According to data aggregated by Warranty Direct, in the UK, the Nissan LEAF battery pack is (surprise!) more reliable than conventional engines, by how much?
Before answering that question, think for a second about the opposition. Ask any electric vehicle skeptic about electric vehicles, such as the world’s best-selling Nissan LEAF, and you’ll get responses based on two lines of thought: 1) electric vehicles aren’t really emissions-free, and 2) the battery pack won’t last forever. True, electric vehicle emissions depend totally on where you charge, and people should stop making wide-sweeping generalizations, just because Washington, DC, runs on coal doesn’t mean that Burlington, VT, electric vehicle drivers should be worried about emissions.
The Nissan LEAF battery, on the other hand, presents an interesting conundrum. Early on, it was thought that electric vehicle battery packs would fail too early to make them cost-effective. Nissan even went so far as to warranty the Nissan LEAF battery for 100,000 miles. Now, we know that rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan, but by how much? Considering that, in about five years, Nissan LEAF has sold some 165,000 units around the world, and they have driven an astonishing 620 million miles, which gives us a good base of vehicles from which to draw.
An independent UK insurance specialist, Warranty Direct, took a look at some 50,000 cars registered in the UK, among them conventional vehicles and electric vehicles, such as the Nissan LEAF, and stumbled across an interesting data point. Whereas conventional vehicles, between 3 and 6 years of age, suffered from engine failure problems about 0.255% of the time, the Nissan LEAF battery suffered failure at a rate of less than 0.01%. So, while one-quarter of a percent of conventional vehicle drivers were suffering from engine breakdowns, 99.99% of Nissan LEAF drivers are still driving without a problem!