Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar battery manufacturers, talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included, and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. This article discusses the warranty offering of Electriq Power, an American storage manufacturer based out of California.
Highlights of Electriq’s warranty
- It is based on battery lifetime (10 years)
- Is an all-encompassing warranty (i.e. includes every component of your system)
- Covers the cost of shipping back a replacement, if necessary
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from local installers.
Quick overview: Electriq’s history and warranty
Electriq got its start in 2014 when the Electriq team purchased a totaled Nissan Leaf and conducted research and tests on the car’s battery in a garage in San Leandro, CA. They used the knowledge gained in these tests to create their first prototype battery. Since then, Electriq has released two iterations of its PowerPod and has expanded its operations to serve a nationwide customer base.
Electriq’s battery offering and warranty are unique in that their battery is modular, so most warranty claims can be serviced on-site. Historically, any issues that have popped up with their battery systems were due to faulty wiring or an issue with the built-in inverter; while issues are unlikely with your battery system, if one does arise, it’s typically something that can be quickly fixed without having to send the battery back for a replacement.
Electriq's battery warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||ELECTRIQ'S COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product and performance||10 years, plus a throughput clause||10 years, plus a cycles or throughput clause|
|End of warranty capacity||70% at year 10||60% at year 10|
|Labor for repairs/ replacements||No||No|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||No|
Electriq’s product and performance warranty
A battery manufacturer’s product and performance warranty covers the integrity and output of the equipment itself – if your battery system has a defect or experiences unreasonable degradation, that should be covered by your product warranty. If there’s a defect with your battery, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately–often before the battery is ever installed. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.
Electriq includes a 10 year product warranty for all of their batteries. You can review and compare Electriq’s batteries in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
You’ll also notice that many battery warranties will include a clause suggesting that your term may be cut short depending on your use of the battery – this is where cycles and throughput come into play.
Every time you drain and charge your battery, it’s called a “cycle”. Like the battery inside your cell phone, your solar battery will gradually lose its ability to hold a full charge the more you use it. Because of this, some manufacturers guarantee a minimum number of cycles as part of their warranty agreement. But read this line carefully: oftentimes, manufacturers will guarantee a fixed product term OR a minimum number of cycles, whichever comes first. This means if you hit the warrantied number of cycles before your battery hits the end of its warranty period, it could end your warranty term. The confusing part here is that manufacturers will sometimes define a “cycle” differently–i.e., how much your battery needs to be drained and charged for it to be considered a “cycle”?
Electriq does not include a warrantied cycle count in their warranty, opting instead for a throughput warranty. Since all manufacturers define a single cycle differently, Electriq uses a throughput warranty to avoid inconsistencies in comparing warranties with other batteries on the market.
Another clause that some manufacturers will put on their warranty pertains to throughput: the total energy a manufacturer expects the battery to deliver throughout its lifetime. Companies state these warranties in terms of megawatt-hours (MWh). For example, if your battery company provides a throughput warranty of 30 MWh, this means that the warranty is valid until the battery stores and delivers 30 MWh–or 30,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)–of energy. Similar to a cycle life warranty, throughput warranties typically only apply if your battery delivers a set amount of energy before its warranty period is up.
Throughput numbers will vary quite a bit depending on the overall storage capacity of your system. Additionally, if your battery system contains several different battery cells–or modules–within it, your warranty may state a throughput by cell (which you can multiply by number of cells to get total throughput).
Electriq includes a throughput warranty of 3 megawatt-hours (MWh) for every kWh of battery capacity.
Electriq’s end of warranty capacity rating
In addition to providing cycle or throughput warranties, most manufacturers also promise a certain level of performance by the time your warranty is up. This often presents itself as an end of warranty capacity rating.
As you’re comparing the end of warranty capacity ratings across various batteries, higher percentages are better than lower percentage guarantees.
Electriq includes an end of capacity rating of 70% for all of their batteries. Since the Powerpod 2 has several models with different capacity ratings, the remaining capacity at the end of the warranty varies based on the Powerpod 2 version.
Electriq’s workmanship warranty
Battery companies should cover a replacement battery if you need it during their warrantied term–but, while the manufacturer may cover your replacement part, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover the labor costs to re-install that equipment. In fact, many manufacturers do not reimburse for labor associated with diagnostics, replacements, or repairs of their products.
More often than not, installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your battery installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network. Electriq does not offer a workmanship warranty for their battery products.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Electriq: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your storage system will continue operating smoothly for 10+ years, and you never have to worry about Electriq’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, will be there to help.
If you notice an issue with your battery, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue.
If your installer determines that the problem is with your battery, the issue may be able to be fixed on site. Electriq batteries are modular, which means that their components can be separated and repaired without taking the entire battery system offsite (for more on battery serviceability, check out this article.) If shipping the battery off site is necessary, Electriq will pay for the cost of shipping, however they will not pay for the cost of labor associated with repairing the battery under their warranty. The most common causes of poor battery performance for the Powerpod are incorrect wiring of the battery in initial installation and overloading the battery beyond its rated capacity.
Limitations and exceptions to Electriq’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Electriq’s is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your Electriq warranty:
- Acts of nature: this is a common one – most battery system manufacturers will not cover any damage caused by extreme weather events outside of their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Fortunately, the hardware is pretty durable, and can withstand most storms without the added protection. Even better, should damage happen to occur during a storm, many homeowner insurance policies cover damage to solar-plus-storage systems.
- Normal wear and tear or cosmetic deterioration that does not affect the battery’s performance.
- Any damage incurred during transportation to the installation site
Other warranty considerations, and how Electriq stacks up
- Bankability: Although Electriq is not the largest battery manufacturer, their sole product is their solar battery systems, meaning storage systems are and will continue to be their focus moving forward. In an industry where some major brand names have entered the market only to stop producing solar panels or batteries in only a couple of years, the importance of this focus exclusively on batteries can’t be overstated.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Electriq does not have an insurance policy to ensure that their warranty will be honored if they go out of business.
- Customer reviews: Another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how their customers feel about their equipment and the services that they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading Electriq’s reviews, you can do so here.
What about inverters?
We use “battery” and “battery system” pretty interchangeably in this article, but there’s one important difference between the two: an inverter. Energy storage systems typically include both batteries and inverters, while certain batteries can be sold independently. Inverters are key to the functionality of a battery, so it’s important to make sure yours is covered! If your product includes a built-in storage-only or hybrid inverter, it’ll likely be covered in your battery’s warranty terms. On the other hand, if you pair your battery with an external, third-party inverter, expect it to come with a different warranty agreement than your battery.
Electriq’s batteries all come with hybrid inverters; their warranty covers the inverters too.
Finding the right battery for you
Finding the right storage system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar-plus-storage options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–like Electriq Power–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.