Last year, Nissan tried a $100/month price for a new battery in its popular Leaf, but was loudly criticized for that attempt. Today, Nissan is changing gears with a big announcement regarding the price of a new pack for your Nissan Leaf: $5,500 to buy. With an asterisk.
Nissan's Brian Brockman, writing at My Nissan Leaf, announced that Nissan Leaf replacement batteries are now available to purchase at certified Leaf dealers in the US at a suggested retail price of $5,499.
These packs are the ones found in 2015 Leaf models, which are similar to the ones the Leaf has always had, just with a different, better battery chemistry.
To buy a new pack, you need to give Nissan your original battery pack (which Nissan says will be recycled and has a value of $1,000) and the $5,500 "does not include tax, installation fees or an installation kit required for 2011 and 2012 vehicles." That kit costs around $225.
A $100/month financing program will still be available (details will be made available later) but now it will have an end date and the driver will own the pack at the end of the payment process.
All replacement packs will have the same eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty as the battery in a new Leaf. You can read Brockman's full statement below or over on My Nissan Leaf.
Ever since the Leaf entered the market in late 2010, Nissan has been dealing with degrading battery issue, both as a real thing (in warm climates like Arizona) and as a worry in the mind of potential customers.
Now that we know how much it'll cost to get a new pack, we can calculate that the overall cost for a new 24-kWh pack is now officially $6,500.
That means the price to a customer is less than $270-per-kWh. That's quite low compared to some early estimates, right on target with others and a very big deal for EV shoppers and drivers out there.
I'm happy to be back to provide a long-awaited update on the Nissan LEAF battery replacement plan.
Last year, I posted preliminary details of the program that we'd created based on early survey data, and it led to spirited discussion (and very vocal criticism). So we went back to the drawing board with your comments and the ongoing guidance of the LEAF Advisory Board.
Over the past year, we've used owner feedback to create a program we believe will better serve you and our other current drivers. Sorry we've been quiet on this topic. I hope you agree that it was worth the wait.
Battery replacements are now available for purchase at your certified Nissan LEAF dealers in the United States. The suggested retail price of the Nissan LEAF battery pack is $5,499. This price includes and requires a return of your original battery pack (valued at $1,000) to the dealer in exchange for the new battery.
This price does not include tax, installation fees or an installation kit required for 2011 and 2012 vehicles. The MSRP for the installation kit (which includes brackets and other minor parts required to retrofit the newer pack to original vehicles) is approximately $225.
Nissan expects the installation to take about three hours. However, dealers set the final pricing, so we recommend confirming with your local retailer.
We are also continuing to finalize details for a Nissan financing program for those who prefer an affordable monthly payment option, and we expect to keep that monthly payment in the $100 per month range.
But to be clear, at the end of the finance terms, you own the battery. It is not a lease or rental. I will post more details here later this year when they are finalized, but we didn't want to delay announcing the battery price itself any longer.
These replacement batteries are the same battery found in 2015 LEAF vehicles, which are also on sale now at Nissan dealers. As a replacement, this battery is expected to provide similar range and charging characteristics as the battery offered since the launch of the LEAF in 2010.
Changes in battery chemistry, however, have been made in an effort to make the battery more durable in extremely hot climates.
(So, yes...this is what you've been calling the "lizard" battery.) We knew it was important to early buyers to purchase the latest technology. Holding the replacement program until this summer meant we would be offering just that.
Replacement packs will carry similar warranty coverage as a new LEAF: 8 years/100,000 miles against defects and 5 years/60,000 miles against capacity loss.
Below is a bit more Q&A on the topic that you may find helpful.
Thank you all for your patience on this topic. We've been hard at work developing a plan driven by your feedback, and we hope you're satisfied with the results.
Q. Will I own this battery outright?
A. Yes, unless you choose to finance the battery, in which case the finance company will have an interest in the battery until it is paid for in full.
Q. What happens to my old battery? Can I keep it?
A. No. The old battery must be exchanged for the new battery as a condition of the sale of the replacement battery, and Nissan's suggested retail battery pricing reflects a $1,000 core value assigned to the battery. Nissan will ensure that the old battery is recycled and disposed of properly or possibly reused as part of our 4R Energy business.
Q. For resale, how can I prove that my car has a new battery?
A: Your certified Nissan LEAF dealer will provide you with a copy of the repair order showing your lithium-ion battery replacement at the time the replacement is made. If for any reason you do not receive it, ask your dealer for a copy. Additionally, any authorized Nissan dealer can confirm the battery replacement by reviewing the vehicle's service history by authorized Nissan dealers which is maintained by VIN.
Q. Is the replacement battery compatible with all Nissan LEAF models?
A. All 2011 through 2015 LEAF models are currently compatible with the replacements being offered in this purchase program. However, a separate installation kit must be purchased at the customer's expense for all 2011 and 2012 vehicles.
Q. Who qualifies for a replacement?
A. To be eligible to purchase a replacement battery, you must be a current LEAF owner, and you must agree to exchange your existing battery pack for the replacement battery. You must also read, acknowledge and sign a customer disclosure form and trade-in agreement. In order to allow for battery trade-in, and as a further condition of sale, customer must represent by signing the disclosure form that either (1) their LEAF vehicle and old lithium-ion battery are owned by customer free and clear of any liens and encumbrances; or (2) that any lender with a lien on the vehicle and/or original battery consents to the battery exchange. Customer must agree to assist Nissan in obtaining a signed consent from the lienholder.
Q. What are the terms of Nissan's financing?
A: We plan to release the exact terms of the financing by the end of the year.
Q. Will you offer higher capacity batteries to upgrade my LEAF in the future?
A: Currently, we can only discuss the 24kWh LEAF pack. We are not making any announcements concerning larger potential battery pack sizes for future products at this time.