Six months ago, Nissan North America announced that owners of its LEAF electric car would finally be able to buy a brand-new replacement lithium-ion battery pack for just $5,499, including a $1,000 trade-in discount for trading in the old pack.
It was followed shortly after by the announcement that customers in Japan would also be able to trade in their car’s old battery pack for a new one, meaning those with older LEAFs wouldn’t have to worry about losing capacity or performance as their car’s battery pack aged.
Now, Nissan Europe is bringing the LEAF battery replacement program to the EU, offering customers in the EU the chance to exchange their car’s original battery pack for a new one.
What’s more, the scheme starts today, with Nissan GB announcing that LEAF or e-NV200 customers can now buy a brand-new 24 kilowatt-hour replacement battery pack for their vehicle for just £4,100 plus 20% tax, including a £1,000 trade-in fee for handing back their car’s old battery pack. That works out to a total payable cost to private individuals of £4920 including taxes, although we note that the majority of LEAF owners who would even need to consider replacing their battery pack are probably high-mileage taxi fleet operators who don’t pay VAT.
Like Nissan’s battery replacement program in the U.S. and Japan, customers wanting to buy a new battery pack for their Nissan LEAF or Nissan e-NV200 must agree to trade in their old battery pack in exchange for the new one. Owners won’t be allowed to buy a new battery pack without handing back the old one, and naturally, this means only customers with a Nissan electric vehicle can buy a replacement battery pack in the first place.
While British prices are quoted here, customers across Europe will get a similar deal, with an expected headline price (including rebate) of €5,000 for a full battery swap.
As you might expect, all batteries offered under the replacement purchase program will be the very latest battery chemistry, meaning those with a first-generation Nissan LEAF will be able to benefit from some of the battery chemistry tweaks made to Nissan’s LEAF battery pack for the 2013 and onwards model year. In some cases, this could even lead to ‘better than new’ range.
Similar to the program operated in the U.S. and Japan however, owners of very-early Nissan LEAFs — essentially Japanese-made ‘first generation’ models — will require a small adaptor in order to enable the newer-chemistry battery pack to fit in their car. If you’re such a driver considering a pack swap however, your dealer will be able to tell you if that particular adaptor is required or not.
At the current time, Nissan doesn’t expect many LEAF owners to step up and request a battery replacement. As well as expecting most LEAF owners to keep using their car’s original battery pack for the life of the car, Nissan covers all of its LEAF battery packs for five years or 60,000 miles for capacity loss of more than three bars. In most cases then, the majority of LEAFs sold and owned in Europe are still well within that original battery warranty coverage.
What’s more, out of the 30,000 LEAFs it has sold in Europe since launch, Nissan says it has only needed to replace three battery packs. That’s equivalent to 0.01 percent.
Despite this however, Nissan says it hopes offering customers the chance to buy a brand new battery pack — regardless of the age or mileage of their car — will dispel any myths about battery pricing and encourage more people to switch from gasoline to electric.
And with more LEAFs creeping out of warranty — one of our staff Nissan LEAFs has more than 66,000 miles on the odometer and has lost one of its twelve capacity bars — there’s now a way for existing or would-be second-hand LEAF owners to ensure that owning a higher-mileage electric car doesn’t mean coping with an aged, range-depleted pack.
Do you own a Nissan LEAF? Do you think the battery replacement cost is reasonable? Or perhaps you’re now considering buying a used LEAF and a new battery pack to go with it? Has this changed the way you think about used electric cars?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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