Battery Capacity Loss Warranty Chart For 2016 30 kWh Nissan LEAF

11 months ago by Inside EVs Staff 65

LEAF Battery Capacity Tool - Copyright: Mark Larsen

LEAF Battery Capacity Tool/Warranty Assumption Minimums – Copyright: Mark Larsen

Early adopters of the LEAF will recall that Nissan originally estimated —but could not guarantee— that its battery should retain 80% capacity after 5 years, and 70% capacity after 10 years. As the months and miles accumulated, some of the first owners exceeded those benchmarks, but others fell significantly short, which prompted the automaker to eventually offer a capacity warranty on the battery pack. Specifically, if a LEAF lost four bars on its capacity gauge before 60 months or 60,000 miles (whichever came first), Nissan would repair or replace the battery for free.

*Editor’s note: This post, authored by Mark Larsen, appears on his website. Check it and other EV-related articles out by clicking here.

With the advent of the new 30 kWh battery in the 2016 LEAF SV and SL models, Nissan has extended that warranty even further to 96 months or 100,000 miles, as stated in the relevant section of the warranty booklet on the right. In essence, the automaker has thus established a new, more reliable benchmark for capacity loss than the original estimates, this time backed by a guarantee.

BAR LOSS CAPACITY
1 85.00%
2 78.75%
3 72.50%
4 66.25%

As stated in the warranty, the threshold for said benchmark is the loss of the fourth capacity bar. The Nissan LEAF Wiki Website claims that, according to an April 2011 Service Manual (page MWI-23), the first bars will disappear when the capacity drops below the percentages in the table on the left.

Unless Nissan has since reprogrammed the percentages for those bars, we can therefore assume that that the battery should retain more than 66.25% capacity for 8 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Using those parameters as a new benchmark, I calculated the polynomial curve of capacity loss throughout the warranty period, plotted in the graph down below at the bottom of the page. I then posted the breakdown in the PDF chart at the top of the page. Owners of 2016 SV and SL models could therefore consult the chart to determine how their capacity and range compare with the calculations according to the new warranty.

What is most intriguing is that, despite the larger battery and longer warranty, the new calculations actually predict lower percentages than the original benchmarks. For example, after 3 years or 37,500 miles, the chart for the 2011-12 LEAF estimated 86.68% capacity. However, the new benchmark predicts only 80.95% capacity after the same number of months and miles.

My hope is that this is an indication that Nissan has learned a valuable lesson, and has resolved to henceforth underpromise and overdeliver.

LEAF Battery Capacity Curve : Copyright: Mark Larsen

Warranty LEAF Battery Capacity Curve : Copyright: Mark Larsen

Tags: , , , , , ,

65 responses to "Battery Capacity Loss Warranty Chart For 2016 30 kWh Nissan LEAF"

  1. B Smith says:

    Thanks for publishing this; I’ve been contemplating these sorts of numbers recently as I prepare to buy out the lease on my 2013 Leaf. I’ve lost two bars after only 20k miles, so I’m assuming I will lose another two before the 60 months capacity warranty runs out in March 2018. Hey presto, free battery upgrade 🙂

    1. ggpa says:

      Let’s hope in 2018 you can upgrade to the 30kWh battery!

      I am curious about your capacity loss. Would you mind sharing
      – when you bought the vehicle (early or late in the model year)
      – what climate you live in

      1. ggpa says:

        Duh … need coffee … I see you got the car in March 2013

      2. Someone out there says:

        Let’s hope there are better batteries than 30 kWh in 2018 to upgrade to.

    2. Jonathan says:

      You’ll lose your 4 bars for sure by the time your warranty runs out, especially since those last two bars represent only 12.5% of capacity loss and the first two that you’ve already lost represent about 22%

    3. Murrysville EV says:

      No offense, but I think you’re crazy to consider buying out your lease. Even after the $5k Nissan discount, my buyout price (12 Leaf) was still ~$7000 higher than the price it (likely) went for at auction.

    4. JakeY says:

      I presume you mean replacement not upgrade. The 30 kWh battery is not compatible with the older Leaf because the BMS can’t handle the new confirguation (inside is laid out differently: 24 modules of 8 cells instead of 48 modules of 4 cells).

      1. Les Hardy says:

        I thought the BMS was in the battery pack?

    5. Sting777 says:

      Your last paragraph. I think you’re mis-comprehending NISSAN’s position.

      What they’ve done isn’t “predict” how the battery will wear, they’ve just lowered what they will warrant.

