Where’s the support early adopters should deserve?

Some articles are born out of personal curiosity or needs. After writing my “What Do I Drive?” article, I decided I need to have an EV, but wanted to save as much as possible. Among my options was the Peugeot Ion. I could find one in Portugal for around €7,000. But I had to know how much it would cost me to get a new battery pack in case I needed one. Well, I was shocked to discover one can end up paying €23,335.53 on it, as you can see in the image above. That is equivalent to $25,700 at the current exchange rate.

Gallery: Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

The Peugeot Ion is one of the PSA versions for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, an EV that was sold in the US until 2017. The other one is the Citroën C0, also known as C-Zero

All of them have a 16 kWh battery pack that gives them a range of not more than 130 km (80 mi) and a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph). The battery pack has a warranty period of only three years or 50,000 km – a little more than 30,000 mi.

Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

I requested the budget above to one of the biggest dealership groups in Portugal. It was sent to me on November 25, the same date in which this article was published. But this price is not limited to Portugal. And it is not recent either.

The KiwiEV website published on February 27, 2017, that the website owner had bought a 2011 Peugeot Ion in 2015 for €7,000. On February 17, 2017, he received a budget that asked €18,510.67 for the battery pack.

Opel Ampera-e Spied in Germany

For comparison matters, we also asked Opel dealerships how much they charged for the Opel Ampera’s battery pack. This is the name the Chevrolet Volt received in Europe. Curiously, both the Ampera and the Ion have the same energy capacity: 16 kWh. Opel charges around €8,000 for it, service and taxes included, or around a third of what PSA is now charging for the Ion battery pack.

Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

To be completely fair, Peugeot still offers the Ion on its website for €30,390. Anyway, that would make the battery pack account for 76.8 percent of the price of a brand-new Ion. Who would buy a car that has a replacement part that costs almost the same as the car itself?

Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

That gets even worse if you consider the prices of the used cars. As I mentioned, a 2011 Ion can cost as low as €7,000. Who would buy a vehicle that may soon need a battery pack replacement that represents 333.4 percent of what you paid for it? Or, if you prefer, 3.334 times that much? Not me, for sure.

Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

This is not the first time we get shocked by battery pack prices. Nissan charges €30,000 for the 24-kWh battery pack of the Nissan Leaf in Portugal. Some readers bothered to tell us the company had later offered these batteries for €7,000, but we have no official confirmation on that.

Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

InsideEVs has not heard from the Japanese automaker ever since we tried to get an answer for these prices. For a company that says it is all-in into sustainability and electric cars, that is quite disappointing.

Peugeot e-208
Vauxhall Corsa-e

The Peugeot Ion turns a huge yellow light on current PSA efforts towards electrification. If it charges €23,335.53 on a 16-kWh battery pack, how much will it ask for the 50-kWh pack on the Peugeot e-208 and the Opel e-Corsa? Would that be €72,923, or 3.125 times as much? That’s how much bigger their batteries are when compared to the Ion’s/i-MiEV’s/C0’s.

More than that, what is in there for early adopters of electric cars? Will they just be told to throw their cars in the garbage if the battery pack has any problem? 

Battery Pack Prices For Peugeot Ion Shows Manufacturers Disregard Used EV Owners

That is clearly the message most automakers are giving people that decided to keep these first EVs. Or to anyone that is willing to buy then and discovers the price of the battery packs after having already parked the used EVs in the garages.

Hopefully, that will make new businesses dedicated to fixing these batteries flourish, since the automakers do not care about this public. But what if it doesn’t? What if no one is willing to rebuild one of these battery packs? The EV community should be very concerned about this. It may make your money on your beloved EV turn to dust just like that. Or into junk, which is a lot more challenging to deal with.