Continuing to explore EVs

Posted on Feb 24 2022 in Energy

Nick Geswein
Harrison REMC Energy Advisor

By Nick Geswein

With the government directing funds to build a robust charging infrastructure and automobile manufacturers ramping up production, the interest in electric vehicles is growing. We received several responses after a recent article on EV myths, so we want to explore some of those questions in a follow-up article.

How much does it cost to replace the batteries in at EV?

Cost varies depending on the make and model of the car, but generally it will cost about $5,000 to replace an electric vehicle battery. However, many electric vehicles sold in the United States have a warranty on the battery pack that covers eight years and at least 100,000 miles. That may be even greater on some models.

How do you dispose of the used batteries?

This is one of the developing stories as the EV industry grows. Lithium-ion batteries can be recycled, and one company is reclaiming the elements from batteries to transform waste into high-value material for future batteries. The process for recycling and upcycling batteries still has a long way to go to be clean and efficient, but as we start to see more EV batteries retired, there will then also be a greater demand for recycling that will likely lead to more advances in recycling processes and help lower associated costs.  

Another option is to reuse them. Although, batteries may not have full power for an EV, they do still have some capacity to be used as a power storage device — charge them with solar or wind, and then use that energy to meet needs in inclement weather or during demand spikes in the electrical grid.

Where are EV batteries made?

The EV battery industry is dominated by companies in Asia, including China, South Korea and Japan. The silver lining for the United States is that federal and private-sector funding is expected to significantly increase U.S. EV battery production by 2030.

How much will our electric rate go up with all these EVs?

Adding an EV to a home increases the electricity use by 15-40%, depending on driving patterns, but this is more than offset by the savings in gas. For example, if you pay 10 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity, your monthly EV recharging cost would be $25 to $33 per month if you drive 1,000 miles.

While this information reflects today’s situation, the EV industry will continue to evolve rapidly in coming years as manufacturers phase out production of internal combustion engines.