      You should, guaranteed, get better then the warranty warrants. They absolutely don’t want to eat the warranty cost.

  2. Mathias says:

    I’ve got 20,000 miles on my 2014 Leaf and have not lost a bar yet.

    1. Djoni says:

      I have 97 000+ kilometers(do the math murican:-) on my 2012 Leaf and got all the bar on.
      Leafspy show a SOH of 86-87%, so I’m on the edge of losing one, but still far less loss than most fear.

    2. Leptoquark says:

      I have 34,475 miles on my 2014 Leaf in Maryland and all my bars. I thought early bar loss was confined to the 2011’s and 2012’s in the Southwest? I haven’t heard many complaints lately.

      1. mike w says:

        I live just south of you in Virginia. Have a 2011 Leaf. Lost our first bar at 1 year/3500 miles. Second bar dropped 2 years later. We complained to Nissan and were told to wait until 4 bars drop. So we will drop Nisson

    3. Khai L. says:

      I’ve got 35k miles on mine, and lost the first bar at 30k miles. Kind of right at the edge of NOT meeting the warranty limit. 🙁

      1. Khai L. says:

        bought in Oct 2013.

        1. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

          More relevant than purchase date in manufacture date. We suspect that at some time in 2013 Nissan began putting the lizard battery into LEAFs, but don’t know when. Based on your results I would guess you got the older battery.

    4. My car was built Feb ’14, bought May ’14, have 64,000 km (as of today) and my SOH has been reading 98% lately (it was as low as 95% in November).

    5. David Galvan says:

      I’m at 28k miles on my 2014 Leaf (purchased April ’14).

      Live in the hottest part of the San Fernando Valley: Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.
      But the car lives in our garage (not climate controlled), or in an underground parking garage at work, so gets little sun exposure on hot days.
      I’ve probably used DC Quickchargers about 25 times.

      Still have all 12 bars.

    6. Evblogger says:

      Mine is 2013, bought in October, Lost first bar @24K miles now at 31K SOH 82%

      1. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

        Guessing you got the original tech battery in yours. Sorry about that.

  3. Pedro says:

    Those calculations assumed the cell’s chemistry is the same for the 24 kWh and 30 kWh batteries.

    It isn’t. The 24 kWh battery cells are LMO, the worst chemistry in modern electric cars.

    The 30 kWh battery cells are NMC, this is the best chemistry and it’s used in most modern electric cars.

    The bigger battery will also suffer less from efficiency losses that occur with high discharge rates. See Ragone charts for lithium batteries.

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion

    Leaf’s 30 kWh battery is far from perfect. The lack of cooling and horizontal cells are a bad design. But at least the chemistry is a lot better than the old one.

    The best battery design IMO is the one in BMW i3. Active cooling, cells in vertical for better passive cooling, NMC chemistry and KISS approach (cells only in series, none in parallel).

    1. Not quite, Pedro. The calculations are not based on the original battery chemistry: they’re based on Nissan’s own warranty benchmark for the 30 kWh pack –which uses the newer “lizard” chemistry.

      1. Pedro says:

        My bad. Thanks for the reply. Cheers.

      2. I didn’t quite follow in the article how you generated the polynomial curve. Are there other data points not shown on the plot?

  4. Anderlan says:

    Well, this is disturbing. Larger capacity means fewer cycles per mile which means, all other things equal, a longer mileage life for the battery. Hopefully the new pack doesn’t have a lower-quality chemistry or liberally highly configured “100%” charge level.

    (For newbs: 100% charge level is not an absolute property of a battery, but can be conservatively or liberally set by the integrator of the system. A Chevy Volt is at 100% when it’s using 10kwhr of its roughly 16kwhr pack. Hoverboards explode when left fully charged. The cheap tablet my friend bought has a warning not to leave it plugged in (i.e. not to leave it at full charge).

    There’s a whole story that could be told about this. This is why I will always trust a Tesla and I will never, ever buy a BYD vehicle.)

    1. Anderlan says:

      (I might buy BYD one day once they establish a record and/or useful new standards are established and they are certified.)

  5. Greg says:

    I have a 2011 Leaf and I have only one bar gone. There are 43,500 miles on the car.

    So I guess,I’m doing OK, unless the bar gauge is broken and shows more capacity than there actually is.

