A recent post on social media that went viral talked about how the owner of a Tata Nexon EV had to replace the battery at 68,000km. It said that the Tata Nexon EV battery costs a massive Rs 7 lakh. The warranty covered this, so the owner didn’t have to pay to fix it. But the highlight, which at first seemed out of this world, makes much more sense when put in context. More updates may be found at stoptechy.com.
Here’s how the math works out in India for the price of an EV battery.
India’s EV battery packs are expensive.
Batteries are one of the most expensive parts of an EV, and most of the vehicle’s performance is based on how well the batteries work. In a case that just came to light, the owner of a Tata Nexon EV with 68,000 km on the odometer and about two years of use had a problem with the battery health.
The owner said the car had less range and had trouble starting even when it only 15 percent charged. Tata Motors currently has an 8-year or 1.6-million-kilometer warranty on the Tata Nexon EV’s battery pack. The owner able to get the battery replaced for free because of this warranty. In the post, the owner says the same thing would have cost him about Rs 7 lakh outside the contract.
Even though the manufacturer hasn’t confirmed the price of the battery pack that the owner wrote on the post, many people think it’s a lot. But there is a complicated and logical reason for how much it costs.
Batteries are still in their early stages, and the technology behind them hasn’t fully grown. Batteries cost a lot to make, just like most tech items do at this point. Costs have gone down a lot because of economies of scale. In India, battery packs now cost anywhere from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per kWh. Considering this, the Tata Nexon’s battery pack, which is 30.3 kWh, would cost Rs 6.06 lakh. The rest of the money thought of as a profit margin for the manufacturer. Which in this case is Tata Motors. The profit margin here 13%, which may seem high at first, but logistics, taxes on spare parts, and the fact that the item is susceptible can all be taken into account for a higher price.
Most battery packs also be bought as a whole unit. It is much harder to fix a car’s battery pack than any other mechanical part. Because it made up of many small batteries connected. This makes it not only one of the most expensive but also one of the essential pieces of the puzzle.
Still, a battery going bad at such an early stage thought of as a one-time thing. Rarely the health of a battery can drop dramatically. This happen if the battery pack made with a flaw from the start, if it used in harsh weather. If it charged and drained too often. Most companies also keep a small buffer to smooth out the degradation effect. This done by putting in a battery pack slightly more extensive than what called for. When a cell dies or stops working right, these cells start working independently.
The 8-year warranty from Tata should also be enough for most people. When making a financial comparison between an electric car and a gas-powered car, one must also consider that as an ICE-powered car ages. Its maintenance costs go up, and its fuel efficiency goes down.