Thanks for the update, Brian!
I would like to make a couple of comments about your second reason for not offering a price for the LEAF replacement battery:
BBrockman wrote:Q. Why is there no outright price for a swap?
A. There are two main reasons we decided against releasing an outright battery price: 1. Customer research steered us a different direction; and 2. the evolving costs of batteries over time make it impractical to do so.
First, my understanding is that GM has taken this question completely off the table with the Chevy Volt by making the replacement batteries available for $3000. If I am wrong about this, please correct me. If I am correct, then why is Nissan unable/unwilling to offer LEAF replacement batteries for $4000, considering the 50% higher capacity but lack of TMS complexity. Really, the only difference I can see in the equation between the LEAF and the Volt is that it appears there will be significantly more LEAF battery replacements than Volt battery replacements within the first ten years of operation. Is the failure rate of the LEAF battery your main concern here?
Second, why is the battery pricing so much different than the car itself? My understanding is that when a new vehicle is developed, the price of the car will not repay the design, tooling and overhead costs for quite a few units. On top of that, for a fundamentally new vehicle such as the LEAF or the Volt, those costs may never be recovered and the per-unit cost of the manufacturing the vehicle may take some time to recover, but the understanding is that it will cross below the manufacturing costs at some point. Given this, why is Nissan not able to project the battery cost curve and pick a proce which will exceed the cost at some future time, hopefully before too many battery purchases occur? Is the curve too steep or unpredictable to do this?
Personally, I can wait for the battery price, since our LEAF battery will be under warranty for capacity for three more years and for defects for another six. But, as you know, some LEAFs get wrecked and some have already exceeded the capacity warranty and will soon exceed all warranty coverage.