The Cost To Replace Nissan Leaf Battery
The Nissan Leaf is a compact five-door hatchback battery electric vehicle (BEV) manufactured by Nissan. It was introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010. Nissan Leaf uses a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack based on polymer cells from Automotive Energy Storage Corporation. Leaf is classified as a BEV as there is no combustion engine: the vehicle is propelled purely with the power contained in its Li-ion battery.
The Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular EV SUVs you can buy on the market and has received many positive reviews. But while Nissan Leaf saves you from the cost of fuel for now, the battery could be incredibly expensive to replace later.
Problem With The Battery
It’s normal for a car battery to deteriorate, this isn’t a new problem. All batteries begin to degrade after some time like your cellphone battery has less and less juice. EV battery degradation is the natural process that permanently reduces the amount of energy the battery can store and or deliver. Things that affect battery health include time, high temperatures, operating at a high or low state of charge, high electric current, and usage. While it’s difficult to find answers about how long an EV battery will last, some auto manufacturers have warranties that cover the battery for eight years or 100,000 miles.
On a very simple level, lithium-ion batteries work this way: Lithium ions go back and forth in a liquid, and in and out of the positive and negative ends of a battery. Lithium ions going one direction means charging the battery and storing energy; going the other way means discharging the battery and using the energy to power something, such as a car.
However, every now and then, a manufacturing defect could cause a lithium-ion cell to spontaneously more or less go into thermal runaway. Simply put, thermal runaway is a chain reaction that leads to lithium-ion batteries overheating very quickly and greatly decreasing battery lifespan.
How Long Do Nissan LEAF Batteries Last?
The Nissan LEAF has been available in North America since 2010, but in this article, we only focus on models from 2015 onward because the battery went through a significant upgrade that year. Like most electric cars, the LEAF has a lithium-ion battery pack that can be recharged by plugging it into an electrical outlet or charging station. It also recharges while you’re driving by using a technology called regenerative braking.
The 2015 LEAF has a battery capacity of 24 kilowatt-hours (relatively small by today’s standards) and a driving range of 84 miles. The 2018 model’s capacity increased to 40 kWh and 151 miles of range, while the 2019-2021 models offer two options: a 40 kWh battery or a 62 kWh battery pack with up to 226 miles of range.
The battery is one of the most important components of any electric car, so Nissan LEAF owners, like all EV owners, should be concerned about battery life. Smaller batteries tend to have a shorter lifespan because they go through more charging cycles.
According to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the first generation LEAF could lose around a quarter of its capacity after five years of use or 50,000 miles. This means that after 10 years of driving, it may no longer hold a sufficient charge.
Fortunately, newer LEAF models have improved battery technology with a larger capacity.
Now, Nissan executives believe that the Nissan LEAF battery pack could last for decades and even outlive the car itself. They could be recycled or repurposed for another use, such as a solar energy storage system to power a home.
Nissan LEAF Battery Replacement Costs
According to a post in the MyNissanLeaf.com forum, as of Jan 30, 2020, the cost of labor and replacement of a 24 kWh battery in a Nissan Leaf is $5,500. It appears the battery itself would cost $4,500, placing the $/kWh at $187/kWh, which is 36% above the quoted 2020 $137/kWh price.
According to a 2020 Greencars report, the Nissan Leaf 40 kWh battery costs $5,500 or about $137/kWh, which is right on target for the average 2020 price.
A 2013 Nissan Leaf owner in Canada reported that a dealership quoted him for $15,000 CAD for a replacement battery.
Cashcarbuyers reported in Sept 2020
- 30 kWh pack price ranges from $3,500 to $4,500, at most $150/kWh.
- 40 kWh pack price ranged between $6,500 and $7,500, at most $187.5/kWh.
- 62 kWh battery pack is expected to be between $8,500 and $9,500, at most $153/kWh.
Replacement ranges from $0 to $20,000 based on dozens of factors. If a battery is within its manufacturer warranty, typically 8 years and 100,000 miles, then you should get a replacement battery at no extra cost. But what if it is out of warranty?
If you run into trouble with your battery after your warranty has expired, you may have no choice but to pay for a replacement out of pocket. Unfortunately, there’s no MSRP for new battery packs, so the replacement cost will vary depending on where you’re located and which mechanic you hire to repair it.
Estimates range from a few thousand dollars to as much as $8,000 for a replacement battery — which may be higher than your LEAF’s current market value.
Not every EV owner will have to replace their battery pack, but keep this possibility in mind before purchasing a LEAF. You may decide that the overall lifetime savings of driving an EV make it worth the risk.
If you’re considering a used LEAF, be sure to test the battery capacity before you buy to reduce your chances of battery failure or battery degradation.
How To Take Care of Your Nissan LEAF Battery
To avoid changing the battery too soon, there are a few steps you can take to make the battery last longer by charging your EV battery wisely
- Avoid DC fast charging and use a 240-volt home charging station when possible. By charging your battery more slowly overnight, you can extend your battery life. Also, try to avoid draining your battery or overcharging it. While it might be tempting to keep your battery at 100%, it will be the healthiest between 20% and 80% capacity.
- Keep your car cool. The biggest downside to the Nissan LEAF battery is its lack of active thermal management, which works to keep the battery cool. Newer LEAFs have a “passive” thermal management system, which cools the battery slightly by allowing air to run over it while the car moves, but they lack the liquid system more advanced EVs like Tesla offer. So if you want to get the longest battery life, you can go the extra mile and store your LEAF in a garage or undercover parking area to better protect your battery from external temperatures. While cold temperatures can impact your car’s ability to hold a charge in the short term, it’s hot weather that will do the most damage to your battery pack.
- Try to drive smoothly. The LEAF’s regenerative braking system is designed to capture kinetic energy from the brakes that would otherwise be wasted. To make the most of this system, avoid hard braking and sudden acceleration. Driving steadily and smoothly will put less wear and tear on your battery and brake pads and will lower your driving costs by conserving more energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the 2021 LEAF’s annual fuel costs are $600, and it costs $1.02 to drive 25 miles.
To know more about how to take care of your car and other info of EVs you may found interesting, come to Maintenance Tips!