A new study shared by the U.S. Department of Energy is throwing cold water on EV battery failure concerns.

The study used data by Recurrent, a data analysis company specializing in EV batteries, said out of the 15,000 cars registered with their community, only 1.5% of them needed a replacement battery.

EV battery failure study

This study went back to the 2011 model year through today. It showed the risk of failure is much lower than many consumers believe it to be.

The report says EV batteries used to fail at a rate of 7.5% back in 2011 and now fail at less than 0.1% for 2023 models.

EV battery failure

EV batteries have gotten more reliable as the years have passed by. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy)

These replacements were pretty rare and were often covered by the 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty mandated by the Federal Government that automakers offer.

The biggest source of battery replacements, and not factored into this study, were due to battery recalls like the Chevy Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona.

EV battery failure 3EV battery failure 3

This chart shows which EV models have failed more often. (Screenshot courtesy Recurrent) 

According to Recurrent, automakers have said EV batteries should last 10-15 years without replacement due to degradation.

It is still unknown exactly how much batteries degrade on average over their lifespan. This is even harder to predict with the various ways consumers charge their vehicles, new battery technology improving cooling and overall efficiency and life of the battery.

Battery degradation is where the vehicle gets less mileage as the years go on. It is like a new cell phone that overtime doesn’t hold a charge as long as it used to when you first bought it.

This information is interesting news considering how large, and expensive, EV batteries are like in the GMC Hummer EV.

The bottom line

EV batteries are really expensive and can add up to 50-75% of the vehicle’s value overall. This creates a lot of concern for new consumers and rightly so. Studies, like this one, are meant to calm consumer fears. However, we need more studies with an even larger pool of vehicles to confirm this data.

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