LeftieBiker wrote:It looks like it will be possible to install 30kwh packs in older Leafs, so with age weeding out the defective and weaker packs (or at least revealing them), that should be an option for another 5-7 years.
I have read this entire thread (all 38 pages!) with interest, as our 2013 LEAF's battery is deteriorating suddenly, after five solid years of no significant degradation.
I blame, at least in part, our upgrade to the 3G radio last year, as that resulted in our 12V battery running down periodically. Since it was apparently happening only when we charged to 100%, the dealer asked us to do that more often as a way of trying to reproduce and help diagnose the problem. Naturally, it didn't get them any closer to actually fixing the problem, but we did notice the loss of the first bar of capacity during that time. Almost a year later, we've lost the second.
Of course, I'm sure at least to some extent, the age of the car is just catching up to us.
Range is noticeably reduced, which of course is an ugly cycle. With less capacity, the battery gets closer to minimum charge more often, and starting trips with 100% charge is required more often, both of which age the battery more quickly.
Anyway, we contacted the local dealer to see what our options are, and according to them, we have exactly one: pay nearly $9000 for a new 30 kWh battery. Ouch!
(Caveat: I'm not the one who actually made the inquiry, and so I don't at the moment have details such as whether that price includes labor, and/or whether it takes into account any offsetting amount for the exchange of the battery that's in the car now.)
I cannot vouch for the reliability of the information the dealer provided us, but I can at least confirm that not only is it the case according to them that one can put a 30 kWh battery into a 2013 LEAF, at this time that is the only option available through Nissan.
As for all the comments about whether this makes sense for Nissan to do or not: no one ever accused any big corporation of having much common sense. There are usually far too many layers between the people who know a good idea when it bites them on the ass, and the people who make the actual decisions, for corporations to generally choose wisely when it comes to long-term decision making.
But, I consider it patently obvious that Nissan should be doing everything they can to make sure their battery replacements are affordable, especially for the early model cars. The idea that cheaper batteries would cannibalize current and future sales is ridiculous. First of all, there just aren't enough of the early model cars around for that to be significant. A serious car manufacturer is selling millions of vehicles per year; accommodating a few tens of thousands of owners per year isn't going to make a difference.
Secondly though, the idea of cannibalizing current and future sales only makes sense if there are sales to be had. Eliminating sales by shoving what would otherwise be a loyal customer over to other manufacturers, that will do far more to harm sales than letting a few more of the older cars stay on the road.
Now, I'm not saying that Nissan understands any of this, nor that their motivation isn't exactly based on a completely misunderstanding of this. Just that it wouldn't be logical
for them to take that view.