    1. George B says:

      Please note that Mark’s chart, which he originally published for the old 24 kWh battery, is based on simple assumptions and interpretation of the warranty manual. As such, it does not necessarily reflect reality and the projected capacity loss does not correspond to what owners see in the field. He himself has seen substantially more capacity loss than his chart for the old 24 kWh battery has predicted.

      I would not expect anything else from the new chart for the 2016. It’s not science, it’s fiction based on interpretative data and semantics.

      Owners on mynissanleaf.com have developed an aging model for the old battery. This model is following scientific equations from NREL for lithium-ion batteries, which have been calibrated with actual field data from LeafSpy. This model predicts battery capacity loss with approximately 1% accuracy based on the location of the owner, the effective temperature at the place of residence, the miles driven, driving eficiency and the number of battery cycles.

      I would suggest that the readers and Mark himself considered actual field data instead of the language printed in the owners manual and the warranty booklet. Although field data is harder to interpret, the results and understanding this effort will yield will be more accurate than something based on linguistics and semantics.

    2. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

      Not unusual. In November we turned in our 2012 leased LEAF with 44,500 miles, one bar down, and 82% SOC. We live in a cooler part of Colorado. Our 2011 LEAF, which we own, has 40k miles and 81% SOC (it was a demo in the Houston area for 18 months so the battery was pre-cooked when we got it) – at the current rate of decay it will get to 50k before the second bar goes. We’ll keep this as a local runabout as long as that is practical, as most of our trips are still well within its range even with the heater blasting in the winter while driving snow tires – but anything over 35 miles round trip in winter and we start having to closely manage the battery usage.

  6. The chart is based on a worst case scenario … ie: a LEAF that has a boarder line warranty!

    Not bad enough to replace, just good enough to be denied coverage. Unfortunately the curve makes no reference to data from 2013+ LEAF models battery capacity history from real world use data.

  7. Doug (dhanson865) says:

    This makes the flawed assumption that miles are the primary factor for degradation when the actual primary factor is heat.

    “lizard” or not, heat has been the primary factor for Leaf degredation and we have users on mynissanleaf.com who have documented losses based on heat even with the new 2015 battery packs.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Both heat and charging cycles matter, as well as the depth of discharge.

      I live in western PA, and my Leaf was not subjected to Phoenix-type heat, and was garage kept. Still, after 26k miles and 36 months, its battery SOH was down to 85%. I was about to lose 1 bar when I traded it.

      Worse, the guess-o-meter was always very optimistic, so I had to learn how to mentally derate the miles in real time.

      1. Sting777 says:

        If not heat, what do you think caused your degradation?

        1. Murrysville EV says:

          I think it was a combination of factors

          The 11-12 battery chemistry was inferior to the 13+ chemistry.

          Deep cycling isn’t good for lithium ion catteries, and they tend to be deep-cycled more as their capacity diminishes. In its third winter, the car’s actual (not displayed) range could be as low as 36 miles, so there were several occasions where I was pulling into the garage with the Low Battery Warning light on.

          Meanwhile, my Nissan dealer said the battery was A-OK, and that I should trust the displayed range value. What a joke.

          I was very careful with charging, and only charged it to 80% as Nissan recommended. The battery experienced exactly 2 rapid DC charges in 3 years. I may have filled it to 100% a few dozen dimes, but I never stored the car in that condition.

          In the end, I loved the car, but left very disillusioned with Nissan’s EV implementation and terrible dealer support.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Murrysville EV said:

            “Meanwhile, my Nissan dealer said the battery was A-OK, and that I should trust the displayed range value. What a joke.”

            Indeed!

            Not speaking from experience here, but based on reading a lot about the subject, it appears the reason the Leaf’s “guess-o-meter” was usually so far off was that Nissan wanted the fully charged range to display “100 miles”, because they claimed the Leaf was a “100 mile” EV.

            But the real-world range was pretty close to 75 miles. So obviously the only way to get the “range estimator” to initially display 100 miles was by intentionally, and substantially, inflating the calculated remaining range.

            It’s always a bad idea to let the marketing department dictate how a calculator works… rather than letting the engineers design it to give accurate results.

