BMW i3 Owner Confronted With $71,000 Bill To Replace EV Battery

Electric Vehicles / Comments

That's more than the cost of a brand-new i5 sedan.

The BMW i3 was killed off in 2021 but remains popular on the secondhand market, where huge potential bills lurk: one owner was quoted a whopping $71,208.27 for a new battery pack for their 2015 i3 REx.

Not only is that more than the car itself, but it surpasses the value of a brand-new BMW i5 eDrive40. It's no secret that replacing the battery on an electric vehicle is expensive, but this figure seems excessive - even by BMW standards. We have seen some replacement estimates cost around the $16,000 mark.

After posting the obscene quote on Reddit, several i3 owners shared the excessive quotes they received, with one presented with a bill for $30,000.

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byu/xplorng77 inBMWi3
2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Front View Driving BMW

All these repair bills are alarming, but the fact that owners receive varying quotes for the same job is even more bizarre. CarBuzz has contacted BMW USA for comment and will update the article accordingly once we receive a reply.

Some Reddit users believe the dealer is unwilling to carry out the repair. By presenting owners with ridiculous quotes, they will likely be put off and search for an alternative (or purchase a new car). "They can't just say, 'no, we don't want to do it,' so they make the price so ridiculous it pushes the customer into getting a new car," wrote one user in the replies. Of course, there's no proof that the dealer is doing this on purpose, so i3 owners (and those who drive older EVs, for that matter) may have to look to the aftermarket for solutions.

2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Rear View Driving BMW

The battery pack in an i3 consists of eight cells. But even if one goes awry, it can still cost the owner big bucks. So, if you own an i3 or another older EV, it may be worth looking for an expert or specialist who can carry out these repairs for far less money. A single battery module costs between $3,000 and $3,500, so it's possible that the repair can be carried out for nowhere near the obscene $70,000+ quote mentioned above. With repair bills like this, it's no wonder people view EVs as throwaway items.

It's worth noting that these high prices don't only affect the BMW i3. A study from Recurrent showed that it can cost up to $21,000 to replace batteries in a Volkswagen e-Golf, for example. That's nothing compared to the $113,500 bill presented to the owner of a hydrogen-powered Hyundai iX35 when the fuel cell started giving problems.

xplorng77/Reddit 2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Dashboard BMW
2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Dashboard

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