Phyllis Lau, a Toronto native who owns a 2018 Kia Soul all-electric, was surprised to find out how much he had to pay for a new battery, not including the cost of labor and taxes.
"I don't understand why they make the battery so expensive when you have to change it," said Lau, a resident of the Toronto district of Scarborough. (Related: EV NIGHTMARE: Man spends 15 hours to travel 178 miles, proving EVs are unsuitable for long-distance travel.)
When Lau purchased the electric SUV, it came with a warranty for the battery that covers 160,000 kilometers (99,419 miles) or eight years, whichever comes first.
Unfortunately for Lau, the family vehicle clocked in more than 170,000 kilometers (105,633 miles) when its battery gave up, putting it outside the warranty period.
Lau took the EV to her local dealership and was told that the cost of the new battery, plus labor and taxes, could be CA$23,000 ($16,890). Despite the vehicle no longer being covered by warranty, the Kia dealership agreed to shoulder 50 percent of the cost for a replacement battery.
Lau is not the only Canadian discovering just how expensive it is to maintain their electric cars.
When Ken Edwardson of nearby town St. Catharine took his 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid to the dealership, one of the employees looked it up and told Edwardson that a new battery would cost about CA$15,000 ($10,875). Including labor and taxes the estimated cost would be about CA$20,000 ($14,501).
Edwardson told CTV News Toronto that it didn't feel worth it to invest CA$20,000 in a car that is almost a dozen years old. "I just wasn't expecting that kind of price to replace the battery," he said.
At the Electric Vehicle Research Center of the University of Toronto, Director Olivier Trescases noted that anyone considering acquiring an electric vehicle has to take into consideration the age of the battery and whether or not it is still under warranty if they want to avoid the prohibitive costs of having to replace it.
"Those very unfortunate owners of EVs that have to have their batteries replaced, yes it will be very expensive," said Trescases. "It all comes down to whether the degradation of the battery is within the warranty clause or not."
Because of these costs, some EV owners are instead opting to just not own electric cars. In Lau's case, she decided to just return the car to her finance company, who will auction off the vehicle and will make her pay for any difference.
Lau believes paying for the difference will cost less than if she had the battery replaced. Edwardson has also decided not to replace his car's battery. Since it is a hybrid, he is still able to drive it using just gasoline power.
Learn more about electric vehicles at RoboCars.news.
Watch this range test proving how a gas-powered pickup truck is far superior to a similar electric pickup truck.