  8. Jonathan says:

    This chart may apply under the normal degradation rules for early cars in Arizona, but even in that case I think this chart will not be accurate. Keep in mind a few things. (1) The original degradation rates were only really severe on 2011/12 cars, 13/14 cars seem to be holding up slightly better, and 2015 cars, better yet. I’m at 22K miles on my 2015 with no immediate sign of losing a bar. I’m down a few percent for sure, but given my rate of decline, I’ll lose my first bar around 35-40K by my estimation, and I live in a warmer climate in CA. (2) The newer 2016 30kwh pack is a totally different chemistry and may not follow the same capacity loss path as prior packs. (3) The larger battery size means that the cycle rate will be lower for similar mileage. This alone could account for the increase in the warranty for capacity loss (or at least some of it). The 30kwh pack is roughly 25% larger in capacity than the earlier 24kwh pack, meaning that an equivalent cycling in the new pack will get you to 100K miles vs. 75k miles on the 24kwh pack. Since heat and cycle count are the biggest enemies of Li-Ion batteries, this is a significant factor to consider.

    To me this chart is pretty much rubbish, in that it takes prior data in a worst case scenario and applies it to newer unknowns. Those of us who have been tracking the 2015 pack have found that even it doesn’t behave in the same ways as the earlier packs did.

    1. George B says:

      I have to agree, Jonathan. I would suggest that the readers and Mark himself considered actual field data instead of the language printed in the owners manual and the warranty booklet. Although field data is harder to interpret, the results and understanding this effort will yield will be more accurate than something based on linguistics and semantics.

  9. Assaf says:

    IMHO the calculation does not fit real-life driver experience.

    It seems that for many drivers, after losing the second bar, capacity falls off a cliff.

    Therefore, the actual cumulative loss curve is likely more concave than convex. Meaning that for a good chunk of time/miles, you can hardly feel any loss, and then once it starts it really takes off.

    That also explains the apparent discrepancy whereby after 3 years the new curve is “worse than the old benchmarks”. Most likely, in real life it *is* better.

  10. More FUD propaganda by the paid anti Leaf agents.

    In the real world, the Leaf batteries are running, running, running and running.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G45OgJzIxrI

    1. Get Real says:

      “paid anti-leaf agents”???

      Really, Counter-Strike Cat? If you really believe this you should probably seek some professional help.

    2. Darell says:

      Ummm. What?
      I wish I could get paid for my degrading Leaf pack out here in the real world. Where do I sign up for that job?

  11. Alaa says:

    Who would buy this car if the Bolt is out soon with 200 miles range?

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Correct. Leaf sales are in the tank, and will remain so until Leaf 2.0 emerges.

      Nissan is ceding its lead to Tesla and General Motors.

      1. Alaa says:

        Thank you.

    2. Mister G says:

      I hear you, the lease on my 12 Leaf ended in December and was considering a 16 Leaf lease but if the Bolt will be ready this year…what to do?

      1. Alaa says:

        And thank you too.

      2. Murrysville EV says:

        @Mister G:
        Walk, like I did. I’m driving a 15 mpg minivan for the time-being, because it’s paid for and reliable.

        Maybe I’ll jump when the EV market has some solid offerings I can actually buy.

    3. Leaf Owner says:

      Agree – the 107 mile band-aid is not working….

    4. Jonathan says:

      But…. there’s gonna be a fire sale on the 2016 Leaf “band aid 30kwh” model in about a year’s time. Sure, the Bolt looks like an amazing car, but if the blow out prices of the 2015 models are any indication, you’ll be able to walk into a Nissan dealer next December and buy a 2016 Leaf SV 30kwh for $25K OUT THE DOOR. Sure it’s 107 mi of range doesn’t compare to the Bolt’s 200mi, but the Bolt will cost $37K plus tax and license, you’re over $40k, and you can bet that the dealers won’t discount them. I’d be hard pressed not to buy a 2016 Leaf SV if I could do so at that price. This is nearly the exact price you buy a 2015 SV for right now. For us in CA, that means $15K after rebates and tax credits. I’ll live with 107 mi for that! Furthermore, I bet that Nissan starts selling 30kwh packs for $6K around this time next year. They will need to in order to convince people to buy their cars, or not return their leased cars and instead buy them at a low residual value.

      1. Nix says:

        “you can bet that the dealers won’t discount them.”

        Maybe. Keyes and Rydell in CA were discounting 2016 Volt’s before they were even available for sale, and were still in pre-order. They compete with each other pretty hard.

        I wouldn’t be shocked if those dealerships offered discounts fairly quickly. Especially if they really do start to see sales being lost to low priced Leaf’s.

        On the other hand, I also won’t be surprised to hear about other dealerships with $10K “market adjustment” markups, like when the Volt first came out. And I think you are right that GM won’t be doing any discounts for dealerships to pass on to consumers any time soon.

        So it will probably be a mixed bag.

