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Discussion Starter #1
Today a friend told me the reason he's not keen on buying a Volt is the replacement cost of the battery pack.

I 'thought' I read that to replace the battery is about $3k, but he said it's $3K per cell (or unit?) and there are
four cells that need to be replaced for a total cost of about $12K

Is this correct? Does anybody have experience with replacement costs?
 

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Well no, and probably not. Full battery replacements are exceedingly rare, and any repairs or replacements I've heard of have been under the 8 year warranty.

There are reasons to not buy a Volt, but that's not a realistic one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok. So what does a battery cost? Is my friend correct that the $3K price tag is per cell - not the whole battery? I'm thinking about resale value too so full replacement cost is an important factor.

Also, when you say 'Full battery replacements are exceedingly rare' if you were to replace a cell, wouldn't that typically mean that other cells are on their way towards replacement too?
 

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Ok. So what does a battery cost? Is my friend correct that the $3K price tag is per cell - not the whole battery? I'm thinking about resale value too so full replacement cost is an important factor.

Also, when you say 'Full battery replacements are exceedingly rare' if you were to replace a cell, wouldn't that typically mean that other cells are on their way towards replacement too?
Here is a thread where a Gen 1 (2013) Volt owner had to have two of the modules of his Volt's traction battery replaced under warranty. He asked the service advisor about the cost of just battery module #1 and was told it would cost $4,500 if it was not covered under the warranty.

See Post #33: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?278273-2013-Volt-Traction-Battery-Issue/page4&highlight=volt+replacement+battery
 

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I have no idea what a battery replacement would cost. I read TONS of posts on this forum and anywhere I can read about the Volt, and I have seen ZERO posts about any battery being replaced at a cost to the owner. And maybe only 2 or 3 complete replacements. There have been some isolated cells that have been replaced, but again, I have only seen them replaced under warranty.
I have VIN 3385, early 2011 model, nearly 115,000 miles, over 7 years old and right now my battery "guess-o-meter"" is reading 35 miles, exactly as Chevy said when brand new in 2010. Tell your friend not to worry about the battery, there is a 99.9% chance he won't need to replace it.
 

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Today a friend told me the reason he's not keen on buying a Volt is the replacement cost of the battery pack.

I 'thought' I read that to replace the battery is about $3k, but he said it's $3K per cell (or unit?) and there are
four cells that need to be replaced for a total cost of about $12K

Is this correct? Does anybody have experience with replacement costs?
Here is a thread with some facts: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...ent-battery-28000-Miles&p=3348690#post3348690

By the way, ever price the cost of a new motor or transmission in an ICE car? Not dirt cheap either. Doesnt stop people from buying them. Then again, most dealers would not try to add $5k on the top.
 

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Ok. So what does a battery cost? Is my friend correct that the $3K price tag is per cell - not the whole battery? I'm thinking about resale value too so full replacement cost is an important factor.

Also, when you say 'Full battery replacements are exceedingly rare' if you were to replace a cell, wouldn't that typically mean that other cells are on their way towards replacement too?
First the Gen 1 Volt has 288 cells and the Gen II uses 192 cells. There are 9 groups of cells in 4 modules (Gen I). These modules can be independently replaced.

The truth is very few people know what the true cost of a battery replacement is because very few people have needed to do it. And conversations with dealerships have yielded widely different answers. GM apparently sells you the new parts and buys back the old parts as most cells within the module still may have a lot of useful life in them (in refurbished batteries or for grid tied storage).

There are lots of reasons why a cell might go bad. Typically degradation is the least likely reason. So if a cell goes bad replacing that module should yield quite a bit of life in the overall battery.

To add the most cost effective way to fix a Volt with a faulty battery is to buy a battery from a salvaged Volt. The battery pack is very well protected in the car so lots of salvage Volts have good batteries. And I have seen whole salvage battery packs run from $900 to $2000 dollars. Replacing a whole battery pack isn't very complicated with the right equipment.
 

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I totally detest this bull. This FUD has been around since the first Prius hit the road. Other just as pricey components like transmissions, catalytic converters, major ICE components, blah, blah, blah are replaced way more often than hybrid batteries.

Your "friend" is just an EV hater. Get a new friend!
 

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Depending on the year, VIN, and where it was sold, the battery (and related components like inverters) may have a 10-year/150K mile warranty. In California, starting with the late 2012's, GM offered that warranty so the Volt would be eligible for CARB rebates and HOV sticker access.

