This post poses questions about battery degradation/replacement, and
offers a warning to other users of the Leaf 30KWH battery, about charging
strategy. Battery degradation in the Leaf I own appears to be charging-
Sep 2019 Purchased a used 2016 Leaf with 29K miles and a 30KWH
10-bar battery. It was previously owned by a woman, from
which I have assumed that the vehicle was likely charged
only with a 120V charger at ~15A (1.8KW).
Mar 2020 Purchased a 240V 10A/16A/32A charger for faster turnaround.
Set charger to 16A, which provides an indicated charge rate
of 3.5KW. Assumed this would be OK, as Nissan's manual says
3KW is OK for frequent charging, and 6KW should be used
Jun 2020 My mechanic noted that the battery had dropped to 9 bars.
Oct 2020 I noted the battery had dropped to 8 bars. Switched
charging down to 10A (indicated charge rate 2.1KW).
Nov 2020 The vehicle is now at 35K miles. I figure I got about 3000
miles out of it, before battery degradation began.
This vehicle has been babied, otherwise. Garaged 95% of the time. Never
driven when ambient temperature is over 90F (yes, I knew when I bought it
that the battery is air cooled). I don't floor it except when being crowded
upon entry to a parkway/freeway. The battery temp gauge has been watched;
it has gone up to 4 bars within the normal range only a few times, and has
been at 2 or 3 bars within the normal range, most of the time. I also noted
that the drop from 10 to 9 points, occurred in late winter/spring, when I
began charging at 3.5KW, but ambient temperatures in Colorado were still
pretty low at that time.
I checked the web about this and immediately noticed a couple things. The
primary factors affecting Leaf battery life are (1) the conditions under
which it is driven, esp. temperature, and (2) how it is charged. I also
noted articles claiming that the 30KWH battery has faster degradation,
than the 24KWH battery.
My questions are:
1. Has anyone correlated 30KWH battery degradation with ~3KW charging?
2. Does anyone know if the later Nissan batteries (40KWH and 62KWH) are
engineered for better heat transfer, and have lower degradation rates,
than the 24KWH or 30KWH batteries?
3. Does the configuration/physical size of the 40KWH battery, allow it to
be installed in 2011-2017 Leafs?
4. Has anyone out there dealt directly with Nissan on the issue of battery
degradation, and received any satisfaction, for batteries degraded less
than 4 bars?
5. Has anyone found any business, other than Nissan dealers, which does
battery replacement? I checked NissanLeafBatteryReplacement.com, but
the only shop in Colorado on their list, still isn't doing replacement.