Nissan Issues Statement On LEAF 30-kWh Battery Degradation


It’s not quite as detailed as we hoped for, but at least Nissan is fully aware of the concern and is investigating the potential issue.

Earlier this week, we presented the highly detailed findings of an in-depth Nissan LEAF battery degradation study.

Battery Issues – Nissan LEAF 30-kWh Battery Degrades More Rapidly Than 24-kWh Pack

The takeaway from the published results were:

“At two years of age, the mean rate of decline of SoH of 30 kWh Leafs was 9.9% per annum (95% uncertainty interval of 8.7% to 11.1%; n = 82). This was around three times the rate of decline of 24 kWh Leafs which at two years averaged 3.1% per annum (95% uncertainty interval of 2.9% to 3.3%; n = 201).”

Or, in very simplified terms, the 30-kWh LEAF seemed to have much higher battery degradation rates than the 24-kWh LEAFs.

The study concluded by suggesting that the rate of decline in the 24-kWh version of the LEAF is acceptable, but suggests that the 30-kWh pack declines too rapidly to be considered within normal  parameters.

Replacement Batteries – Nissan Introduces $2,850 Refabricated Batteries For LEAF

Following the release of the results of this study and our coverage of the potential issue, Green Car Reports reached out to Nissan for comment. EV communication manager, Jeff Wandell, offered this response:

“Nissan is aware that a limited number of customers have expressed concerns with the previous generation of the Nissan LEAF 30-kWh battery.”

“LEAF owners are some of our most devoted customers.”

“We take their concerns seriously, and have technical experts currently investigating the issues raised.”

We’re glad to know that Nissan is looking into this potential issue. We’ll report back if Nissan presents any additional information.

The abstract from the work titled “Accelerated Reported Battery Capacity Loss in 30 kWh Variants of the Nissan Leaf” contains more details on the issue. It states:

Analysis of 1382 measures of battery State of Health (SoH) from 283 Nissan Leafs (“Leaf/s”), manufactured between 2011 and 2017, has detected a faster rate of decline in this measure of energy-holding capacity for 30 kWh variants.

At two years of age, the mean rate of decline of SoH of 30 kWh Leafs was 9.9% per annum (95% uncertainty interval of 8.7% to 11.1%; n = 82). This was around three times the rate of decline of 24 kWh Leafs which at two years averaged 3.1% per annum (95% uncertainty interval of 2.9% to 3.3%; n = 201).

For both variants there was evidence for an increasing rate of decline as they aged, although this was much more pronounced in the 30 kWh Leafs. Higher use of rapid DC charging was associated with a small decrease in SoH. Additionally, while 24 kWh cars with greater distances travelled showed a higher SoH, in 30 kWh cars there was a reduction in SoH observed in cars that had travelled further.

The 30 kWh Leafs sourced from United Kingdom showed slower initial decline than those from Japan, but the rate of decline was similar at two years of age.

Improvements in the battery health diagnostics, continuous monitoring of battery temperatures and state of charge, and verification of a fundamental model of battery health are needed before causes and remedies for the observed decline can be pinpointed.

If the high rate of decline in battery capacity that we observed in the first 2.3 years of a 30 kWh Leaf’s lifetime were to continue, the financial and environmental benefits of this model may be significantly eroded. Despite 30 kWh Leafs accounting for only 14% of all light battery electric vehicles registered for use on New Zealand roads at the end of February 2018, there is also the potential for the relatively poor performance of this specific model to undermine electric vehicle uptake more generally unless remedies can be found.

Myall, D.; Ivanov, D.; Larason, W.; Nixon, M.; Moller, H. Accelerated Reported Battery Capacity Loss in 30 kWh Variants of the Nissan Leaf. Preprints 2018, 2018030122 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0122.v1)

Myall, D.; Ivanov, D.; Larason, W.; Nixon, M.; Moller, H. Accelerated Reported Battery Capacity Loss in 30 kWh Variants of the Nissan Leaf. Preprints 2018, 2018030122 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0122.v1)

Source: Preprints

Nissan statement via Green Car Reports

Categories: Nissan

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128 Comments on "Nissan Issues Statement On LEAF 30-kWh Battery Degradation"

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I see a very, very expensive problem brewing. Nissan should be able to weather it since they are a massive company, but if a high percentage of the 30 kwh batteries can’t retain 70% capacity before 5 years or 60000 miles pass, replacing those batteries will be brutal.

