The topic of Chevy Volt battery replacement cost has not been without recent controversy. General Motors CEO Mary Barra made headlines in January when she stated emphatically that her company had thus far never had to replace a battery in any Chevy Volt. Critics immediately pounced on this statement, insisting that there was no way this could be true. A spokesperson for GM later clarified Barra’s statements to InsideEvs.com by saying:
“Wednesday night at Automotive News World Congress, Mary Barra referenced the more than 200,000 electric vehicles General Motors has sold. She stated that General Motors has yet to replace a battery pack. The intent behind Mary’s original statement was in reference to the wear out of a battery due to regular use. Upon further review, an estimated less than 0.01% of customer battery packs or sections have been replaced due to suspected wear out. Additionally, we have replaced battery packs or sections due to defects.”
That’s great! Unless you’re part of that 0.01% that is…
Let’s Clear Something Up
We are talking about Chevy Volt battery replacement cost here. We are not talking about the Chevy Bolt. The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The Chevy Bolt is an all-electric vehicle (EV). All PHEVs and EVs are manufactured with two batteries. Like standard internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, these vehicles come with a 12 volt battery. This battery is used to power the electronics in the vehicle and perform other small functions. Unlike traditional vehicles, PHEVs and EVs also come with a large, lithium-ion battery that powers the motor. These batteries tend to be smaller in PHEVs then they are in EVs. The good news is that General Motors covers the replacement of all large, lithium-ion batteries in all of their vehicles for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Getting to the Point
So what is the actual cost to replace the lithium-ion battery in a Chevy Volt? No one seems to know for sure, and prices apparently vary wildly depending on who you ask. Sebastian Blanco of Autoblog.com attempted to pin down an exact number a few years back. During the course of his investigation, Blanco received quotes ranging from just over $2,000 to a whopping $34,000! It appears as if Volt owners can purchase these batteries fairly inexpensively from third-party distributors. It is not clear however, how much owners would need to pay for installation and other items such as connectors in order to repair their batteries.
GM’s Manager of Electrification Technology Communications, Kevin Kelly, told Autoblog:
“If the customer needs to have their battery repaired beyond the warranty, the cost to them would vary depending on what needs to be replaced or repaired (i.e. number of modules, which specific internal components need replacement, etc.). So, it’s hard for us to tell you exactly what the cost would be to the customer because it varies depending on what might need to be repaired/replaced. As a result, the core charge would vary.”
Not exactly super-confidence inspiring, but nice to know that they will at least try and repair a busted battery instead of replacing it outright!
What do our readers think? Any of you out there belong to the dreaded 0.01% club and have experience with Chevy Volt battery replacement costs? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.