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Nissan Beefs Up LEAF Battery Warranty to Cover Capacity Loss (treehugger.com)
21 points by MikeCapone 1757 days ago | hide | past | web | 9 comments | favorite

"This policy change tells us a few things: First, Nissan is very confident that its batteries won't suffer from too much capacity loss within those 5 years or 60,000 miles."

Depends what you consider "too much". If your battery can only be charged to 9 out of 12 bars after five years (which is considered acceptable under the warranty), that means you've lost 25% of your battery capacity, or 25% of your car's range.

Since after five years it will only get worse (and the warranty will have expired), it also suggests that nobody will want to buy your five year old Leaf unless you discount the price by the cost of a new battery (several thousand dollars).

Gasoline powered cars don't have either of these problems, which suggests that electric cars will remain a small market unless the price of gas goes up sharply.

"Gasoline powered cars don't have either of these problems, which suggests that electric cars will remain a small market unless the price of gas goes up sharply."

or battery technology improves substantially which seems likely either in capacity or price, but probably both.

Not sure what battery technology improvements are on the horizon but unless they are order of magnitude improvements electric cars are still impractical for my needs, and I suspect for many other folks as well.

ICE cars have a lot more moving parts to break, so it's not a one-to-one comparison. When you buy an old ICE car you know there might be lots of small (or big) things that will need fixing soon. When you buy an electric car there are much fewer things to go wrong, and only one real big one (which you will be able to approximate since it tells you how worn out it is).

I think this will become less and less of an issue as these cars become older and more common. On the other hand, if this does kill the resale value, I will be all over a cheap electric car and replace the battery myself.

Modern ICE are not all that fragile. Typically will do 100k miles or more with only fluid changes and if anything fails it will likely be something minor like a water pump. Even if you need a new engine for some reason a used one is typically a few hundred dollars from a salvsge yard, a lot less than a new battery pack is likely to cost, or perhaps comparable if you include installation labor.

Is there some technological difference, which allows them to provide such a warranty, compared to the competition? Or it's just different spin, on how you communicate the expected lifetime of the batteries?

To be honest, I don't know the answer to your question, but I do know that battery capacity is heavily influenced by the following : -thermal cycling -maximum temperature -charging parameters

I would hazard that Nissan has performed a number more tests on the leaf batteries in the last couple years and developed a better model for battery decay based on their enforced management of the above listed characteristics.

I hate not having a second parking spot. A $199/mo lease on a Leaf seems like a no-brainer in California: HOV lane access, free parking and charging in a lot of places, and enough range for pretty much anything inside SF/Oakland/Berkeley that I'd do. Keep an ICE car for anything longer. It's probably enough that if you lived in San Mateo County, you could go everywhere you'd normally care about (SF to San Jose), round trip.

What the article is really saying is that Nissan expects the Leaf to deplete to 80% capacity by year 5 outside of extraordinary circumstances.

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