From the look of the chart it looks very likely most 30kwh packs will drop below 70% State of Charge (SOC) well before 5 years. The question is how closely related is SOC to actual battery capacity?

It’s worse than that because the 30kWh has an 8 year 100k mile warranty!

Nissan used a vendor to purchase these batteries as they are out of the Battery making arena.

So their supplier will be the one with the problem.

If the supplier can’t cover it, this does become Nissan’s problem. Nissan will be on the hook to cover it, and though they could maybe dodge it and wave their hands, I think they’d lose a lot of customers if they tried that.

Well, the replaced batteries still have value either after failing packs/cells are removed, replaced and resold or as fixed energy storage. So the financial impact, while not small, will not be critical.

There have been no large-scale BEV battery repurposing projects so far, certainly no commercial ones; while certainly it’s being looked at and experimented with, noone knows how much these batteries will be worth.
One problem is that extensive testing may need to be done to verify performance on each battery, and even then, it might be difficult to match diverse batteries with diverse issues to mass-produce a storage system.

Nissan has a large scale refurbishment plant in Japan… so you’re wrong on that point.

Who is paying for the labor? at $90/ hr for sure it is not free

Nissan’s battery supplier was their joint venture with NEC, called AESC, which they sold to Chinese company GSR last year, supposed to close by December 2017, though a quick search didn’t find any confirmation that it closed.

The terms of the sale will determine who has ongoing liability for batteries manufactured before the sale closed. I wouldn’t be so sure that GSR took on full liability.

That depends on whether the problem is with the batteries or with the Nissan battery pack which doesn’t have temp control. Going from 24Kw to a more tightly packed 30Kw with a pack design that was a problem in the first place makes it worse.

I agree because nissan has no thermal management system & being packed closer together with more Batteries makes more Heat , Now the Pack Runs Hotter & degrades the batteries faster…

EVery Nissan LEAF has this problem. We saw it first in the HOT Phoenix area. We also see it on the KIA SOUL EV. It’s a big problem that gives EV’s a bad reputation.

Great EV’s like the Chevy SPARK EV,VOLT and BOT, the BMW i8, the Tesla S X and 3 have 20-30 years life vs none liquid cooled with 2-3 year life.

This info is crucial information when buying an EV, Especially a New Nissan LEAF Short Range .. I Understand the Nicer Newly Styled LEAF is selling like Hot Cakes ! It would be a Certain Disappointment to end up with One of these in light of these battery Issues.. I Also understand That the Long Range 250 Mile LEAF will Be Equipped with a Thermal Management System as they all should! ..This Thermal management Problem could Potentially Open Up a Can of Worms for Nissan ..I believe that is the reason Nissan is offering Re-manufactured LEAF Batteries at Such Reasonable Prices .They Only Replace the Defective Internals & leave the Good Parts intact .

Don’t forget the Ford Focus Electric. Even the energi models have active air cooling.

“being packed closer together with more Batteries makes more Heat , Now the Pack Runs Hotter “

You’re wrong about that. A higher capacity battery doesn’t make more heat, since that depends on the power draw. This is the same since the 24 kWh leaf and 30 kWh leaf are identical cars (not counting a negligible weight difference). Don’t forget that the 30 kWh pack will run on a lower average C rating.

The bigger, higher capacity battery should take longer to get hot, as you say, given the same power draw, but once it does get hot, it will be much slower to cool since it has a bigger thermal mass to surface area ratio, in the absence of design features to speed cooling.

Sure looks like there is a design problem somewhere in the 30kwh batteries. They miscalculated the heat resistance of the chemistry they used, most likely, I think, because the thermal behavior of the pack should be pretty predictable.

The chemistry is LG NMC

Well they could just do what they did with the 2011-2012 Leafs. Deny as many warranty claims as possible. When class action law suit begins cry its too expensive and give everybody a $50 gift. happened to me. Replace a few batteries here and there to make it look good.

Hi Bioburner,

What kind of model did you have? I didn’t hear anything about a class action law suit?
Can you please give me more details.

I Bought a 2018 leaf and just today I got Leaf spy working, SOH is at 95.45% at 11k km that is terrible if true. I only have the car for 6 months.

Can you tell me some info.

Thanks so much.

There weren’t enough 30 kwh LEAFs sold to make a significant dent in Nissan’s overall finances. Realize that any percentage of failures is a reason for concern and the failure rate of 30 kwh packs is well beyond the norm but still represents a very small portion of what Nissan profits.

