Regular readers will know that I am the proud owner of a 2012 Nissan Leaf. While I love my little car, I have to admit that anxiety about replacing the battery is part of my daily life. A simple Google search for “Nissan Leaf Battery Degradation” will return a litany of articles about how all Leaf owners will eventually have to replace their car’s battery.

Nissan pulls no punches with regard to battery replacement. The company has set the price of a new battery at $5,499 with additional costs for older models, no small sum. Will I eventually be doomed to spend my kids’ college fund on a new battery? The news may not be as bleak as you’d expect.

Owner Tolerance

One aspect often ignored by the pessimists when discussing battery replacement is how much battery degradation an owner can stand. To put it simply: if I only travel ten miles a day, does it really matter if I only get 50% or even 25% of the range I once did when the car is new? Not really in my case. Owners with longer daily commutes may feel differently.

Total Life of the Battery  

In addition to the possibility of just putting up with battery degradation, there is data to suggest that Nissan’s batteries may outlast the life of the rest of the car by as much as 10 years! According to, Nissan has been keeping tabs on just about all of the over 400,000 Leafs (or is it Leaves) that have been sold in Europe since 2011. Their data collection has determined that most batteries should last up to 22 years.

Not everyone is happy about this revelation. Francisco Carranza, Managing Director of Renault-Nissan Energy Services recently told reporters that “Aftersales revenue will massively suffer from electrification. We are going to have to recover those batteries.” With all due respect sir, we Leaf owners see this as a cause for celebration!

As a result of this news, Nissan is ramping up its plans to re-purpose old Leaf batteries. in 2018, Nissan opened its first electricity storage facility in Amsterdam. This facility uses a combination of both new and used Leaf batteries to generate power. Leaf owners in Denmark can participate in a program that uses their vehicles to store energy at peak times and then return it to the grid when the car is not in use.

“It’s working even better than we anticipated selling back to grid,” Carranza said. “The more you dig, the more you find gold. The amount of revenue and profit by using vehicles to provide services to the grid is big.”


While batteries utilized by the Nissan Leaf are expensive to replace, they may not need to be replaced at all. If the owner can live with a bit of battery degradation, the actual battery should outlast the rest of the car. Bad news for Nissan’s bottom line, good news for us owners!

What do our readers think about battery degradation in the Nissan Leaf? How much degradation could you put up with personally? Any other Leaf owners out there experience major drops in range as their car has aged? Please drop us a comment below and let us know.

Source | Images: usa.nissannews.con