To say that consumers have been waiting on a hard and firm pricing for a replacement 24 kWh battery pack in the Nissan LEAF (or any plug-in really for that matter) would be an understatement.
Well, wonder no longer as $5,499 plus the turn-in of your old pack (which Nissan values at $1,000) nets you a new "2015 spec" battery replacement.
Using $6,499 as a full MSRP on the pack means Nissan is putting a price of $270/kWh on the cells.
That retail price per kWh would seem to prove the notion that automotive-specific/larger cell application, while costlier to develop at first, is now paying dividends in volume production.
Also as part of that replacement, Brian Brockman (Sr Manager) from Nissan says the new pack has the much anticipate new 2015 "lizard" battery, more able to take extreme heat.
"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."
The next most obvious question is "can you go down to your local Nissan and just purchase a battery pack outright without turning in your old one?" No, you can't.
This pricing announcement also speaks to expected pricing of the next generation LEAF, which is expected to be offered in two range packages; one being today's 84 mile version and another with approximately 150 miles of all-electric driving. A 150 mile EV starting at around $35,000 in two years time sounds decent to us.
Mr. Brockman posted an extended statement at MyNissanLEAF as well a little Q&A, which we have attached below:
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.