Even if we had 1,000 packs replaced that would be a drop in the bucket for Nissan. My 30 kwh LEAF held up very well with extensive quick charging but I also took extra steps to insure that time at high SOC was minimized as much as possible.

I think this went a long way in preserving my pack.

Sorry, I’m new to the EV arena, what’s wrong with keeping the Leaf at a high SOC?

Nissan weasel words don’t fix the problem.

Do you have a magical wand they can borrow?

Elon has it. Though the magic seems to have run out recently.

Troll1999 showed up to make this about Tesla. Predictable to the point of…ROFLOL!

HFS! Are you kidding me?!

I suppose it was inevitable that at least one of the Tesla Hater cultists would show up here, to post a Tesla bashing comment in a discussion having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Tesla.

MadBro, why don’t you get a life?

Madbro can’t “get a life”, because he is too occupied while standing watch over Elons “Wand”, to see if more “Magic” will by chance, “run out”.

Start by getting their head out.

I think the data points are far from conclusive and tend to contradict studies we have seen on the Tesla batteries. The studies we have seen on the Tesla batteries indicate that the rate of degradation diminishes over time where as this report indicates acceleration over time. I don’t think the data points on the 30 kWh battery goes out far enough to conclusively determine if the degradation increases or decreases over time. I just bought a 2018 Leaf. I knew about issues of thermal management before I bought my Leaf and I bought one anyway. I figured that the 2018 has a big enough battery that battery degradation should never be a serious issue for me plus, if I did have a serious issue with the battery, it would be covered under the battery warranty. The Leaf has probably the best battery warranty in the industry. I don’t know of any other manufacture that guarantees EV batteries to maintain at least 75% (9 bars out of 12) of their capacity for eight years (96 months). And even after the eight years when the battery finally degrades enough to replace it, Nissan appears to be further along on a BEV… Read more »

I’m gonna go ahead and bet $20 that you work for Nissan.

The battery degradation issue is widespread on 2011, and 2012 models. It got better with 2013, but apparently we are again heading in the opposite direction with the 30 kWh pack. Time will tell how the 40 kWh pack fares.

The core of the issue, is, and always has been, that Nissan refuses to employ TMS. This is precisely why their batteries degrade rapidly.

“The core of the issue, is, and always has been, that Nissan refuses to employ TMS. This is precisely why their batteries degrade rapidly.” I disagree. The core of the issue is that Nissan’s battery chemistry is woefully intolerant of any amount of heat. I live close to the coast of southern California and I can confirm that my LEAFs battery temperatures rarely exceed 90F, even in the summer. I still lost 30% capacity within 5 years despite very rarely quick charging, using 80% charging for as long as it was viable for my driving, only charging to 100% right before I needed the 100% charge, etc. Active cooling of the pack wouldn’t have helped much, unless the pack was cooled about 10C cooler, keeping the temperature of the pack under room temperature at all times. Now, active cooling is certainly required if you want to quick charge multiple times / day on longer trips if you want to keep the temps in check, or in hot climates where ambient conditions allow the pack to get over 100F, but IMO if the battery can’t tolerate sustained temperatures of 100F without active cooling and maintain an acceptable rate of capacity loss,… Read more »

That appears to be one of the better-informed summaries of the situation that I’ve seen; thank you! Conventional wisdom has been that it’s the lack of an active TMS that has lead to so many Leafs having premature battery degradation. However, as has been pointed out in recent comments to other IEVs articles, the VW e-Golf also has only passive cooling, yet doesn’t show the same kind of battery degradation the Leaf does.

I personally believe that active cooling will be necessary going forward in newer EV models, because multiple DCFC sessions demand it. Without active cooling, if the battery has already been heated up by a DCFC session, the next DC “fast charge” has to be reduced to a not-so-fast charge.

However, a pretty strong case has been made in recent comments that the chemistry which Nissan chose for Leaf batteries is actually a worse problem than the lack of an active cooling system.

I have also tended to lean more towards the theory that it’s the chemistry more that lack of active liquid thermal management.

If it’s truly a chemistry issue, then there’s more hope for us gen 1 owners: it’s a lot easier to manufacture a replacement battery with upgraded chemistry than it is to add a coolng system. The later is essentially impossible.

Yep, I’ve been thinking the same thing. With the constant advances in battery tech over the last couple of years, Nissan should be able to get LG or AESC to manufacture a replacement with more heat resistant chemistry while maintaining energy density.

