Some people who drive EVs and brag about how sustainable they are probably think only about carbon emissions and not about Overshoot Day. That’s the annual date on which we are reminded humans have consumed all resources the planet can renew in a year. Manufacturing more cars contributes to that. Keeping them running stops that trend. Yet, most car companies are just worried about selling more, as Clayton Brander’s case shows.
Brander bought a 2013 Nissan Leaf three years ago. When he first drove it, it could run 120 km (75 miles). Now, it only achieves 80 km (50 miles), a 33.3 percent decrease. He wants to replace the battery pack in his Leaf, but none of his Nissan dealers helped. One even suggested he just bought a new one.
The Leaf owner told his story to CBC and claimed that it would not be really sustainable. Brander believes “these things are going to end up in the landfill" without proper assistance. And no one can say he did not try.
According to the CBC News article on the problem, the Leaf owner tried to buy a new battery pack in “two nearby Nissan dealerships, three local repair shops,” and he even contacted Nissan Canada to sort this out – with no luck.
In one of these visits, he was told he would be able to buy these battery packs in a few years for C$5,000, but getting one now would cost him north of C$15,000. That’s more than he paid for the car in the first place.
Brander may be lucky. In Portugal, Nissan was charging €30,000 ($35,190) for the battery pack not long ago. That’s about the same amount the company wanted for a brand new battery pack in the Virgin Islands: $35,000.
That is making people gather together to find solutions, and companies see that as a business opportunity. We have already told you how EV Rides has specialized in selling used battery packs in good conditions for Leaf owners.
Another great initiative was started by Sal Cameli, who created a global database showing companies that sell battery packs for Leaf owners. Sadly, there is no single company in Canada on Cameli’s map that we could warn Brander about.
We have tried to contact him through LinkedIn and are still waiting for his reply. Nissan said it was “hopeful to find a resolution” with him, and we would like to learn what the company proposed. It would be nice to see these older Leafs still able to run. After all, carbon emissions are not as big a concern for EVs as they are for ICE cars. Even Ford and GM know that for decades.