  12. Get Real says:

    Its to bad the Nissan squandered their advantage as first to the current market with a 5 seater BEV at a decent price by not making much in the way of improvements/upgrades to this first generation in a timely manner.

    They are now far behind GM with its excellent Bolt BEV and Volt EREVs. Hopefully they will be able to roll out a much improved 2nd generation Leaf soon.

    1. Leaf Owner says:

      They have to or 1000/month will be their new normal.

    2. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

      I’m sad to say that after trying very hard to support Nissan all these years I’ve given up on them and the LEAF. If they come up with a Bolt-killer next year I may give it a shot, but it’s been too little too late. And recent reports that they’ll replace their ancient user interface with something programmed by Microsoft gives me zero confidence in their whole approach.

  13. GeorgeS says:

    Why aren’t the bars vs % loss linear?

    1. mr. M says:

      Reality is never linear.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Do you know what a half-life curve is?

      Many things in nature, including battery degradation over time, follow a half-life curve rather than a straight line.

      In the real world, things are rarely ruler-straight.

    3. GRA says:

      The assumption on MNL is that it was done to hide degradation early on, and has been much criticized to Nissan at various owner meetings. As has basing a capacity warranty on ‘bars’, without defining what a ‘bar’ is, or what ‘4 bars’ loss represents. Nissan was forced to do so (‘about 70%’ of original usable capacity, actually 66.25%) on the 24kWh LEAFs as a result of the class action lawsuit.

      AFAIC the ‘4 bars’ warranty on the 30kWh battery is meaningless, because Nissan can define (FTM change) bars to mean whatever they want, whenever they want. For all we know, they could define each of the first four bars as 23% of capacity loss (92% total), leaving the remaining 8 bars to each represent 1%; there’s absolutely nothing stopping them from doing so. For that matter, they could define the first 4 bars as each representing 24.9% of capacity, and the remaining 8 as being worth a little over o.1%.

      Given how they had to be dragged kicking and screaming to stand behind their product (instead of hiding behind their lawyers) in the past, no one should expect Nissan to do more than they think they can get away with.
      Personally, I’d trust them about as far as I could throw them. If you want to see a good example of a clearly stated, unambiguous and legally enforceable battery capacity warranty, look at the Soul EV’s:

      http://www.mykiasoulev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=57&view=previous

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        The Soul EV would be great, if only is was a 50-state car. I’ve quit reading about it, because I can’t even buy it.

        I’m a Kia partisan, but their parsimonious release of the Soul EV has me disappointed.

  14. Leaf Owner says:

    Likely not until early 2017

  15. Priusmaniac says:

    When we think about battery degradation it comes to mind that if you need 200 miles, after 10 years you are going to be 30% short and stranded after 140 miles. So in essence there should be a validity period for the 200 miles range. If it is only in the first year there is only a one year validity. This implies that if you really need the 200 miles, there should be a 10 year validity. If that is not the case, they should advertise it as a 140 miles range vehicle with a 10 year validity instead of 200 miles with one year validity. Since most cars drive for ten years, it is the 10 year validity range that should mainly be advertised.

  16. doron cohen says:

    the same problem at renault fluance ze at israel.

  17. Jayson says:

    Down to 72%, 47.09 SOH on 2011 SL Leaf. I got it in 2015 and it most likely came from LA CA area. I got it with 10 bars and about 49 SOH…in 9 months in dropped ~2% while driving around San Francisco / North Bay. I have been charging in mostly on L2 with a rare trickle charge. I put 5400 miles on it so far. …

    Leaf Battery degradation is a joke. Do yourself a favor and get a Volt. Only good part was getting dirt cheap deal on it. for under 8k.

    I am lucky to get 30-40 miles on the freeway at 60-65mph….especially if there’s any grade incline….in city I can squeeze out 55-60….

  18. jdrgator says:

    Got a used 2012 leaf on 7/15 with 24,000 mi, it had already lost 3 bars (I didn’t know about the health bar system when I bought it). Lost the 4th bar in March. Still less than 35K MI. I just called in warranty today. We’ll see how the next battery does. I get at best 45-50 mi range right now, and that’s stretching it. This car has been in Florida for probably half its life though. I have high hopes for this “lizard” battery they speak of. Heat is a EV killer here.

  19. Salut si vous voulez voir tous les matchs de l’UEFA en streaming gratuitement, il y’a un super logiciel pour voir tous les matchs à telecharger ici : http://streaming-uefa-euro-2016.blogspot.it