Nissan Leaf New Battery Cost: $5,500 For Replacement With Heat-Resistant Chemistry
Three and a half years after the first Nissan Leaf went on sale, Nissan has announced the cost of a replacement lithium-ion battery pack for its electric car.
It's a surprisingly low $5,499 (after a $1,000 credit for turning in the old pack, which is required), plus installation fees and tax. The installation is estimated at roughly 3 hours of labor.
Lithium-ion battery pack of 2011 Nissan Leaf, showing cells assembled into modules
Fitting the replacement pack to 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf models requires a special $225 installation kit, which makes the new battery "backward compatible" with even the earliest Leaf models.
The replacement 24-kilowatt-hour packs will use a new and more heat-tolerant battery chemistry that reduces capacity loss under very high temperatures.
Nissan declined, however, to discuss any potential plans for offering higher-capacity replacement batteries in the future.
Overall, the announcement means that the buyer of a used Nissan Leaf will know for certain how much it will cost to replace the battery, if its energy capacity should fall to 70 percent of the original figure.
And that could well give electric cars a much longer life than previously thought.
Nissan's aggressive pricing also demolishes the argument by many electric-car skeptics that "new batteries will cost tens of thousands of dollars."
While Nissan may be losing money initially on the $5,500 price, it is likely counting on low initial demand for replacement packs and future economies of scale in battery making as sales of its battery-electric vehicles continue to rise.
Polar Charging Post and Nissan Leaf
As of the end of this month, about 125,000 Nissan Leafs will have been sold globally--roughly 56,000 of them in the U.S.
The news on the pack-replacement cost appeared yesterday in a post on the MyNissanLeaf forum by Brian Brockman, a senior manager of corporate communications at Nissan.
In 24 hours, the post generated more than 125 comments--largely approving, though far from unanimously so.
The retail price replaces an earlier lease plan for replacement batteries announced by Nissan in June 2013. As Brockman said, "We went back to the drawing board" after "spirited discussion (and very vocal criticism)" of that plan.