Leaf: Battery longevity and alternatives?

Discussion in 'Nissan/Infiniti Hybrids and EVs' started by mxp, May 11, 2010.

  1. mxp

    mxp New Member

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    Hello,
    Some factors with EV ownership that I am concerned with:

    1. the longevity/lifespan of batteries

    2. the flexibility to replace the battery with say, a future battery option like an advanced Li-Po for EVs. Does Nissan allow aftermarket batteries?

    If you had planned to purchase the vehicle, and assuming the battery needs to be replaced in 4 years, you'd be up for a least $6-8k upfront to replace the battery on a depreciating vehicle.

    Can someone help put my head/thinking in the right way to view ownership of these EVs? I have never owned a hybrid nor an EV and sure would like to get all the angles covered....

    Thanks.
     
  2. ceric

    ceric New Member

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  3. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  5. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    i agree with all, the more packs that are put out there, the lower the price will be. when i first got my Pri, it was $4500 for a replacement pack. but as cars get wrecked, packs start popping up all over the place from salvage.

    i used to be in regular contact with a guy who rebuilt salvaged cars and he actually picked up a few packs for just over a grand. for many of us, $1000 is less than the amount of money we saved on gas.

    for the Leaf, the savings will be much higher (granted the pack will also be much higher) but i anticipate pack replacements in 5 years being along the $4000 to $5000 range. iow, about the same as any major repair on a vehicle today (more or less. the pack replacement on the FEH was $10,500. my sis auth a replacement on one last year!!)
     
  6. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Just been looking into the Leaf and this link was quoted elsewhere on this forum for a different matter, but if you look 3/4 of the way down it indicates that the battery will lose 20% after 5 years!

    Service costs are also likely to be low since electric vehicles have fewer moving parts. The only routine maintenance should be to the brakes, although Nissan says the battery pack will lose 20% of its capacity over five years.

    Industrial Laser Solutions Wire News Display - OptoIQ your destination for the latest information on optical technologies and applications
     
  7. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Nissan need to tell us the battery warranty. It can be a real deal breaker. If the pack is designed to last only 5 years / 75k miles, that would explain the low cost $375 per kwh.
     
  8. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    75,000 miles with estimated savings between 3 to as much as 10 cents per mile that is $2250 to $7500 in just fuel savings using current gas prices which, btw are on the rise.

    we will ignore the 8 to 15 oil changes required when burning gas or the 5 air filter changes since that would make this post too one sided and we would not want that to happen
     
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  9. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    The guy (Russ) whose writing this article SAYS Nissan says 20% at 5 years... too bad he couldn't manage to squeez out a quote from some where. I've been looking but haven't seen 20% at 5 years stated any where. Still looking.

    Then there's simple rational logic. Let's see ... RAV-4ev's still getting 100 miles per charge (much more weight/drag) and they are 10+ year old technology (technology that the industry is slowly going away from) ... some of those packs having over 100,000 miles on 'em ... yet they're still going strong. IMO somehow that 20% at year 5 statistic doesn't wash.

    EDIT: Found this quote -

     
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  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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  11. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    500 cycles does not seem like much. what is the cycles estimate for regular charge replacing 40-60% ? which is what i would be doing most of the time
     
  12. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    My previous math that works out to about 500 cycles has a flaw. Sorry about that.

    43,496 miles work out to 120 miles per week or 17.1 miles per day. This is from a 9.2kWh pack.

    Nissan Leaf has 24 kWh pack (2.6 times bigger). If the depth of discharge is the same (17.1 x 2.6 = 44.5 miles), it should be good for 7 years / 114k miles before reaching its end of life (80% original capacity). Since Leaf has 100 miles range, it works out to 44.5 depth of discharge.

    If you discharge only 20% daily (20 miles), the pack should last longer (150k miles? wild guess). If you discharge 80% (80 miles) daily, it may not make it to 100k miles.

    The end of life means the battery pack will still have 80% of its original capacity. You can still drive it. It will just have 80 miles range instead of 100.
     
