Can anyone on MNL speak to the driveability of the Leaf (any model year, really) after its battery has degraded below 66% capacity? I've heard conflicting things about this. Some people on other forums have claimed that once an EV's battery reaches its "end of life" (say, 70%), the problem isn't just depleted range but a compromised drivetrain - the car itself will have less power, will have much slower acceleration, can turn off without warning, etc. But for those of you who have kept your Leafs beyond 8 capacity bars, is this actually true? Is it just FUD?
I'm asking because I'm thinking about the 2019 Leaf Plus and trying to imagine what years 10-15 of ownership might look like. Could you still drive this car with a battery that has 40-50% SOH? Let's say the battery in the 62 kWh Leaf will have an average annual degradation of 4% a year. This means that it would hit 66% in 8.5 years (just enough time for Nissan to tell Leaf owners, "good luck with your battery problem!"). On the one hand, this would objectively suck. But on the other hand, you'd still have basically the same range as a 2018 Leaf (149.16 miles EPA). After 10 years, you'd still have more range than a 2017 Leaf (60% SOH, 135.6 miles EPA), and after 15 years, you'd still have more range than a 2015 Leaf (40% SOH, 90.4 miles EPA). So, depending on whether you could pick up a 2019 Leaf Plus at a relative bargain towards the end of 2019 (assuming that dealer discounts, tax incentives, and utility rebates push the out-of-pocket cost for the S Plus down to say the low to mid 20K area), then, from a TCO perspective, a 2019 Leaf Plus that can serve as a long-range-capable car for 5-7 years, and then as a comfortable commuter car for 7-10 years after that, starts to make at least hypothetical sense. But can you drive it safely and reliably when the SOH drops below 66%? Will it merge onto highways OK? Will it suddenly lose power when you're cruising on the highway?