alozzy
Posts: 1203
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Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:52 pm

LOL, best of luck with that ;)
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
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Loving my first BEV :D

golfcart
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:08 am
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2015
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:26 pm

powersurge wrote:I see the appeal of having a subscription model for batteries, however the stated price of $200/ month service contract for a Leaf battery would be out of the question for me.... That is what I used to spend on gas with my ICE. I could also lease a brand new Leaf for $300 or so..


According to the website a subscription service is $1,500 installation, and a monthly service cost of LESS THAN $99 per month.

If you put down a deposit now installation is $150 not $1500.

Let's say they start installs in early 2020. That means that when my original battery is hitting about 78% (I'm at 83% now) and no longer getting me to work and back my options are $8500 battery replacement that will degrade back to 78% in 5 years (based on my original battery experience), buying a new car for $25k+ if i want to stick to EVs, or spending roughly $100 a month to keep my full range indefinitely through the subscription service. I think there is a case to be made for the subscription.
2015 S with Charge Package

joeriv
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: Fairfield County CT

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:11 am

I am intrigued by Fenix as they could be the first company to offer third party EV batteries. However there is no doubt that the challenges they face are daunting:

1. Technical Challenge: Fenix has to offer a “plug and play” alternative. The technical challenge is pretty steep but solvable - a question of resources and technical skills.

2. Nissan’s “Umbrella”: Fenix is viable as long as Nissan (and other EV makers) continue policies that limit the consumers’ ability to replace and upgrade batteries. Right now Nissan will not replace a Leaf battery with a larger one. While I don’t see this changing, never say never. Should this policy change and Nissan’s battery prices decline, Fenix’s business model will be severely impacted.

3. Obsolete Cars: I had a Toyota Camry than run for 20 years and 240,000 miles without a major repair. How many folks are willing to keep a car for 20 years? And let’s face it - the older the car, the more likely a major repair aside from the battery crops up.

4. Nissan Service: You bring your Leaf to a Nissan dealer for a non-battery repair. They take one look at the non-OEM battery and tell you “No way we are going to touch this car.” You have to hope that independent repair shops will provide a dealer alternative.

Fenix has to offer products and services that Nissan does not, such as a 40 kwhr battery for any Leaf that wants it. Merely offering what Nissan offers with a different pricing model and arguably better technology may not make for a viable business.
2017 Leaf S with QC, JUN mfg date

Levenkay
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:01 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2018
Leaf Number: 308382
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:22 am

joeriv wrote:4. Nissan Service: You bring your Leaf to a Nissan dealer for a non-battery repair. They take one look at the non-OEM battery and tell you “No way we are going to touch this car.” You have to hope that independent repair shops will provide a dealer alternative..

Hasn't a comparable court test come up for conventional car warranties? Something like an OEM refusing to honor a warranty for a busted rear differential on the grounds that the owner installed a third-party cassette tape deck?

joeriv
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: Fairfield County CT

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:03 pm

I don’t think anyone is going to use Fenix if the battery is under warranty. During the warranty period the law is fairly well developed (https://www.edmunds.com/auto-warranty/what-voids-your-vehicles-warranty.html:

“Some dealerships may say, for example, that just because you have a performance part such as a cold air intake on the car that the whole vehicle warranty is void, says Loren Wong, a car enthusiast and a former warranty administrator for BMW and Acura. "That's not true," he says.

The saving grace for consumers is the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states that a dealer must prove that aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before it can deny warranty coverage.

However, if the reason for a parts failure is unclear, a dealer will usually charge you to diagnose the vehicle. If the aftermarket part was not properly installed or a modification led to a component failure, it is within the dealer's right to void the warranty for that part, and you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If the aftermarket parts had nothing to do with the repairs in question, you will be refunded the fee for the diagnosis.”

Out of warranty is a different story.
2017 Leaf S with QC, JUN mfg date

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 13329
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2018
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:37 am

powersurge wrote:I see the appeal of having a subscription model for batteries, however the stated price of $200/ month service contract for a Leaf battery would be out of the question for me.... That is what I used to spend on gas with my ICE. I could also lease a brand new Leaf for $300 or so..


I don't know where you got your pricing from but the target price is $99 for "30 kwh" packs so a 24 kwh pack would be less...
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 deceased. 29,413 miles. 2018 S40; 11,987 miles, 485 GIDs, 37.6 kwh 110.89 Ahr , SOH 96.00, Hx 115.22
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golfcart
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:08 am
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2015
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:07 am

joeriv wrote:
Fenix has to offer products and services that Nissan does not, such as a 40 kwhr battery for any Leaf that wants it. Merely offering what Nissan offers with a different pricing model and arguably better technology may not make for a viable business.


