How much does an electric car battery weigh? The average weight range starts at around 400 kg and could go much higher.
To say that electric car batteries are heavy is an understatement. Batteries are the main component of electric vehicles. To put things in perspective, your regular gasoline-powered car uses a 20kg battery.
Let’s deep dive into why electric car batteries weigh so much.
Where Can I Find My Electric Car’s Battery Weight?
Most electric car makers will specify the weight of the battery on a label. You could also find the weight by visiting the manufacturer’s official website. It may be wise to consult the car’s user manual for more information.
You could also ask a qualified mechanic to weigh the battery on a scale. This may not be possible given that most electric car batteries are over 1000 lbs.
The heaviest scale in most places only goes up to 200 kg! In any case, it is best to take the car maker’s word for it.
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The Relationship Between Capacity and Weight
There is a proportional relationship between electric car battery and capacity. The higher the capacity, the higher its weight.
The table below studies the relationship more closely.
|Battery Capacity in kWh||The Weight in Kg|
|600 (for the recently announced Tesla Semi)||3500+ kg|
Why Are Electric Car Batteries So Heavy?
Electric car batteries are the primary source of energy for the motor. These batteries do more than just start the car and stabilize its voltage. They power the air conditioner, electronics, door controls, and even seat temperature.
Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric car batteries cannot rely on burning fossil fuels for energy. The weight of your electric car varies from model to model. Bigger cars with more features will feature a heavier battery.
Let’s look at a few reasons electric car batteries are so heavy.
Massive Reservoirs of Lithium-Ion
Electric car batteries are made using many lithium-ion cells. These batteries have come a long way from being used in consumer electronics like smartphones.
Lithium-ion is useful to car makers because of its long life cycle and energy density. The chemistry is well suited for use in electric car batteries.
The only problem with Li-ion batteries is the weight of the metal itself. A single cubic foot of lithium weighs in at 15 kg.
In addition to their weight and size, lithium-ion batteries can catch fire if punctured. Their performance depends on the ambient temperature.
In their earliest days, lithium-ion cells could not deliver charge in extreme cold. A solution was to use heaters to keep the chemistry going.
The technology may have matured since then, but it continues to share similar limitations. Recent developments in lithium-ion chemistry allow more beneficial features. These include quick charging, longer life cycle, environmental friendliness, and fire resistance.
The latest lithium-ion batteries can last 10 years and thousands of charge cycles. Moreover, manufacturers are moving to lithium manganese batteries that can last even longer. Some of the newer variations last for up to 40 years.
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EV Batteries Have a Metal Armor
As a security measure, EV batteries have a metal barrier around them. This is because of the huge possibility of explosions in the event of punctures. A small accident resulting in a minor puncture could lead to a devastating explosion.
This metal armor is made of heavy metals that can contain the explosion’s impact. This armor contributes to the overall size of electric car batteries.
Electric Cars Require Longer Lasting Batteries
Electric cars have to be able to travel hundreds of miles before requiring a charge. Imagine having to recharge the battery every half a mile. Now that would be too inconvenient for drivers. This is why the batteries have a lot of capacity to travel that far.
The more kWh an EV battery has, the higher it’s weight. For reference, the recently announced Tesla Semi truck is said to have a 600kWh battery. This battery will weigh well over 3500 kg. Regular Tesla electric cars have a weight of just under 500 kg.
Car makers prefer heavier batteries because of their favorable energy density. Heavier batteries are denser in energy compared to lighter batteries. Going for a heavy battery is a sensible idea if you want more energy.
In fairness to car makers, customer preferences ultimately dictate battery weight. A common concern is that the EV will run out of power during the commute.
To address this concern, car makers use bigger and heavier batteries. Moreover, people expect EVs to be just as robust and capable as gasoline-powered cars.
These overinflated expectations result in the colossal battery weights of most electric cars.
There is always a trade-off between capacity and weight.
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Their Range Requires More Cells
Electric car batteries are mini powerhouses and are relied on to generate all the power. The average range of gasoline vehicles is nearly 300 miles.
EVs are required to maintain a similar range to be competitive in the market. The end result is that it allows EVs to achieve similar mileage to gasoline-powered vehicles.
They Have to be Durable
Electric car batteries have to survive tough environments. They will get rained on, struck, thrashed around, and exposed to extreme temperatures.
This is why battery designers have to make durable and versatile batteries. In other words, the batteries must be bigger and heavier to be more resilient.
EV batteries are often over-engineered. In other words, they are designed to take a beating and then some. Battery designers have to become creative to anticipate all kinds of challenges. The battery needs to be sturdy enough to survive these challenges.
All this overengineering results in more material being used. This can add to the weight of the battery. Battery makers cannot afford to take easier alternatives. Doing so would result in a compact battery, but one that would fail more frequently.
