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

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:14 am
by knightmb
Lothsahn wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:49 pm
Fenix is offering a 40 kWh battery. That's where I think this is killer.
If they can do this, then yes I know a lot of 1st gen owners that want this. A lot of people aren't technical like us but they understand the math of paying $100 for a "like new" car they are familiar with instead of +$400/month for a different new/newer used car. They also understand that paying +$10k for the dealer to fix the range isn't feasible.

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

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:33 am
by DaveinOlyWA
iirc, a 40 kwh pack would be $120 a month. Seems to me the price is $3/kwh. A rental option would work for a significant niche, especially the ones who are simply waiting for the technology to mature. With more uncertainty in the government than not, it's anyone's guess where incentives will go and who they will benefit most. Getting a cheap LEAF for $4-$5,000 is now doable. Lots of them out there simply because they are not really selling. A few DIY'ers out there and clueless bargain hunters, but no one else. Everyone is opting for more expensive, newer, more reliable, etc.

But if Fenix Systems does what they say they will do and it seems they are on the cusp of doing something here in next few weeks, then what do you think will happen to the "over" used LEAF market?

So it appears to me that the only ones benefiting are the ones who got in early, paid $30,000 after incentives and want more for their investment. How many of those are left? Its been nearly 8 to 9 years. I am guessing only a very small handful have held out that long.

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

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:08 am
by Newporttom
Supposedly the Fenix guy is coming out with video NLT Sunday that "answers all the questions". Will be good to get some new info. Rooting for them, but still skeptical.

I don't even have an old Leaf (I have 2018) but might pick one up if I can get one cheap and the Fenix deal works out.

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

Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:25 am
by johnlocke
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:33 am
iirc, a 40 kwh pack would be $120 a month. Seems to me the price is $3/kwh. A rental option would work for a significant niche, especially the ones who are simply waiting for the technology to mature. With more uncertainty in the government than not, it's anyone's guess where incentives will go and who they will benefit most. Getting a cheap LEAF for $4-$5,000 is now doable. Lots of them out there simply because they are not really selling. A few DIY'ers out there and clueless bargain hunters, but no one else. Everyone is opting for more expensive, newer, more reliable, etc.

But if Fenix Systems does what they say they will do and it seems they are on the cusp of doing something here in next few weeks, then what do you think will happen to the "over" used LEAF market?

So it appears to me that the only ones benefiting are the ones who got in early, paid $30,000 after incentives and want more for their investment. How many of those are left? Its been nearly 8 to 9 years. I am guessing only a very small handful have held out that long.
If you can find a $4000 Leaf and spend $1500 to have the battery replaced and then spend $120/mo for service, after five years you will have spent $7200 on the service and still do not own the battery. You would still need to find someone to agree to continue service or spend $1500 to have a Nissan battery put back in. Under those circumstances, I doubt you could get much for the car. As a short term solution where you only need a couple of more years out of the car and are low on cash, it could make sense if you don't mind walking away from the car. $5500 for the car and $120/mo to drive it for while. A couple of grand when you sell it on to the next person ( remember that they have to take over the lease) or you just give the car back to Fenix and let them deal with it? A 12 year old Leaf with a small clapped out battery won't be worth much anyway.

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

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:35 am
by DaveinOlyWA
johnlocke wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:25 am
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:33 am
iirc, a 40 kwh pack would be $120 a month. Seems to me the price is $3/kwh. A rental option would work for a significant niche, especially the ones who are simply waiting for the technology to mature. With more uncertainty in the government than not, it's anyone's guess where incentives will go and who they will benefit most. Getting a cheap LEAF for $4-$5,000 is now doable. Lots of them out there simply because they are not really selling. A few DIY'ers out there and clueless bargain hunters, but no one else. Everyone is opting for more expensive, newer, more reliable, etc.

But if Fenix Systems does what they say they will do and it seems they are on the cusp of doing something here in next few weeks, then what do you think will happen to the "over" used LEAF market?

