Thought of the Day: What Should We Do With All These First-Generation Electric Cars?

Following a year-long hiatus, our thought of the day YouTube videos are back! Today, we’re asking what we should do with all of the first-generation electric cars with sub-100 mile ranges and aging battery packs. Since it would be uneconomical to replace the battery pack — and recycling the whole car seems a little extreme, is there another option?

Watch the video above and leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Kev

    Hi Nicky, as for the old Nissan Leaf which I can vouch for because I used to own one, at the time it was more economical to buy the 2013 model which we did because of the heat pump and better battery technology. If you can buy a first gen Nissan Leaf for £4k which they probably are around that mark and put a new battery in, which is say £5k with new technology that makes the car up-to-date for £9k. Not bad when you can do 90 miles on a charge may be 80 in winter and that car is good for a 100000 miles cheap no gas remember.

  • Jeff Laurence

    There are companies around willing to buy that old leaf or whatever for the components necessary to “electrify” an old clapped out Miata or 1960 Volvo or even a MG Miget. They will need new batteries possibility but customers are willing to foot the bill for a Miata EV. Not everyone needs more than an 80 Mike range.

  • alexsambie

    Hi Nicky, first of all I am sorry to hear that one of yours is not well…I do hope they start feeling better soon.
    As far as your idea for the First Gen Leafs to be used as the kids’ ‘run-around’, i think it’s a great idea.
    I still drive a First Gen Leaf myself and I have been thinking of how to best utilise mine when the time comes. Hmmm…no kids to run-around or let run-around…lucky me (?!)…
    I have been looking into having a Tesla Powerwall (energy storage facility) as I would like to be able to use the energy produced by my my solar panels myself instead of selling it back to the grid…argh!…
    The Powewall should be an item that, according to Elon Musk, should cost $ 3000 for the 7Kw (6.4 actually) which would roughly be £ 2.300/2.400. As I reserved one a while back, I was surprised to be quoted £ 5700 for it to be installed on an existing system which meets all the criteria required, including the most compatible inverter already in place. £ 5700?! I think not! As you can imagine I said thank you but no thank you.
    I also put my name in the hat for the trials Nissan and Enel are running in the UK for the Vehicle To Grid (V2G) new system but I was not successful. But it got me thinking…I have a 24Kw battery in my First Gen Leaf…and this V2G system is being tested now…hmmm…by the time the tesla Model 3 will be ready it will be 2018/19…and my Leaf will be 7/8/9 years old…if I was to part exchange it I would probably get next to peanuts…hmmm…I might just as well keep my Leaf as a battery storage device, invest in the new V2G system and expand my PV system to cover the rest of my roof…et voila’! Everything I ever wanted and I get to keep my precious First Gen Leaf…to which I might add I am very attached!
    Hopefully driving a Tesla Model 3 or another EV and using the Leaf as an energy storage instead of selling it and then having to possibly ‘buy back’ its batteries as a Nissan X Storage…hmmm…
    What do you think?! Good idea/Bad idea?!
    Of course all this is not going to happen tomorrow…I’m thinking in the next 3 to 7 to 10 years…he he he…hmmm…