Here at The Green Optimistic, we firmly believe in electric vehicles [EV] as the cleanest transportation available and most certainly the future of transportation as we know it. However, we recognize that EVs have their limitations in comparison with petroleum-powered vehicles. The reality is, though, these perceptions aren’t entirely based on reality. We’ve all heard the arguments against EV ownership, including limited EV range, long charging times, and expensive battery packs.
Range can easily be accounted for when you consider that most drivers only drive 30 miles per day, easily achievable by most of the EVs on the market today. Charging time is also no problem when you consider parking EVs overnight at home and most of the day at work, giving ample chance for recharging. Battery cost, though, isn’t easily explainable, costing up to $12,000 in the case of some EVs.
Battery replacement costs could easily become a concern when you consider that the average EV battery pack is only good for five hundred to two thousand cycles maximum. In the case of the 40kWh Tesla Model S, this amounts to between 80,000 and 320,000 miles. The Nissan Leaf’s battery life could be anywhere between 36,500 and 146,000 miles, depending on usage.
Nissan recently announced that it would be upgrading its battery replacement warranty policy to include, not just a drastic battery failure, but even just limited capacity. The battery state-of-charge [SoC] meter has twelve bars to indicate SoC and therefore, available range. Fully charged when new, the SoC gauge shows twelve bars [100%], but as the battery ages, even fully charged, the SoC gauge may only show eleven [92%] or ten bars [83%].
Nissan’s new policy will be to replace the battery pack, with a new or remanufactured pack, if the SoC shows less than nine bars, or around 70% SoC. Of the original range of 73 miles, 70% would amount to 51 miles. Nissan’s new policy tells us they are confident that in the first five years or 60,000 miles, their battery technology will deliver.
Nissan’s move could definitely help to lay to rest some misconceptions about EVs and lead to more widespread adoption. Other EV makers’ battery warranty policies are typically eight years or 100,000 miles, but only cover significant battery range issues. Nissan’s new policy might get these to reconsider their policies as well. What more could we ask for?