I agree with this. It is definitely a niche market at this point which is out of warranty gen1 leaf's who have their car paid off, just want their original range back, and can't get a lot by selling the car because the battery is degraded. Even as a Fenix Power early adopter with the $150 deposit, installation + 5years of fees will be roughly $5000 (assuming the 24kWh pack is 20% lower than their estimated $100/mo on the 30kWh pack). So you can guarantee yourself 5 years of your original range for ~$5k and 8 years of original range at ~$8k. It is not a bad deal for the right situation. Someone like me that will go out of warranty next year and is starting to have trouble making my commute will see it as a better alternative than a $8500 replacement pack for sure. For folks with an 8 bar 2012 that doesn't have much resale it makes even more sense.

That said, lets assume you buy a 2018 S for $20k OTD net (after incentives), which I think is possible right now, at 0% financing. Lets also assume that you invested the tax credit in a 3% CD for 5 years to earn about $1200 interest instead of paying down the principal since you got 0% financing. When 5 years are up you are still under battery warranty and probably still have about 120 miles of range, you have a newer and nicer leaf, and your car is probably worth about $10k at that point so net cost to you was $8800 for those 5 years. When 8 years are up the car is probably worth $7k, has >100 miles of range, is out of warranty and has cost you about $11,800 net (assuming $7k resale) for those 8 years.

My assumptions may be a little off but I think they are reasonable... So a consumer has to ask themselves whether an extra $3k net over 5- 8 years is worth upgrading to a 2018 to get the newer car, 3 years of bumper to bumper warranty, more range, and whatever bells and whistles the new car includes. And of course, as time goes on, the math will get better on the 2018 because depreciation slows and it'll be paid off at some point while the Fenix battery will always have a fee.

The devil is just going to be in the details. Like you said, what additional services can this battery allow me to access? Can I plug into my house during an outage? Can I buy a car without a battery down the road and just swap the battery into the new car and sell my old one without a battery? Does the price go down over time with economies of scale and cheaper technology? Will newer EV's have reduced degradation to the point that it isn't really an issue making this business model obsolete? It could lead to a paradigm change in the EV industry or it could go bankrupt in a couple of years... tough to say at this point.
2015 S with Charge Package

powersurge
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Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:01 am

Golfcart... You make a lot of good points. I think that at this point in the political situation, the Leaf's (and other EVs) future is unsure. We all may have to play this battery issue differently depending on our needs and uses of the car.

If you need a good deal of range, you may want to dump your car before it goes down the depreciation tubes. Others may want to use their Leaf for short drives until some catastrophic failure kills your car. For example, I have used my car for 50K miles with a daily round trip of 50 miles between charges. As the range goes down, I will charge at work, and then when range gets low, my wife will use it for her daily 5-15 mile errands. Hopefully all of our "early adopter" gambles will work....

JohnBysinger
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:16 am

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:28 pm

Quite a bit for me to reply to here, apologies if I miss anything, please remind if i do.

Golfcart: Thanks for your deposit! And I completely agree that the cost from Nissan especially for 24kWh just simply doesn't make sense. You may have seen me state that currently we're only committing to like for like replacement for 24 and 30kWh. What's important to note here is both of these variants will be nearly identical, one will simply have more modules installed. Meaning once we get the car/dash to play nice, it's just a matter of installing additional modules. I believe we'll be able to stuff more modules into the pack's space, but the module size, shape, and pack 'adapter' (case and guts) is still being revised as well.

I would love to say we can stuff 40kWh or more in the same space, but it's likely going above 30kWh will require installation outside of the stock pack location. All of this is a very large reason why we're still keeping the hardware under wraps, we're planning some very cool tech and design here, with flexibility and expandability inherent out of the gates. We're building for the LEAF, but the design is intended to be as universal as possible for other applications. Including fixed-storage/home-storage, a very natural product expansion for us, and frankly a much lower engineering challenge than the LEAF.

Marktm: Glad to see the V2G space getting attention here in the US, it really is very disruptive in concept, and surprisingly achievable with today's tech. I'll pm you shortly after I click 'post' here, but feel free to connect with me through john at fenix-power dot com I'm always open to such conversations!