So it appears to me that the only ones benefiting are the ones who got in early, paid $30,000 after incentives and want more for their investment. How many of those are left? Its been nearly 8 to 9 years. I am guessing only a very small handful have held out that long.
If you can find a $4000 Leaf and spend $1500 to have the battery replaced and then spend $120/mo for service, after five years you will have spent $7200 on the service and still do not own the battery. You would still need to find someone to agree to continue service or spend $1500 to have a Nissan battery put back in. Under those circumstances, I doubt you could get much for the car. As a short term solution where you only need a couple of more years out of the car and are low on cash, it could make sense if you don't mind walking away from the car. $5500 for the car and $120/mo to drive it for while. A couple of grand when you sell it on to the next person ( remember that they have to take over the lease) or you just give the car back to Fenix and let them deal with it? A 12 year old Leaf with a small clapped out battery won't be worth much anyway.
Comments based on using the car as some sort of investment tool is really nonsensical. If you drove 15,000 a year which is middle low end discounting people who drive little or not at all, that is 16.9 cents a mile basic cost based on your 5 year scenario.

Verses... a new EV with average price in the mid to low 30's after incentives (if you qualify for all that) meaning you match the above TCO when you hit about 200,000 miles. ($32000)

Now we are comparing new to used so there is an expectation of a price premium but no finance charges are considered along with the other "perks" of owning new verses used. So, I am ignoring the fact that longer time frames have escalating costs, higher insurance, loan costs, maintenance costs etc...

So the Fenix plan doesn't work for you but it is still a good solution

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

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:05 am
by nlspace
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:35 am
...
So the Fenix plan doesn't work for you but it is still a good solution
Qualifying that you are only talking about a good Financial solution--but what about Technical?

i would suggest that it is not trivial to build, manage and control a multitude of small cylindrical cells in parallel. There are numerous accounts on other forums of garage and home fires by diy electric vehicle guys trying to build their own packs like this. Tesla may be the only OEM doing this, and they use plenty of countermeasures in hardware (individual cell fuses) and electronics, including 24/7 active cell monitoring in order to provide a safe solution.

It seems that most other OEMs are using series strings of large capacity prismatic cells.

Nissan is the odd-ball here in that they are using series strings of 2 pouch cells in parallel but with no individual cell fuses. It may be that a weaker chemistry and the metal module cannisters were chosen to compensate for this lack of a safety feature.

What is the level of knowledge, skills, abilities and experience of Fenix Power with respect to the design, management and control of packs built up of small cylindrical cells in parallel?

Who is going to design and build the circuit boards necessary for monitoring the cells and control of the pack?

And how is this new pack going to be integrated with the current operating system of the Leaf?

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

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:01 pm
by johnlocke
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:35 am
johnlocke wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:25 am
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:33 am
iirc, a 40 kwh pack would be $120 a month. Seems to me the price is $3/kwh. A rental option would work for a significant niche, especially the ones who are simply waiting for the technology to mature. With more uncertainty in the government than not, it's anyone's guess where incentives will go and who they will benefit most. Getting a cheap LEAF for $4-$5,000 is now doable. Lots of them out there simply because they are not really selling. A few DIY'ers out there and clueless bargain hunters, but no one else. Everyone is opting for more expensive, newer, more reliable, etc.

But if Fenix Systems does what they say they will do and it seems they are on the cusp of doing something here in next few weeks, then what do you think will happen to the "over" used LEAF market?

So it appears to me that the only ones benefiting are the ones who got in early, paid $30,000 after incentives and want more for their investment. How many of those are left? Its been nearly 8 to 9 years. I am guessing only a very small handful have held out that long.
If you can find a $4000 Leaf and spend $1500 to have the battery replaced and then spend $120/mo for service, after five years you will have spent $7200 on the service and still do not own the battery. You would still need to find someone to agree to continue service or spend $1500 to have a Nissan battery put back in. Under those circumstances, I doubt you could get much for the car. As a short term solution where you only need a couple of more years out of the car and are low on cash, it could make sense if you don't mind walking away from the car. $5500 for the car and $120/mo to drive it for while. A couple of grand when you sell it on to the next person ( remember that they have to take over the lease) or you just give the car back to Fenix and let them deal with it? A 12 year old Leaf with a small clapped out battery won't be worth much anyway.
Comments based on using the car as some sort of investment tool is really nonsensical. If you drove 15,000 a year which is middle low end discounting people who drive little or not at all, that is 16.9 cents a mile basic cost based on your 5 year scenario.

