Please read this before replying: viewtopic.php?p=585115#p585115
I'm looking to quantitatively understand how much people on this forum love their LEAFs
A simple yay or nay to the title question would be highly informative to the (several) companies operating in this space. This isn't necessarily a product that will actually happen, but more of a thought experiment; don't get your hopes up.
Here are the theoretical details:
- 70 kWh nominal capacity; about 67 kWh usable from high-quality LG/Panasonic cells only. A driver getting 4mi/kWh would get around 250 miles of range at 55mph on a flat road with the AC running.
- The battery would be actively cooled and heated. Temperatures would be regulated between 25-40 degrees C at all times, so "Rapidgate" would no longer be a concern even on >1000 mile road trips. Cooling would continue as necessary even after the car is powered off.
- Upgraded battery would likely enable safe CHAdeMO DCFC at 50 kW until 80% SoC. Essentially, this means 200 mph charging for the first hour.
- Expected minimum lifetime until >80% SoH (>210 miles range): around 140,000 miles on the new battery. For the average American driver, this would be about 9 years of ownership after the upgraded battery's installation date.
- No intrusion into the passenger cabin or trunk and no suspension modifications would be needed. Added weight would be about that of an extra passenger, so the handling should be very similar.
- No change to vehicle structure or aerodynamics; the original battery enclosure or a similar steel shell would be used to house the new battery.
- Range meter and capacity bars would be recalibrated to the new battery and adjust to its health as time goes on. 80% charging limits, turtle mode, and other warnings/protections/features would be unchanged vs the original.
- $14k (US) would be the approximate starting price (including installation) before delivery, trade-in discounts, shipping or sales tax.
- You would be given the option to sell your original battery for a rebate between $2k-6k depending on usable capacity and market conditions. Those cells would be repurposed or recycled in an environmentally friendly way. $3k is an estimated typical battery return discount.
- These prices are estimates based on the US market. In Europe, VAT and inspections could make this upgrade cost between 25k-35k euros.
- 70 kWh would be the only battery capacity available. Nothing less and nothing more makes economic or engineering sense.
- The battery could only be installed in first-generation LEAFs, i.e. 2011-2017 model years.
- The purchase would have to be paid in cash in advance of installation or financed through your own bank. No leasing model.
- Only a limited defect warranty, on the order of 1-3 years, could be included. If you got stranded, you'll still need to be towed. There's no budget for "LEAF Rangers" at this price or scale.
- It is unlikely Nissan would want to service this battery, but local hybrid/EV shops might be able to help.
- Your LEAF would need to be delivered to the installation facility and shipped home; driving it back yourself would also be an option.
- Installation could take up to one week.
- You would be responsible for maintaining coolant levels in the car. This is one more reservoir under the hood you'll have to top up with antifreeze/water once a year or so. The temperature warning light and turtle/limp mode would be engaged to prevent overheating if a failure/leak occurred.
- Your cabin air conditioning would be slightly slower-acting. The hardware required to avoid this would raise the price by $3-6k per car.
- Unless provided or sanctioned by Nissan, this upgrade would definitely void your original battery warranty if not the entire car's. This should be no surprise.
- No guarantee as to the resale value of the car. It may suddenly have more utility than a Bolt EV, but that doesn't mean people will want to pay $25k for it on the used market. It still looks like and is likely to be insured for the value of a first-gen LEAF.
- No upgrade to the onboard charger would be included or guaranteed to be available. A 70 kWh battery would take nearly two full days to charge on L1 and an entire day on 3.3 kW L2.
- No CCS/SAE upgrade would be included or possible at this price. If your car does not already have working CHAdeMO hardware, adding it will not be included either.
2019 Tesla Model 3 LR (80 kWh): $48,000
2019 Tesla Model 3 SR+ (55 kWh): $39,500
2020 Chevrolet Bolt (66 kWh): $38,000
2019 Leaf Plus (62 kWh): $37,500
2019 Chevrolet Bolt (60 kWh): $32,000
2015 Tesla Model S (85 kWh): ~$39,000 used
2017 Chevrolet Bolt (60 kWh): $22,000 used
2018 Nissan Leaf (40 kWh): ~$21,000 used
2017 Nissan Leaf (30 kWh): ~$16,500 used
2015 Nissan Leaf (24 kWh): ~$10,500 used
2011/12 Nissan Leaf (24 kWh): ~$5,000 used
Happy to discuss, but please try to keep comments in this thread for posterity.