bring so much more to the table, or in this case, the motor.

Keep reading to find out how they’re different and other things you got wrong.

Here’s how much electric car batteries weigh:

An electric car battery weighs approximately 1000 pounds, more or less. What else, the heavier the battery, the more powerful it is. However, that doesn’t stop automakers from striving for maximum results from the lightest batteries possible.

f-150-lightning

Car Battery Weight Chart

These are some popular electric cars and their battery sizes.

Model Battery Weight (lbs) Curb Weight (lbs)
GMC Hummer EV 2,923 9,063
Audi E-Tron 1,543 5,765
Tesla Model S 1,200 4,561
Tesla Model 3 1,060 4,250
BMW I4 1,212 4,680
Volkswagen ID.4 1,086 4,462
Tesla Model X 1,183 5,185
Tesla Model Y 1,168 4,555
Kia EV6: Wind Trim 1,052 4,502
Ford F150 Lightning 1,800 6,015

Some figures above are averages over the last couple of years. As the years go by, slight variations lead to varying curb weights.

Also, from the data above, you can easily spot the battery to curb weight ratios. Electric car batteries usually weigh from about 20 to 25% of the total car weight.

The curb weight here shows the car’s total weight with all the components needed for mobility. It doesn’t consider the weight of any occupants or luggage that would occupy the cabin or cargo.

The battery pack is an important part when looking at how much a car weigh.

How Much Do the Batteries Weigh on Tesla Models?

You could say that the batteries on Teslas weigh just about average. When you compare Teslas to other electric cars, there’s no large difference in battery weights.

The Tesla Roadster, however, has a light battery relative to almost any EV on the market today. Its battery size of about 992 pounds allows it to have a curb weight of just 2,723 pounds. However, we last saw a new model about a decade ago.

The Roadster is set to grace the markets again in 2023. We also don’t expect the battery size to be anything below a thousand pounds. Experts even speculate a battery weight that’s way over 1,500 pounds.

The new Roadster is still the smallest Tesla there is. However, its battery might be more powerful than that of its siblings. The Model 3’s battery weighs 1,060 or 1,168 pounds depending on whether it’s standard or long range.

Next in line is the Model Y with 1,168 pounds of battery weight, which is quite impressive for an SUV. It still has a curb weight below 5,000 pounds.

For the Model S, its earliest batteries didn’t even weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Now, its 100kWh battery weighs 1,377 pounds. Battery weight in its previous models ranges from 848 to 1,200 pounds.

The Tesla Model X refresh long range weighs 1,183 pounds. This is a reduced battery weight compared to that of the Model X pre-refresh, which weighed 1,377 pounds.

Tesla also makes its EVs with lightweight materials and they rarely come with spare tires. The automaker does almost everything possible to shed weight.

That’s why it’s so obvious that the batteries in Teslas take up a significant portion of their overall weight.

Do Batteries on Electric Cars Make Them Heavier Than Regular Cars?

Not only is your average EV more expensive than its gas-powered cousin, but it also weighs more. Cars like the Audi e-Tron and the GMC Hummer set the weight standard high. The Hummer’s battery alone weighs almost 3,000 pounds.

If you’re wondering just how heavy that is, the average car weighs around 3,000 to 4,000 pounds.

Regular cars have more components that should make them heavier, but this is not the case. So, it’s obvious that EV batteries are responsible for their enormous weights.

Hence, because electric car batteries pack quite the punch, they cause electric cars to be heavier than regular ones. This isn’t something the automobile industry likes, and we’ll tell you why.

Automakers do their best to keep battery sizes at the minimum weight possible. This is ironic since more weight means more power, however, there’s a perfect reason for it.

Heavier batteries mean heavier vehicles and heavier vehicles need more power. So, although heavy batteries are more powerful, they usually have to drag their weight along. Ironically, a bigger battery rarely means a faster car.

The idea is to find a sweet spot between battery weight and overall car weight. That’s where the battery weight to overall car weight ratio comes in. That’s also why engineers strive for more power and less weight.

For a vehicle like the Ford Mustang Mach E, you can imagine that battery weight would affect its speed and handling.

What Electric Car Has the Heaviest Battery?

The GMC Hummer quickly comes to mind. With a 2,923-pound battery weight, it tops the list. Its battery size is also heavier than some compact vehicles.

It’s expected that its weight is not all it brings to the table. The GMC Hummer’s battery commands 200kWh. In case you’re wondering, that’s a lot of battery power and the top EVs in the industry have 100kWh batteries.

The thing is; larger cars require larger batteries. The Ford F-150 Lightning has about 131kWh. This isn’t exactly a close second, but you get the point.