Verses... a new EV with average price in the mid to low 30's after incentives (if you qualify for all that) meaning you match the above TCO when you hit about 200,000 miles. ($32000)

Now we are comparing new to used so there is an expectation of a price premium but no finance charges are considered along with the other "perks" of owning new verses used. So, I am ignoring the fact that longer time frames have escalating costs, higher insurance, loan costs, maintenance costs etc...

So the Fenix plan doesn't work for you but it is still a good solution
I never look at a car as an investment. It's an expense and the general objective is to minimize the over all expense. In the ideal scenario you would buy a 3 year old car coming off lease. The lessee has taken the depreciation hit and the car still has relatively low miles on it. Then you drive it till the wheels fall off. This does't work so well for EV's however because the technology is advancing so rapidly that even a 3 year old EV is outdated compared to a new model EV.

By the way, I went back and looked at Fenix's plan again. You can buy a battery outright, you can buy a battery with a service plan, or you can lease a battery. Battery is listed at $5K plus installation. If you buy the battery, the service plan appears to be$99/mo. If you lease the battery, the plan costs$199/mo. Since Fenix just announced their new 40 KWH battery plan those prices may have changed. In any case leasing a battery will still cost $1500 for installation and $2400/year. The costs add up quickly. Leasing over 5 years costs you $13500 just for the battery. Just buying the battery costs $6500 and you have to hope it lasts as long as possible. Buying the battery with a service plan costs you $12500 over 5 years but you own the battery and can discontinue the service plan at any time. None of these plans are particularly cheap.

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

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:12 pm
by Lothsahn
johnlocke wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:01 pm
I never look at a car as an investment. It's an expense and the general objective is to minimize the over all expense. In the ideal scenario you would buy a 3 year old car coming off lease. The lessee has taken the depreciation hit and the car still has relatively low miles on it. Then you drive it till the wheels fall off. This does't work so well for EV's however because the technology is advancing so rapidly that even a 3 year old EV is outdated compared to a new model EV.

By the way, I went back and looked at Fenix's plan again. You can buy a battery outright, you can buy a battery with a service plan, or you can lease a battery. Battery is listed at $5K plus installation. If you buy the battery, the service plan appears to be$99/mo. If you lease the battery, the plan costs$199/mo. Since Fenix just announced their new 40 KWH battery plan those prices may have changed. In any case leasing a battery will still cost $1500 for installation and $2400/year. The costs add up quickly. Leasing over 5 years costs you $13500 just for the battery. Just buying the battery costs $6500 and you have to hope it lasts as long as possible. Buying the battery with a service plan costs you $12500 over 5 years but you own the battery and can discontinue the service plan at any time. None of these plans are particularly cheap.
You got your numbers mixed up. You can:
1) Buy the batteries for $6k+installation ($1500) OR
2) Buy the batteries over time for $1500+$200/mth financed. Once paid off, there will be a small monthly charge (no pricing provided) OR
3) Subscribe. $1500+$99/mth forever

In the 3rd model, the battery is expected to lose 3-4% capacity between checkups, with lower performing modules being replaced as the capacity drops. Battery modules are replaced as they degrade.

Info here:
https://fenix.systems/leafbattery

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

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:54 pm
by johnlocke
Lothsahn wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:12 pm
johnlocke wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:01 pm
I never look at a car as an investment. It's an expense and the general objective is to minimize the over all expense. In the ideal scenario you would buy a 3 year old car coming off lease. The lessee has taken the depreciation hit and the car still has relatively low miles on it. Then you drive it till the wheels fall off. This does't work so well for EV's however because the technology is advancing so rapidly that even a 3 year old EV is outdated compared to a new model EV.