On the net-metering topic, perhaps Mark you may know more here? I've seen some regions (Florida to name one) have some legal challenges that get in the way. For example solar systems have to shut off when the power is out, negating any backup use case. Are there any groups working on getting laws fixed to enable V2G/storage solutions?

powersurge: It looks like your comment was answered by someone else, but I'd like to reiterate. The $200 price point was part of the announcement because we were somewhat caught off guard. We wanted to announce in the spring, and our numbers were still very preliminary. The weekend after the thread here talking about the higher Nissan price point had us scrambling, we had to get our message out quickly, and $200 was a hedge against our uncertainty at that time. The week that followed that announcement had us doing a LOT of research and math to get a better handle on our pricing. We will be charging on a per-unit of battery model, simplest way to think about that currently is per kWh. Though it will actually be per-module, and our modules won't specifically be 1kWh. But for now per kWh is a good approximation. Our revised verbiage is "under $99/mo", and our models look to place us in the range of $2-3/kWh/mo, which is inline with 99 for a 30kWh car. Obviously 24kWh would be proportionally less. I hope that helps understand.

As for getting the government to subsidize your new battery, I anxiously await news on your effort, we would love to take advantage of such a program! :D

Joeriv: You're absolutely not wrong in your assessments! 1) plug and play is a stated goal of ours, we do not want to modify the car. This is important both for a customer confidence standpoint and for the possibility of returning the vehicle to a stock battery. As an aftermarket supplier, that is targeting a more mainstream customer than those in the custom car space, it's essential that we keep this in mind.

2) Absolutely! We're very cognizant of the opportunity (and it's potentially limited nature) that Nissan is providing us. See above on our focus on creating a universal and adaptable product here. We're starting with the LEAF, but have had interest in expanding to other EVs and plan to. Automakers for years have always avoided supporting cars past warranty or providing upgrades, but that model is shifting. Just having a battery option for an out of warranty LEAF directly from Nissan, at any price, would be completely unheard of just a decade ago. We're keeping a close eye on how the manufacturers are proceeding here, as we're just at the beginning of the past-warranty EV wave. But we're obviously wagering that even with their support, customers will want choice, and we hope to be that option.

3) I applaud your 240k mile Camry, I've not only held only many vehicles for decades, but have a (bad? hah) habit of buying older high mile cars because I've been able to keep them on the road for years and keep my costs low. But that isn't for everyone. What is clear though, is EV longevity is a different animal than ICE. What it will take to keep an EV on the road longer is likely 90% battery, 7% expensive electronics and 3% "usual car failures". (Numbers made up for illustration!) They all won't last forever, but keeping the battery fresh will certainly help quite a bit. And every year a car stays on the road, is one less new car built (and all of the energy/resources that takes.)

4) This has been to court on numerous occasions (cited by others in the thread), consumers have very strong rights in the automotive space when it comes to aftermarket components. An example to look at here is the Jeep Wrangler. Of any new car you can buy, it has the highest probability to be modified within months if not days of being new, yet FCA has to, and does support warranty repair work on it for many years. (Granted, some dealers are better here than others.) There is a cost here though, it also has one of the shortest warranties in the business! That said, the vast majority of our customers will be past-warranty, so this is largely a non-issue. And frankly, to the car, our battery won't look very different, I wouldn't be surprised if people go in for service and the dealer doesn't even notice if they don't crawl underneath! In Jeep's case they take it on a per-issue basis. For example if the differential fails, and the customer has 38" tires, that's an obvious non-warranty repair.



I hope that helps, always open to more questions as well!

-John

golfcart
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:08 am
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2015
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Re: Fenix Power: A new third party battery replacement?

Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:15 pm

JohnBysinger wrote:Golfcart: Thanks for your deposit! And I completely agree that the cost from Nissan especially for 24kWh just simply doesn't make sense. You may have seen me state that currently we're only committing to like for like replacement for 24 and 30kWh. What's important to note here is both of these variants will be nearly identical, one will simply have more modules installed. Meaning once we get the car/dash to play nice, it's just a matter of installing additional modules. I believe we'll be able to stuff more modules into the pack's space, but the module size, shape, and pack 'adapter' (case and guts) is still being revised as well.

I would love to say we can stuff 40kWh or more in the same space, but it's likely going above 30kWh will require installation outside of the stock pack location. All of this is a very large reason why we're still keeping the hardware under wraps, we're planning some very cool tech and design here, with flexibility and expandability inherent out of the gates. We're building for the LEAF, but the design is intended to be as universal as possible for other applications. Including fixed-storage/home-storage, a very natural product expansion for us, and frankly a much lower engineering challenge than the LEAF.


I'll just have to wait and see what the actual specs are when it's time and go from there. All things equal rather support y'all since you are doing something new and interesting. I won't be out of warranty on my battery until next fall and I remember you saying Q3 next year was the target so the timing should work out well.

I don't need 40kWh but I would like more than my original 24kWh so hopefully that ends up being an option. 30 - 35 would be my ideal given your target pricing and my anticipated needs now that my kid is getting older and has activities. I look forward to updates when u know more. Thanks for staying active on the forum and answering our questions.
2015 S with Charge Package

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