Although the GMC Hummer has such monstrous power, it’s got a lot of work to do with it. Work here translates to weight, so its curb weight of over 9,000 pounds justifies its large battery capacity.

It would also have a large cargo area and might need to tow other cars, and these activities need power.

In this regard, the battery capacity is to EVs what horsepower is to gasoline-powered cars.

How Much Do Electric Cars Weigh Compared to Regular Cars?

We’ve compared five different models that exist in both electric and ICE (internal combustion engine) variants.

Model EV Version (lbs) ICE Version (lbs) Difference (lbs)
Honda Fit 3,252 2,568 684
Kia Soul 3,289 2,844 445
Volkswagen Golf 3,560 2,945 615
Ford Focus 3,640 3,055 585
Ford F-150 6,015 5,038 977

Once again, we’ve used averages to get a simplified table for easy viewing purposes.

Based on the table, it’s clear that the difference between EVs and their gas-powered counterparts amounts to hundreds of pounds.

It also makes sense for the Ford F-150 to have such a large difference. This is because the F-150 Lightning uses a 131-kWh battery that weighs about 1,800 pounds.

The Kia Soul on the other hand only has a 445-pound weight difference between its electric and gas-powered versions. This could be attributed to its 64-kWh battery, which only weighs about 1,000 pounds.

Again, battery size has proved to have a huge effect on total EV weight. However, it’s noteworthy that a larger weight difference (as per the table) may not always mean a larger battery. There are other components in cars that may add significant portions to overall weights.

Related: Do Electric Cars Use More Battery At High Speed? (Solved)

Are There Other Disadvantages Associated With Weight?

Heavier cars aren’t all bad. They perform better in road crash tests, so you’re less likely to get injured in an accident. There’s also better weight distribution on the road, so you have more balance when you drive.

However, there are significant downsides to having a heavy vehicle. For starters, they’re more expensive because manufacturers spend more money to produce them.

Using EVs as examples, heavier batteries cost more. The same brakes and motor that work for lighter vehicles would be inefficient for heavier ones. This means more is also spent on better brakes.

Since more resources go into their production, they’re more expensive. However, it’s noteworthy that with EVs, the higher price is worth it in the long run. This is especially true in the ‘maintenance and recharging’ segment.

Related: Why Do Charging Electric Cars Take So Long? (Explained)

Do Electric Cars Have Other Unique Parts That Are Heavy?

An EV’s battery is arguably the single most important component it has. It is also the heaviest component of any electric car. Without a battery, an EV is practically empty.

Gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles have engines, complex transmissions, several tubes that transport fluid, a fuel tank, and their battery. On the other hand, the main parts of electric cars are the battery and the motor.

Since electric cars still weigh more, we can easily tell that EV batteries still take the cake. Still, they only account for a maximum of 30% of total vehicle weight.

Let’s explore what occupies the rest.

Other parts include the DC converter, power electronic controller, transmission, thermal management system, and even an auxiliary battery. These parts, combined with the electric motor, make EVs as heavy as they are.

So electric cars drive like regular cars, albeit with fewer but heavier vehicle parts. If we were to select a significantly heavier part other than the battery, we’d pick the motor.

All other EV parts (even the very important ones) weigh fairly light compared to the battery.

Related: How Fast Are Electric Car Batteries Improving? (Explained)

How Big Are the Batteries?

For physical size, EV car batteries are quite large, larger than most people imagine. They’re so big that they’re placed underneath the car’s floor (there’s no other convenient location for them).

If you have an EV’s skeletal view, you’d find the length of the battery occupies the entire floor. To paint the image more clearly, their lengths start after the front wheels and end before the rear ones. Their weights and strategic location cause EVs to have more balance on the road.

If we’re referring to their battery capacities, the average range is from about 30 kWh to over 100 kWh. Cars with up to 100-kWh batteries are considered extremely powerful, irrespective of size.

If you’re wondering why the range doesn’t extend to 130 or 200 kWh, we’re referring to the conventional industry average. Cars with such battery capacities exceed what we’re used to seeing in EVs. That’s why we’re so wowed by them.

Final Thoughts

As a key point to remember, don’t be impressed by the lightweight of your battery alone. Instead, consider the ratio of its weight to the power it generates.

The same goes for its capacity. It’s best to check the ratio of your battery capacity to the overall weight of your car.

The lesson is that no one single factor has all the influence on an EV’s overall performance.

Sources

The GMC Hummer EV Has 3x the Battery Capacity of Most Electric Cars | Motor Biscuit

EVs Explained: Battery Capacity, Gross Versus Net | Car and Driver

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