what is the battery warranty?

The battery is the most sensitive and expensive part of an electric car. It has its own warranty, whose duration and conditions are different from those of the vehicle. What does it contain? Are we really protected in case of default? What happens after the warranty expires? Clean Automobile takes stock.

When you buy a new electric car, two guarantees apply. The first covers the vehicle and the second only protects the electric car battery. A necessary distinction: the battery represents about a third of the vehicle’s value. In addition, this gem of technology dresses differently from other elements.

8-year battery warranty for most manufacturers

Car manufacturers systematically offer a battery warranty whose duration and mileage are greater than or equal to the vehicle warranty. Most often, it is spread over 8 years or 160,000 km, whichever comes first. However, when Tesla offers up to 240,000 km warranty on its Model S and X, Dacia limits it to 120,000 km on its Spring.

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During this period, the battery is repaired or replaced in case of failure caused by a design or manufacturing defect. Of course, conditions and reasons for exclusion vary from one manufacturer to another and you should not hesitate to consult them before purchasing. In any case, you will never have to assume the replacement of a totally defective battery during the warranty period, unless you have voluntarily destroyed it.

Examples of guarantees applied to the battery of electric vehicles

Model

vehicle warranty

battery warranty

Remaining capacity to claim warranty

Renault Zoe

2 years

unlimited kilometers

8 years

160,000 km

66%

Dacia Primavera

3 years

100,000 km

8 years

120,000 km

75%

Tesla Model 3

(except propulsion)

4 years

80,000 kilometers

8 years

192,000 kilometers

70%

Tesla Model S/X

4 years

80,000 kilometers

8 years

240,000 km

70%

Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Ioniq 5

5 years

unlimited kilometers

8 years

160,000 km

70%

Kia EV6

7 years

150,000 km

7 years

150,000 km

65%

Beware of the percentage of battery degradation of an electric car

Battery degradation “over time” is also covered, but beware: it is limited to a certain amount. Therefore, the Dacia Spring package will not be covered by the warranty if its residual capacity is greater than or equal to 75% of its original capacity. Renault and Kia are a little less generous and demand a remaining capacity of 66 and 65%.

On the Kia EV6, whose battery claims a capacity of 77.4 kWh when new, it must have lost at least 27 kWh (i.e. 50 kWh left) to can be replaced or renewed under warranty. A very significant loss that will probably never be achieved during the 7 years or 150,000 km of warranty validity.

A battery is built to last

In fact, the battery warranty offered by the manufacturers only covers cases of premature damage. Under normal use (daily home charging, exceptional fast charging, temperate weather, typical driving), there’s no reason the battery shouldn’t wear out as much.

Some road professionals, like this VTC driver in a Tesla Model S, still benefit from a “healthy” battery, despite several hundred thousand miles driven. Battery degradation shouldn’t be of particular concern when buying a new electric car.

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Precautions for taking used cars

On used models whose warranty has expired or is about to expire, it is necessary to take some precautions. You can find out the level of battery wear by asking the salesperson for a diagnosis at the dealership or using a kit such as the one offered by La Belle Batterie.

It is up to you to negotiate the price of the vehicle depending on the outcome. As with purchasing an old used thermal car whose engine can fail without warning, consider a certain risk when purchasing a used electric car whose warranty has expired. Be aware that a complete battery replacement is expensive: from €4,000 for the smallest to over €16,000 for the large capacity ones.

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