It’s finally been revealed how much a replacement battery pack could cost for an electric car – and it’s more than the price of a brand new diesel model.
Nissan UK senior vice-president Andy Palmer has said the Leaf hatch’s lithium-ion power source consists of 48 modules, each costing £404 to replace. So owners could face a bill of up to £19,392 for a new pack – that’s £727 more than the £18,665 list price of a VW Golf BlueMotion.
The Japanese firm has also revealed that battery capacity will drop by at least a fifth after five years. When new, the Leaf’s lithium-ion pack has a 24kWh capacity – enough for a 100-mile range. But Nissan said: “Our tests suggest that the battery will be at 80 per cent capacity after five years, depending on charging and usage.” Bosses also revealed that the cell’s five-year warranty does not cover degradation.
A spokeswoman told us the £19,000 replacement figure was not representative of what owners would pay in the real world. “It’s unlikely all 48 modules would need to be replaced,” she said. “The cost of a conventional engine and transmission built up from individually sourced parts would be similarly high.”
The firm expects battery units to decrease in price substantially by 2013, when its Sunderland plant will start producing an estimated 500,000 packs a year.
Used Leaf batteries are to get a second life storing power from wind and solar energy schemes – and this will help protect residual values. Trade expert CAP predicts the Leaf will retain £10,770 or 41.44 per cent of its price after three years/30,000 miles.