Everyone knows that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack in the Nissan Leaf, or any other electric vehicle, only has a limited amount of cycles before it starts to lose capacity.
This we’ve come to accept in small items like laptops or mobile phones, but these only cost us $10 to $100 every few years or so. What if we were looking at the lithium-ion battery pack in the Nissan Leaf and shifted that decimal point over a couple more places? Suddenly, replacing a battery pack doesn’t sound so acceptable anymore.
In order to allay battery replacement concerns, electric vehicle manufacturers have been implementing various schemes and warranty programs that cover, not only defective packs, but even loss of capacity. Even Tesla Motors has a battery replacement program. Nissan Leaf’s options for battery replacement are now going to be threefold.
First, if the battery in your Nissan Leaf is defective and fails within 8yrs/100,000mi, Nissan will cover the costs of replacement. Second, if your Nissan Leaf experiences capacity loss, less than nine bars capacity, within 5yrs/60,000mi, Nissan will cover the costs of replacement. Finally, under the new program, for about $100/mo, [final plan details haven't been released] Nissan Leaf owners are guaranteed a fully capable battery pack, as long as they make payments.
Brian Brockman, of Nissan corporate communications, said “Owners can opt in at any time. When they opt into the program, they will receive a new battery pack with the latest available technology that is compatible with their vehicle. Then, Nissan provides assurance that the replacement pack will maintain 9 bars or more capacity for the time that they own their car and make monthly payments. If their battery drops below 9 bars, we will repair or replace the battery pack.”
I wonder if Nissan could modify this plan and just institute it from the beginning of the lease. It would certainly lower prices and give electric vehicle owners the peace of mind they so desire.