Back in 2010, Nissan introduced its battery-operated vehicle, the Nissan Leaf. Not only is the Leaf Nissan’s contribution to lowering gas emissions, but it also offers decent horsepower, five-passenger capacity, and a great price tag. But how’s the battery? If you’re going to own an EV, you need to know about the battery.
The Leaf runs off a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery, which powers a 110 kW electric motor. On a full charge, this will take you 149 miles. If you buy the Leaf Plus model, its 62 kWh battery will take you 226 miles. Fortunately, the battery will keep your car going for a long time before you need to replace it.
Nissan Leaf’s Unique Battery
Electric batteries that power cars run on a precise technology. Typically, you can drive your EV up to three years before you need to replace it. However, the Nissan Leaf’s battery delivers 30 kilowatts per hour and can last eight to ten years. Powered by internal cell modules, this battery is not only more powerful, but it’s also lighter than most hybrid vehicles’ batteries.
The battery is located underneath the car’s chassis to create a low center of gravity. This innovative design enables you to handle curves with more stability and gives you more cabin space.
How long will the Nissan Leaf’s battery last?
Nissan built the Leaf’s battery to conserve energy and last a long time. The technology behind it ensures that the energy cells’ power is well utilized. For instance, the car converts the motor’s braking power into electric energy, economizing the battery’s capacity. The battery also charges when you are coasting downhill. All this considered, you’ll have to replace it eventually.
In the Nissan Leaf standard model, you’ll have to change it once every 96 months or 100,000 miles, whichever one you hit first. However, the battery can last you up to ten years if you take care of your car. Of course, this timeframe will change depending on different factors.
Manufacturers designed the Leaf to withstand these common battery killing challenges, though. So you’ll have to put your car through the wringer to experience significant battery degradation before eight years.
Charging your Leaf’s battery once a day is not detrimental to its performance and lifespan. Avoid charging it multiples times each day, however, as this accelerates battery degradation.
Temperatures above 90°F affect electric car batteries without heat resistance negatively. And though Nissan’s battery placement under the Leaf’s floor ensures tolerance to pretty much everything, it still cannot handle extreme heat situations well.
Your daily mileage determines your battery’s heat tolerance; fewer than 10 miles a day will significantly improve its life span. Also, because the battery outputs heat when it’s charging, recharging the battery midday when the sun is beating down won’t do it any good.
City Driving (Stop-and-Go)
Depending on your Nissan Leaf model, Nissan guarantees 107 miles of highway driving a day without recharging the battery. But intense city street driving will make your battery lose its charge around 90 miles. This loss is far more than the average driver experiences cruising around any metropolis.
What to do if your Nissan Leaf battery fails before its expected lifespan.
A Nissan Leaf replacement battery pack costs anywhere from $3,500 to $6,500. But as it stands, out of the hundreds of thousands of Nissan Leaf electric car owners in the US, very few have had to replace their batteries. And if your battery does fail according to Nissan’s definition of battery failure, chances are the warranty will cover a replacement. Nissan defines battery failure on a Leaf as it only getting two to four bars on a 12-bar charge capacity/duration. Contact your local Nissan dealer for more information.
The Nissan Leaf’s battery is already pretty good, but improvements to the manufacturing process may bring down battery replacement costs. Nissan and its partners are looking at viable ways to recycle their batteries and use them in applications beyond EVs. Refurbished batteries will also have an appealing effect on the Nissan lead’s older models, extending replacement time and raising resell value.
Ten years is a long time for a battery. If you take good care of your Nissan Leaf, you can certainly go the distance with the original one it came with. And if you need a replacement a little earlier, don’t be afraid to call up your Nissan dealer and ask if Nissan will cover you under warranty.