baustin wrote:Are there any issues with the OEM battery causing you to seek a better solution?
Do you periodically check the battery cells and top them off with distilled water?
Unless it is a hot environment, the OEM battery could last up to six years, if properly maintained.
The lithium battery in question is not a 'plug and play' solution, and would pay for three OEM style replacements. What I would consider a better solution than the OEM style, which is actually 'plug and play', is the Optima Yellow Top (D51R) battery, and it is only half the cost of the lithium unit.
I'm still using the original battery in my Leaf. It has about 3.5 years on it, so far, with minimal issues. I had some trouble when I first got the car, but after topping off the cells with distilled water (each down about a third), there have been no issues.
Not until recently did I notice that the overflow for acid from the battery drops right down on some bolts and parts of the Leaf frame and front suspension system. I saw this in a 2015 Leaf that a family member owns. We removed the battery, used some baking soda to clean up the acid and neutralize it, but still I think the overflow acid needs to go somewhere else. It really makes the places it lands on look nasty while the rest of the car looks clean and new. So if any issue with the liquid lead batteries, overflow acid is not sent to a good place. That is just my opinion.
My issue with my Leaf years back was that my stock battery was nearly going dead in cold weather. The battery seems healthy on a volt meter, but a capacity test showed over-wise. The stock batteries are rated 36 AH I believe (someone correct me if I remember wrong) but I did the actual 20 hour test and my stock battery was barely hitting 11 AH. While it was still enough to start the Leaf, I had to make sure to drive it at least once every few days or else the battery dies in the winter. The battery was only 2 years old, so I don't know what conditions caused it to perform so poorly. I suspect that and others might feel the same way, that a lot of the Lead batteries in Leaf would also perform poorly in a real capacity test but most drivers use the vehicle frequently enough not to notice.
If you put the stock Lead under a load test, even the new ones only seem to last about 20 to 30 minutes before depleted. The test being, just put the vehicle in standby mode (not accessory mode) and just run the fan on high. When the battery hits depleted (10.5 volts), the Leaf will kick on the large battery to charge it up and flash a single Blue light on the dash while it does. So anyone can do this test without fear of killing the Leaf by accident. It's a low tech way to test.
My stock Lead could only do this about 10 minutes before being depleted. My Lithium can do the same test for nearly 2 hours before hitting the point of needing a recharge.
So while the cost factor can make Lead cheaper to rotate out replacements, I still think Lithium is the perfect match up for this type of vehicle, even given the extra cost. Having one less thing to maintenance is worth the saved time and effort for me. The Leaf had so much work put into making it as maintenance free as possible, seems the battery should join that part one day in the future.