This Chevy Volt Battery Replacement Cost Is Proving Controversial

A bill showing the absurdly expensive costs of a Chevy Volt battery replacement is causing a stir online, but is there any truth behind it? The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid that doesn't exactly need its internal combustion engine running to be driven. In fact, we concluded in our Chevy Volt review that its ICE merely supplements its electric motors as a sort of onboard generator. While a Chevy Volt can do without its ICE, the same can't be said for its battery-powered electric motor. It's crucial to keep an electric motor working just for a Volt to function, but a snapshot of a battery replacement bill that surfaced online shows that doing so isn't such a simple undertaking (via autoevolution).

The quote — which originated from Florida-based dealership Roger Dean Chevrolet — estimates that the battery replacement of a Chevy Volt with a claimed mileage of only 70,489 would amount to almost $30,000. For starters, tax and labor costs were $1,712.68 and $1,200, respectively, with the battery itself adding a whopping $26,853.99 to the bill's total. That would leave the battery alone already costing more than the 2017 Volt's Kelley Blue Book price, fueling the ire of users on Reddit, where a snapshot of the bill circulated. Certainly, it's a steep price, but just how much is the average cost to replace a Chevy Volt battery, exactly?

EV battery replacement is expensive business

Some Reddit users are contesting the figures shown by the controversial Chevy Volt battery bill, pointing to the fact that dealership contact information is missing, and the part number referred to for the replacement has been discontinued. With the car's VIN redacted on the quote, meanwhile, it's difficult to confirm exactly what mileage this particular Volt has done, too. The dealership itself, however, confirmed its authenticity on Facebook, as well as explaining just why the numbers are so high. 

"This is an estimate for a 12 year old vehicle out of warranty and for a battery that is extremely hard to get, due to the older technology of the 12 year old vehicle," Roger Dean Chevrolet wrote. "The dealership does not set battery prices. In the newer EV or EUV vehicles with newer technology the batteries do cost less. Think of it like big screen TVs. Remember when the first big screen came out, they were very expensive, and as the technology advanced the prices became better. This battery is also out of warranty of 8yr/100k miles whatever hits first."

As for what a Volt battery should cost generally, that of course depends on the individual dealership, the availability of components, and how much labor costs add to the final figure. In fact, that can add up to Chevy Volt battery replacements being quoted as even higher, depending on how those factors align. Getting a Volt's battery replaced can range from as low as $3,400 to as much as $34,000.

Other factors worth taking into account include which generation of Chevy Volt is being repaired. It's not just Chevy's electrified models where the calculation can get complex, either, as replacing the batteries on EVs like the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen E-Golf can also cost as much as a brand new car.