By the way, I went back and looked at Fenix's plan again. You can buy a battery outright, you can buy a battery with a service plan, or you can lease a battery. Battery is listed at $5K plus installation. If you buy the battery, the service plan appears to be$99/mo. If you lease the battery, the plan costs$199/mo. Since Fenix just announced their new 40 KWH battery plan those prices may have changed. In any case leasing a battery will still cost $1500 for installation and $2400/year. The costs add up quickly. Leasing over 5 years costs you $13500 just for the battery. Just buying the battery costs $6500 and you have to hope it lasts as long as possible. Buying the battery with a service plan costs you $12500 over 5 years but you own the battery and can discontinue the service plan at any time. None of these plans are particularly cheap.
You got your numbers mixed up. You can:
1) Buy the batteries for $6k+installation ($1500) OR
2) Buy the batteries over time for $1500+$200/mth financed. Once paid off, there will be a small monthly charge (no pricing provided) OR
3) Subscribe. $1500+$99/mth forever

In the 3rd model, the battery is expected to lose 3-4% capacity between checkups, with lower performing modules being replaced as the capacity drops. Battery modules are replaced as they degrade.

Info here:
https://fenix.systems/leafbattery
My mistake, That would make the subscription plan $7500 over 5 years. You don't own the battery and need to find someone to take over the subscription or face $1500 to re-install a used Nissan battery. Buying outright is also $7500 and you own the battery. Can't really calculate the lease option as they are pretty vague about the costs. They never actually price the service option. At a guess, it's not more than $99/mo but probably not a lot cheaper than that either. Like I said, if you can find a Leaf cheap enough and are willing to walk away from it at the end, the subscription model could work for you. I suspect that most people would rather spend the same money on a newer used Leaf and get the balance of the warranty. If Fenix has properly designed the cooling system for the battery so the battery can last 100,00 miles or more then buying a replacement battery outright and driving the car until the new battery fails might be an option. After all If you can drive the car for another 7-8 years, that's long enough to save up for either another battery or a down on something else.

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

Posted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:02 pm
by Lothsahn
johnlocke wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:54 pm
My mistake, That would make the subscription plan $7500 over 5 years. You don't own the battery and need to find someone to take over the subscription or face $1500 to re-install a used Nissan battery. Buying outright is also $7500 and you own the battery. Can't really calculate the lease option as they are pretty vague about the costs. They never actually price the service option. At a guess, it's not more than $99/mo but probably not a lot cheaper than that either. Like I said, if you can find a Leaf cheap enough and are willing to walk away from it at the end, the subscription model could work for you. I suspect that most people would rather spend the same money on a newer used Leaf and get the balance of the warranty. If Fenix has properly designed the cooling system for the battery so the battery can last 100,00 miles or more then buying a replacement battery outright and driving the car until the new battery fails might be an option. After all If you can drive the car for another 7-8 years, that's long enough to save up for either another battery or a down on something else.
Very possibly. You could buy a used Leaf for the same price as the Fenix battery over 5 years ($7500). That said, the Fenix battery is 40 kWh compared to 24 kWh for a used Leaf. If you compare to 40 kWh Leafs, there's none available for anywhere close. The lowest 2018 on cars.com is $20k. If you pay $3500 for a Leaf with an absolutely trashed battery+the Fenix battery, that's a savings of $9000 over 5 years.

I agree it's not for everyone. But I do think it's reasonably priced and a compelling option now that it provides an upgrade for existing Leafs to give them a 150 mile range. The difference in utility been 75 and 150 miles is huge.

The real question is: Will we ever see it, and will it work? Up until a couple months ago, I would say it didn't look likely. But there has been some progress recently, so we'll see...

Disclosure: I have a reservation with Fenix, but no other financial interest with them.