LeftieBiker wrote:Which assumes that 8 bars represents 65% on the 30kWh LEAF now, and that Nissan doesn't choose to reduce it in the future. The first seems questionable given some of the owner reports of when the 9th bar drops, and the last, given Nissan's unwillingness to provide a capacity warranty with a defined hard value as well as their past behavior is not something many informed buyers would trust.
This may surprise some here, but few people want to buy or lease a car with a 107 mile range, have that range immediately start to drop, have to wait roughly two years (or three, or four) for it to lose enough capacity for a warranty replacement (all the while losing more and more range), and then find that not only does the replacement pack behave exactly the same way, but that it may be made from used cells with 80% the capacity of the original. I think that more people would remain happy with their Leaf if it had an advertised 83 mile range, and 5 years later could still go 70+ miles.
I've always been a big fan of battery leasing. Not only does it drop the up front price of the car, which is one of the main barriers to BEV adoption, but you could also do it so that you get the same guaranteed capacity for as long as you lease it. Most current battery leases just guarantee some lower % (Smart uses 80%) of original before replacement, but I'd like to see if there would be many takers with a lower fixed value that would never decline. First gen Volt owners have had a pack that acts very similarly, and you just don't hear them bitching about degradation.
This would require carrying around extra battery with hidden capacity, which would increase the rental price and decrease the efficiency, but it would simplify sales no end. People wouldn't need to be told to allow for degradation, and it would reduce disappointment if they've calculated wrong; just like an ICE, the range (capacity) you start with is the capacity you end with - when it falls below that, you take the car in and they swap the pack for you. Repeat as needed. For a commute car, having a guaranteed capacity is probably more valuable than starting with more and having it constantly decline. I wonder too if customers would prefer that capacity be guaranteed regardless of conditions, simplifying things even more by not having to factor temperature effects on capacity into whether or not you can make it to work and back.. After all, the amount of energy my gas tank can hold doesn't change with the temperature (well, it does, but so minimally it can be and is ignored).
Battery rental also allows upgrades (or downgrades) in capacity as tech evolves or your needs change; you pay more or less depending on the capacity you choose. The downside is that it would be brand-specific, barring an agreement among manufacturers to adopt standardized packs, and they've had enough trouble agreeing on standardized connectors.