  13. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    So is it better to charge regularly after short journeys than wait until low and fully charge?

    If your commute was say 5 miles each way, are you better plugging in at work and then at home each time after 5 miles or use the car for a week and then plug in on Friday night?

    Or does it not matter?
     
  14. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    The research presented recently by Toyota showed deep discharge did not change the life of Lithium battery. What really mattered was the amount of energy that passed through it.

    Since there are many different Lithium chemistry variances, one has to be careful it also applies to Nissan's Lithium.

    NiMH loves many small charge/discharge cycles.
     
  15. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Lithium typically does, too. I wonder what specific chemistry Toyota was referring to?

    Typically you want to avoid fully charging and fully discharging batteries. This is what Tesla does, GM Volt does, Prius does, etc.
     
  16. hampdenwireless

    hampdenwireless Active Member

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    While I do agree pack prices will drop......

    I don't think there is going to be the same disparity of available packs coming from crashed cars vs the worn out packs needing replacement.

    The Prius pack is super conservatively used and I am sure the Nissan pack will not be as carefully coddled because it is the only source of power. Using half the charge capactiy of a smaller pack imposes a smaller weight/price penalty vs using half the capacity of a full EV pack.

    Secondly in crashes it is pretty hard to total a Prius pack, in fact in all but the worst accidents its completely unharmed. While it is not in the center of the car, its in a very safe location in the Prius. Both the Leaf and the Volt will not have this advantage as the packs are much larger. A higher percentage of accidents will damage batteries.
     
  17. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Maybe so, but at least in the case of the Leaf, it is composed of many small modules which will probably not be too difficult and salvage the non-damaged ones from multiple packs as some people do when refurbishing hybrid battery packs.
     
  18. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    a higher likelihood of some pack damage is probable sure i will go with that. but that is only a small part of the picture.

    the only thing that matters, and has always mattered in all things is that the more of them there are, the cheaper they are. simple process of supply, demand, repetition, etc. whatever you want to call it.

    there has not (at least not in the last 10 years) been a massed produced large format battery pack built on any kind of volume. so ya, batteries are expensive, because we have to put a bunch of little pieces together and the worst part is;

    we have to buy them pieces!!!

    we all know the story about a $20,000 car. if we had to build one from scratch, the cost of the parts would be more than double that then we need to add labor costs, right??

    what makes u think a battery pack would be different?? who does it now?? Hymotion?? oh ya!!! i am sure with their 2-3,000 units a year, they get a "great" discount on parts...

    but now we are talking someone who plans to put out double hymotion's yearly output EVERY FRICKING DAY!!

    and that is only Nissan. what about mitsubishi, gm , etc. they all will have battery plants up and running. sure it will take a bit before prices come down. have to have a level of market saturation, regen, used car sales, etc. but as long as the market is successful, prices will drop.

    and i am making a $30,000 bet that the prices will drop before i need to make any purchase decisions. to be honest with ya, i hope to sell my initial leaf pack for a few grand and upgrade to a 300 mile pack
     
  19. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    The study used A123 cells. It makes sense since they can tolerate very deep discharge.

    I am surprise why Toyota mentioned it though.
     
  20. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    As Drees has pointed out, even if the pack is damaged, there are 48 modules per pack, each module has 4 "cells", once a fairly large number of Leafs exist, and are totaled, the number of spare, damaged packs will increase. There will be "pack rebuilders", who will buy up these damaged packs and have rebuilding services, similar to what is being done for Prius Gen1 and Gen2 packs now. Remember, only a little over 1 million Prius have been built since the Gen1 Prius, in 10 years, averaging 100,000/year. Nissan will produce 50K per year for the next 2 years, then up to 150K/year after that in the Tennesee plant, after 5 years in the wild, there could be as many as 550K Leafs (if they sell out every year for the next 5 years. Some will be totalled, just as they are with Prius's, there will be an active pack rebuilding market, count on it.
     
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