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Does the Weight of Your Electric Car Battery Matter?
Just because the EV rides on spinning wheels – the battery shouldn’t weigh it down, right?
The fact is, the weight of the electric car battery determines how fast it moves. It will also influence the total effective range of the car before it requires recharging. Even though EVs move like regular gasoline-powered cars, they move weight – a lot of it.
The more weight your battery has, the more energy the EV needs to move it.
Because EV batteries are so heavy, it takes a lot of force to move them. You can do this experiment yourself. Compare moving a chair to a shoe. Heavier objects take more energy and will have you sweating in no time!
For EVs, the heavier batteries are a burden on the engine.
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The current goal of Bosch is to create a 50 kWh battery that is lightweight. The battery maker is pouring more resources into the idea. They believe that innovations in battery chemistry will bring the weight down appreciably.
Bosch recently acquired a solid-state battery startup called Seeo. This may be part of their plans to position themselves as experts in the field.
Bosch promises that its battery will weigh just 190 kg. For reference, most EV batteries weigh over 400 kg. They also believe that the battery will reach a 75 charge in a few minutes.
The battery maker will be able to achieve this by improving Li-ion technology. A major change is lithium anode instead of graphite to maximize storage capacity.
Mercedes Benz unveiled a new EV prototype that can travel 621 miles on one charge. The best part is that the entire car only weighs 1,750 kg. This is very small for an EV that also happens to be a luxury car. The carmaker achieves the compact weight due to improved aerodynamics and a smaller battery.
They are sticking to lightweight materials and a more energy-dense battery.
Innovations in battery chemistry, such as solid state batteries, will help EVs lower their weight. Another change is driver attitudes. Expanded networks of superchargers at convenient locations around the world will change customer preferences.
Drivers won’t need bulky batteries if they know that the next charger is 5-minutes away.
The government may also chip in to incentivize smaller batteries. People may eventually prefer to buy smaller, more efficient vehicles.
The government could tax EVs that exceed a certain weight threshold. This would help them offset the revenue shortage from lower consumption of gasoline.
In the long run, everyone will benefit if car makers learn to make efficient batteries. The road to sustainability will require EV makers to push smaller cars that are capable.
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The Cost of Electric Car Batteries
Electric car batteries are the scaled-up version of the battery in your phone. They can cost a fortune with prices spiking due to sourcing problems.
The shortage of raw materials needed to make EV battery cells contributes to the price. Despite improvements in EV battery chemistry, the cost will only go higher. Now that most car makers are jumping the EV bandwagon, demand for batteries is surging.
The price of EV battery cells will get slightly better – before getting worse. For example, the average cost of battery cells costs $130 per kWh. The batteries could cost $110 per kWh in the coming months.
This may seem like an improvement, but it won’t last long. Battery cell prices will peak at $140 per kWh in 2026. However, prices will eventually settle to $90 per kWh. This surge in demand is due to the expected shortage of lithium.
As batteries become even more heavier, so too will their scaled-up average cost of a new EV battery will start at $2000 for each vehicle.
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A Look at Major Electric Vehicles and their Batteries
This section will explore the battery weights of major electric vehicles, starting with Tesla’s Model S.
Tesla Model S
The battery pack in a Model S has thousands of 18650 cells. The exact number of battery cells depends on the size of the battery itself.
Most 18650 batteries have a cylindrical shape. Their dimensions are 65mm by 18mm. These cells feature a graphite anode with a nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathode. Tesla has adjusted the battery’s capacity in the past few years.
These battery packs are not lightweight. For example, an 85 kWh battery weighs in at 540 kg. This makes the battery the most important part of the car.
The GMC Hummer Electric Vehicle
The GMC Hummer EV has a massive battery. For example, Edition 1 of the EV comes with superior battery capacity. This will increase the car’s overall power and range.
The battery is incredibly heavy at nearly 3600 kg. In other words, the battery alone is three times the average weight of gasoline-powered cars.
The Volkswagen ID.4 has a lithium ion battery with a capacity of 77 kWh. It is an electric SUV that is designed to haul a lot of weight.
As such, it is no surprise that the battery is very heavy. The battery has its own thermal management system to stay at an optimal temperature.
The average weight of the battery is about 2220 kg.
Jaguar I-Pace EV320
Jaguar’s all-electric car called the I-Pace is advertised to deliver nearly 700Nm of instant torque. This impressive feat is accomplished with the help of a 90kWh battery. It weighs in at a whopping 2340 kg.
The battery enables acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. It has an electric range of 246 miles on a single charge.
The average weight of electric car batteries depends on the brand. Every make and model of an EV has a different battery. You should check the user’s manual of the vehicle for more information.
We hope this blog answered your questions related to electric car battery weights.
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- How far can an electric car go on one charge?
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- Where Can I Charge My Electric Car for Free?
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.