This is a difficult question to answer, as most electric car companies are not eager to admit to the high cost of their battery packs. Another complication is that different electric vehicles come with different size battery packs. The Nissan leaf, one of the most talked about electric vehicles, has a 24 kWh battery pack. According to some vague estimates from experts and electric car producers, the 2010 cost of batteries was between $375 and $1,200 per kWh, which would put the price of the Leaf’s battery anywhere in the range of $9,000-$28,800. Another clue we have as to the price of EV batteries comes from Tesla. The Tesla Roadster’s battery is larger than the Leaf’s (55kWh) and in 2009 they set the price for one of these batteries at $30,000, which would put the per kWh price at $545. However, Tesla also offered customers the option to prepay only $12,000 for their upcoming battery replacement. This indicates that Tesla expects the price of batteries to drop significantly in the coming years, and indeed this a widely accepted assumption among manufacturers. Given that the Leaf’s battery is warrantied for up to eight years/100,000 mi, there’s a good chance that the price will be close to the $9,000 dollar range by the time people are actually starting to need replacements.
That depends on whether you are using modern Lithium Ion batteries or traditional Lead Acid Batteries. It also depends on how far you want your car to go. My dad converted his old Saturn to an EV and spent about $1,500 total on Lead Acid batteries, which allow the car to go about 30 miles and give it enough power to drive on the freeway. The car has been operable for almost five years now, and my dad is starting to consider replacing the batteries soon. Lead Acid batteries are the oldest and easiest to recycle type of rechargeable battery.
I am currently interviewing two other EV converters for an article which will be posted on this website within a week or two.
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