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Nissan to Warranty LEAF Battery for 8 Years, 100,000 Miles

27 July 2010

Nissan will warranty the battery pack in its LEAF EV for 8 years and 100,000 miles, according to Carlos Tavares, executive vice president and a member of the Board of Directors of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., in his talk at the opening plenary of Plug-in 2010 in San Jose, California.

The warranty matches the term of the 8-year, 100,000 battery pack warranty announced by GM for its Volt EREV. (Earlier post.)

The MSRP for the LEAF starts at $32,780; the full Federal tax credit of $7,500 brings that down to $25,280. In California, the LEAF is eligible for an up to $5,000 CVRP rebate, bringing the price down to close to $20,000.

The LEAF will roll out in December in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Tennessee. In January 2011 , LEAF will debut in Texas and Hawaii.

The company currently has 17,000 reservations for the LEAF.

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I reckon that this is pushing the limits of the released specs of the Leaf battery:
The released facts as I understand them are that the battery is good for around 1,000 cycles down to 80% if normally charged at level I or II and to 70% if charged several times a day on level III.
Taking part charges as additively equivalent to full charges, then on the slow charge routine the car should travel the average between 80% and 100% of it's range, 90%, so would be good for 90,000 miles based on a 100 mile range.
However this does not allow for a/c, heating etc, so the real range might on conservative assumptions appropriate for guarantee purposes be 80 miles when new.
So 90% of the 80 mile times 1,000 gives you about 72,000 miles down to 80% battery capacity.

Running the figures in the same way for the fast charge scenario, which for guarantee purposes is the most relevant, you come out to 68,000 miles. (Average of 70% and 100% = 85%, with nominal maximum range of 80,000 miles)

So I think that Nissan were hoping to guarantee the battery for 60,000 miles to cover a worst case scenario, although it should be noted that this is not strictly worst case, which would use around 50 miles as nominal range from new to cover always driving in adverse conditions, and with fast charging come out to 42,500 miles.

However, in normal use things are not so bad. Not many people are likely to almost always fast charge - indeed, that would be difficult to do for some years, as there aren't the chargers available.

In addition, for most chemistries at least part-depleting the battery and topping it off greatly increases the battery life, I understand, by up to 5-6 times nominal.
So most folk should get way over 100,000 miles from their batteries, as they normally run about 30 miles or so a day and top it up on slow charge at home.

If these calculations are right it does mean that Nissan is in a bit of a fix for guarantees though, as they shot for a battery good for 1,000 charges, and they really need at least the 1,500 of the Kokam batteries to be confident in issuing long guarantees.
Coming close to the Volt battery guarantee will be difficult, and even 80,000 miles will be difficult and involve accepting a certain amount of losses from the depletion curves Nissan have issued

Even IF they have to replace a few packs, they are out there and making it happen. Batteries will improve and so will the packs that they put in the Leaf. I congratulate them on this car and their courage to actually DO something rather than just TALK about it.

What SJC said.

Well, I think they are probably ok because the average person drives about 30 miles per day so that gives them 3,333 days of driving which is about 9.1 years.

Considering that most people who are willing to settle for a 100 mile daily range probably drive less than the average person....it's probably a decent gamble. Any way you look at it, they should get out to well into 7-9 years before they have to deal with it and battery prices will be a great deal lower by then.

Regardless, this is GREAT Nissan! Congratulations.

A used leaf battery will still be worth a lot of money as a aftermarket storage device. This will help offset any early failure replacement costs by Nissan. Additionally, mass production should lower the costs and result in improved performance as time progresses. Assuming the latter,and former, Nissan can afford to take the risk.

Once we get past the barrier of paying $30,000 for a car that only goes 100 miles per charge, then lots of EVs might be sold. Do people want to pay a lot of after tax dollars on something that depreciates and does less? If the answer is yes, then there could be a market.

If it can tow a generator, it's not so limited. But lots of people don't have long commutes and are fine with the tradeoffs. Never having to visit a filling station unless you want to has to count for something.

I think that we WILL find those buyers. Cars are a huge expense that people really don't account for, they want one and they buy one, it is not a purely logical process.

People will have chargers in their garages and hope that some day they will have them at work. After enough workers drive them the employers may actually consider that. This is how societal shifts happen, it is not a totally rational systematic process.

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