Who Owns The Battery In An Electric Car? (Explained)

The battery is one of the major components in an electric vehicle. Are electric car batteries sold separately or come with the cost of the car?

In this article, we’ll be explaining questions such as the ownership of the EV battery and how it works.

Let’s get started.

Do You Always Own the Battery in an Electric Car?

You don’t always own the battery in an electric car battery when it is sold to you. Even though some batteries are added to the purchase price of the car, others are sold separately.

Back in the day, manufacturers used to sell electric cars without the battery. They would then lease the battery to you for a monthly premium or you could buy it outright.

Even though this is not common practice anymore, you can still get cars manufacturers that do this.

The Renault ZOE is a good example of this with its battery subscription service. The Zoe’s battery is sold separately on a maintenance and lease plan.

The benefit of leasing the battery when buying an EV is that the owner can keep track of its degradation. The leased battery can also be put under a contract that matches the mileage or usage of the driver.

When EVs were sold without the battery, most owners had no choice as manufacturers made it harder. Because EV batteries were so expensive, manufacturers could keep the overall price of the car lower.

On the other hand, buying a car with the price of the battery included is also a great benefit. You get to keep the whole car and the battery and don’t have to worry about leasing different parts.

Another benefit of buying the battery is that you don’t have to worry about mileage caps. Nowadays, you also cannot currently buy an EV without a battery installed.

Can You Buy an Electric Car With Batteries on a Subscription?

The Renault ZOE is one of the few electric cars that have batteries on a subscription. A subscription plan depends on how much mileage you use and insurance costs.

Tech companies like VinFast and Autonomy are now developing strategies to offer subscription-based batteries. This is in response to the growing market for electric vehicles and associated components.

One benefit of a subscription-based battery pack is the cost associated with it. You’d pay less for the car and even less if you choose a low mileage subscription.

However, when buying the battery together with the car, the price is higher, but this is more convenient. For one, you won’t have to worry about lease hand-over when selling the car.

The industry looks to be at a standstill at the moment regarding the subscription of EV batteries. Nowadays, manufacturers are not selling electric car battery packs with a subscription model.

With that said, there were subscription service-based models a few years back.

It would be safe to say that there are still cars out there that are still under some battery subscription since a typical lithium-ion battery for an electric car lasts around 10 years or more.

Related: How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Cost? (10 Examples)

Can You Still Lease Batteries for Your Electric Car?

At the moment, there are manufacturers who can still lease batteries for your electric car. Car brands such as Nissan, Smart, and Renault have models that are available to purchase and lease the battery separately.

A lot of the big-name companies have now stopped leasing car battery packs. It was a way to tempt buyers who were worried about the long-term life of the battery.

Back when electric cars were sprouting, it was thought that electric battery packs would diminish in capacity. Just like a cellphone battery would die out, it was the same thought over electric car batteries.

Electric car battery technology is advancing and battery packs are now very efficient and long-lasting. The notion that a battery pack needs a subscription service because it might lose capacity is now lost.

The only companies that are now still selling car battery subscriptions are currently on a bid to end the practice.

It not only makes sense for consumers’ pockets but also for the progression of battery technology.

A car without a battery pack is cheaper, but it takes away from the need to look for ways to make bigger and more efficient EV batteries.

The benefit of keeping the battery lease practice is that it might drive the industry to produce cheaper cars. Another factor is that the industry for battery infrastructure recycling might see an increase in development.

With that said, the electric car industry is still quite young but developing rapidly. With such a robust industry, there’s no telling where it will go.

Related: How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Weigh? (Explained)

When Do You Need New Batteries for an Electric Car?

Modern electric car batteries are typically expected to last between 10 to 20 years before needing replacement. Manufacturers now normally offer a 5-year or 8-year warranty on the electric car battery.

As soon as a battery is put to use for the first time, it immediately starts losing its capacity. Although the capacity diminishes slowly, it, however, will eventually need to be replaced if it becomes too low.

Most electric car battery pack guarantees last for about 10 years or so. In most cases, the battery should still be at 70% capacity after 8 years.

If an electric car battery pack is at 60% to 70% capacity before the warranty period ends, it’s regarded as defective. This is because the lithium-ion battery pack is designed to last a certain period before needing replacement.

Because the battery is one of the most expensive parts, it needs to be designed really well and last long. This is to ensure the battery outlasts other components of the car and keep maintenance costs at a minimum.

The traditional combustion engine car battery lasts around 3 years. With lithium-ion batteries lasting as long as 10 years, it seems electric ones are way ahead of their time.

As new battery technology improves, there will be more efficient batteries produced.

One of the main issues with lithium-ion batteries is that they degrade when exposed to extreme temperatures, which reduces their lifespan.

Decreased longevity will mean that the battery will not last the full length of time it was designed for. In such a case, your insurance should cover the cost of replacing the battery.

A great way to tell when an electric car battery is losing its capacity is when charging takes longer. It’s when the car drives progressively lower distances between charges.

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

Does the Price of New Batteries Justify Leasing Electric Cars?

At the moment, it wouldn’t be a great idea to lease an electric car battery as the practice of leasing is not available. The best practice would be to buy a car with the battery included in the total purchase price of the car.

New lithium-ion car batteries are expensive but because of the rising supply, the price is becoming reasonable. As such, it’s getting less expensive to buy a new electric car than it did back when batteries were leased.

It now makes more sense for consumers to buy the whole car instead of one with the option of leasing a battery. Nowadays, the benefits of buying far outweigh those of leasing.

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