adric22
Posts: 2488
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:40 pm
Delivery Date: 05 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 000768
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: life electric motor

Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:25 pm

garygid wrote:Didn't somebody report recently that it would cost the customer
about $600 (plus labor) to replace just ONE of the 48 Modules
at a Nissan Dealer (not under warranty)?

So, maybe $60 to $100 real cost per module now
($3000 to $5000 for just the Battery Pack's modules)?
Of course that cost is probably mostly labor. I mean if you think about it, most dealerships charge around $120 per hour for labor (even though the poor technician is probably getting around $15) so if you imagine how long it would take to drop the battery pack, disassemble, replace the module, put it all back together.. You probably have 3 or 4 hours there. So that is nearly $500 in labor.. So yeah, I'd agree the module is probably $100 if the cost for a dealer to replace it is $600.

I am also of the agreement that 10 years from now EV charging infrastructure will be much better than it is today. And unless there is a major leap in battery density and cost, I would expect the extra infrastructure to allow 50-mile EV's to be a viable business model (or maybe a car with several choices of battery pack, the lowest being 50 miles) So if my leaf can still drive 50 miles 10 years from now, then it will still be a viable car.

The question is sort of important though, how long will the rest of the car last? As somebody else pointed out most cars are designed with a 10 year life span in mind. I mean, if you look on the road today most of the cars you will see were produced in the 21st century. Sure, there are some still from the 1990's, and very few from the 1980's still on the road. But what is it that actually makes these cars go to the junk-yard?

I'll throw in an example. I had a 1995 Eagle Talon. I bought it used and drove it for about 5 years. The body and interior will still in really good shape, because I take good care of my cars. It had never been wrecked. But around 2009 I had to sell the car. It was 14 years old and it had started smoking. It had around 150,000 miles on it. The problem was the engine, there was no getting around it. The engine would have to be either replaced or rebuilt. The problem was the car was only worth about $3,000 and the cost of the repair would have exceeded the cost of the car. Even if it had a brand-new engine, the value of the car would only reach maybe $4,000 to $5,000. But the real trick is that the car also needed some other work. Some of the bushings in the suspension were giving out. Some of the paint was oxidizing in places, it was probably going to need a lot of new hoses, and other little things.

So, using that as an example. It is sort of hard to predict what an electric car will be worth when the battery needs replacement. If the rest of the car is still in fantastic working order, then it may be perfectly justifiable to spend $10,000 on a new battery pack if it means that car can go another 10 years.

Also, I am willing to bet once the batteries start failing, companies will pop into existence which will refurbish the battery packs probably much cheaper than buying a new one. A lot of people are buying refurbished batteries for the Generation-1 Prius's which are having a lot of failures now that those cars are 10 years old. The cost is usually around $1,200 I think.
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LKK
Posts: 290
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:27 am

Re: life electric motor

Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:08 pm

There was a webchat on the Volt Forum yesterday. There was a question on how long the main traction should last. The GM rep said the motor has been validated (tested??) to 3 lifetimes where a lifetime is 200,000 miles, so 600,000 miles. I would think there isn't a lot of difference between the Leaf and Volt motors, so the motor shouldn't be a worry.

User avatar
dgpcolorado
Posts: 3111
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:56 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Dec 2011
Location: The Western Slope, Colorado

Re: life electric motor

Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:19 pm

adric22 wrote:...The question is sort of important though, how long will the rest of the car last? As somebody else pointed out most cars are designed with a 10 year life span in mind. I mean, if you look on the road today most of the cars you will see were produced in the 21st century. Sure, there are some still from the 1990's, and very few from the 1980's still on the road. But what is it that actually makes these cars go to the junk-yard?

I'll throw in an example. I had a 1995 Eagle Talon. I bought it used and drove it for about 5 years. The body and interior will still in really good shape, because I take good care of my cars. It had never been wrecked. But around 2009 I had to sell the car. It was 14 years old and it had started smoking. It had around 150,000 miles on it. The problem was the engine, there was no getting around it. The engine would have to be either replaced or rebuilt. The problem was the car was only worth about $3,000 and the cost of the repair would have exceeded the cost of the car. Even if it had a brand-new engine, the value of the car would only reach maybe $4,000 to $5,000. But the real trick is that the car also needed some other work. Some of the bushings in the suspension were giving out. Some of the paint was oxidizing in places, it was probably going to need a lot of new hoses, and other little things.

So, using that as an example. It is sort of hard to predict what an electric car will be worth when the battery needs replacement. If the rest of the car is still in fantastic working order, then it may be perfectly justifiable to spend $10,000 on a new battery pack if it means that car can go another 10 years...
I'll disagree with that "ten year" estimate of a modern car's design life. A year ago I had to junk my '86 VW Golf with 230,000+ miles on it not because it hadn't been running fine, but because I hit a deer. The car was on the original engine and ran great, because I took care of it. Given that I live in the snowbelt, it did have a bit of rust, but nothing too severe nor structural. By the mid-1980s many cars were using galvanized steel and other coatings that made the bodies last much longer than 1970s versions. My current car, a 1996 Jeep Cherokee, is in fine shape without a bit of rust, but it is also fairly low mileage at 100K. When I bought it used in 1999 I planned on it lasting at least ten years. Now, barring hitting another deer, I still expect to get another ten years out of it at least. And a '96 Jeep is a pretty crude car compared to modern ones.

With care, and a bit of luck, I would expect a LEAF to last at least twenty years. That's at least one, perhaps two, battery changes. Perhaps I will be wrong about that, but my experience with cars is quite different from yours.
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EVDRIVER
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:51 am

Re: life electric motor

Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:58 pm

LKK wrote:Industrial motors like the one used in the Leaf are often used 24/7 and last forever. Few moving parts, no brushes, benign operating environment they should last forever and when they do need maintenance, it will be for simple things like bearings.
Yes, many 100 plus years running 24/7 only getting oil to the bearing once in a while. Nothing to break if built properly. There is plenty of other stuff on the LEAF to worry about the motor at the bottom of the list.

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