My instinct is that by 2022, the used/refurbished pack market may be healthy/competitive and that if a cell fails, one would just A) change out the whole pack for a remanufactured one or B) replace the module for a remanufactured module. Packs are very easy to replace. Modules less so, as it mean cracking more things apart after pulling the pack. Pulling a pack, removing the module, and then completely tearing the module down and reassembling to replace one cell would be enormous amounts of labor unless you had a dedicated module/pack rebuild operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I totally detest this bull. This FUD has been around since the first Prius hit the road. Other just as pricey components like transmissions, catalytic converters, major ICE components, blah, blah, blah are replaced way more often than hybrid batteries.

Your "friend" is just an EV hater. Get a new friend!
Chill my friend. My friend is analytical, that's all. I've replaced a few tranny's but non in the $12K range, same with CAT's. I think his question is valid, especially for people who tend to keep their car 15 years +/-, or for those who care about resale value. Not an argument, just a thoughtful question.
 

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Chill my friend. My friend is analytical, that's all. I've replaced a few tranny's but non in the $12K range, same with CAT's.
And if this dealer told you it would cost $12k to replace the transmission on your ICE car, what would you think/do?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And if this dealer told you it would cost $12k to replace the transmission on your ICE car, what would you think/do?
That's my friends point, he (nor I for that matter) has never owned a car with a $12K transmission. Frankly, I respect my friends question. I think it's legit. For me, I am hopeful that the battery's last a l-o-n-g time. Additionally, I think the price may come down as more & more people go EV.
 

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That's my friends point, he (nor I for that matter) has never owned a car with a $12K transmission. Frankly, I respect my friends question. I think it's legit. For me, I am hopeful that the battery's last a l-o-n-g time. Additionally, I think the price may come down as more & more people go EV.
It's not a $12000 transmission. It's not a $12000 battery. That's the point. You are being ripped off. The battery plus labor is no where near $12000. The only difference here is you are believing the dealer.

Second, it's very possible that the entire battery is not bad.

Third, the number of bad battery is in the less than 1% range (probably under 0.05%) based on what we have seen here.
 

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This is like saying "I won't buy that car because it will be expensive to replace that engine". Your friend needs to stop worrying. The battery is not getting changed, just like the engine isn't getting changed in another car.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's not a $12000 transmission. It's not a $12000 battery. That's the point. You are being ripped off. The battery plus labor is no where near $12000. The only difference here is you are believing the dealer.

Second, it's very possible that the entire battery is not bad.

Third, the number of bad battery is in the less than 1% range (probably under 0.05%) based on what we have seen here.
Thanks. No one is 'being ripped off'. My friend was only raising the question. Frankly, I still don't have the answer. Ha!
At this point I am not concerned about it, but in the future I might be.
 

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It's likely that unless you are VERY unlucky, you'll never know what the true cost to replace an entire battery pack will be. Typically the pack itself is always rebuildable or repairable by only switching out a module or other component inside. The good news is that since there are no moving parts it should have a very long life, but components do fail. There are many members on here who have well over 100K on their cars and have never had any battery issue. I currently have 116K on mine and even now in "winter" I still manage to keep nearly 40 miles on my guess-o-meter. Of course winter here has meant temps between 40-60.

I've owned cars that commanded VERY high prices for repairs at a dealership. Fortunately I have a very strong mechanical background and was able to save myself lots by doing repairs myself. I realize the battery pack is a completely different beast and I don't claim to compare the job in replacing a battery pack with changing out a clutch that the dealer wanted to charge $6K to so. But knowing what potential repairs on a high performance sports car can cost didn't dissuade me from taking the plunge of ownership. The difference in the case of the Volt and high maintenance cost ICE cars is that the repairs are almost certainly a guarantee in the ICE.
 

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I think Steverino is confusing this thread with another that actually involved a battery fault. This thread involves a hypothetical faulty battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I currently have 116K on mine and even now in "winter" I still manage to keep nearly 40 miles on my guess-o-meter. Of course winter here has meant temps between 40-60.
Thanks for your info. You mentioned that you have 116K on your battery and the guess-o-meter gives you about 40 miles... My car is brand new, and my guess-o-meter has never been over 42 miles. Weather here is in the 40's lately. I typically keep it plugged in even after it's charged (is that a good idea to do?). Should my guess-o-meter show more than 42 miles?
 

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I typically keep it plugged in even after it's charged (is that a good idea to do?). Should my guess-o-meter show more than 42 miles?
Yes, it is a good idea to leave your Volt plugged in with the exception of not leaving the Volt plugged in during an electrical storm or if you will not be driving the Volt for longer than ~30 days.

Low 40 mile EV range in winter is to be expected.
 
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