I agree, with a 2011 in Jamaica (which never gets really hot, mid 70’s morning to high 80’s day), never fast charged and usually to 80%, but after 7 years I’m below 50%, I’ve noticed that the degradation takes a holiday during our rainy season, and maintains a steady 1% a month during dry, sunny, weather. It looks like a very heat sensitive tipping point between OK and DOWN. Its not mileage, as I’ve only done 35,000.

His point makes sense though. If this is the true expected degradation curve then it doesn’t make much sense for Nissan to offer a 8 year 100k mile degradation warranty.

For the Tesla data, it’s true that there is accelerated degradation near the start and then it slows down later. I don’t think we can draw conclusions yet until 30kWh packs have aged further.

The charts may be distorted because the x-axis shows years rather than distance. It really ought to show distance, because that’s the true variable, not time. If the charts showed distance, then perhaps the curve would have more of the shape we expect for capacity loss in a BEV, which is relatively steep loss in the first few tens of thousands of km, following by a gradual flattening off loss with further distance. For example, that’s what we see on this chart for the Tesla Model S:

Distance is a good metric to mention as well, but it also brings up an additional measurement to consider, if you want to broaden the degradation equation.

The average SOC, that the battery is resting at, when it is not in use, or in service cannot be overlooked. When the battery sits at over 70% SOC, while getting heated up in the sun while parked, and not able to discharge until many hours later, it creates an additional component to the cycling and time components, in the overall dendritic accumulation, thereby reducing overall capacity.

What nonsense! Time is just as true a variable as distance. In fact, this very data set has SoH more strongly correlated to time than distance. It’s even mentioned in the story (so you’d know even without reading the so-called study!) that the 24 kWh data, curiously, has a negative correlation between SoH and distance.

It is way premature to draw any conclusions. The data quality is questionable (and the increasing SoH worth increasing distance is one of the reasons to find it suspect), and if the data is wrong it really doesn’t matter what methods were used to analyse it. Plus it’s a preprint, not a published paper, nevermind a peer-reviewed one in a real journal.

I’d say it’s more of an indication that Nissan didn’t *intentionally* design a battery with excessive degradation (I mean, really, why would they?).

So, basically they could have just screwed up.

I’ll bet $20 that he is sorry he bought that Leaf in 5 years or less.

Although I am very enthusiastic about my own 30kwh Leaf, I am kind of surprised that you (former Texas FFE) went with a Leaf. It gets kind of hot in Texas does it not? Will you be doing much freeway travel with the a/c on in the summer? I’m sure you’ll be letting us know.

I’ve had my own Leaf for 22 months. All 12 SOH bars are still present at 28,000KM so I know I haven’t degraded more than 10% in that time. As far as I know I’ve still got close to original range and will see when warmer weather arrives and the summer tires are back on.

You can see from the spread of the dots on these graphs that there’s quite a bit of variation in how well packs age. Anyhew, with an 8 year, 100,000K warranty am not too concerned right now.

Congratulations on your new LEAF !!
LEAF’s do have more battery issues that Tesla and GM EVs, but with the longer range, and an 8 year 33% capacity warranty, you’ll most likely be fine.

I have read that all bars are not equal and that 9 out of 12 bars does not mean 75%. The only way you can know what % battery health you have is to use a program like LeafSpy.

The first bar represents 15% loss, and each bar thereafter 6%. So the percentage of each bar lost goes like this: 15%, 21%, 27%, 33%.

Those round numbers are very helpful for understanding, what many that own or lease the Leaf, have a hard time calculating, due to the first (#12 bar) being equal to two of any of the lower bars (#11>#1).

Sure, you’re welcome. It’s actually a couple points of a percentage different for each one in the manual, but I don’t think it adds up to more than 1% difference adding up all 4 bars.

Did you get the $2,500 cash rebate from the dealer? The one that was passed last year in Texas.

The Texas rebate hasn’t been funded but will come from the state, not the dealer. I planning to apply for the rebate once it’’s funded. The way the 2014 rebate worked, leases didn’t get the whole $2,500 but I do expect to get something.

Acceleration of degradation is a feature of the LEAF battery as it ages. At 55,000 miles degradation on my LEAF accelerated and continued to increase. The battery reaches a point where failure accelerates rather than slow down.

Yes its the opposite to what happens to Tesla packs, but that’s the point.

@Texas LEAF

The LEAF warranty isn’t 75% its 66%. You don’t get a replacement battery until the fourth bar has gone out which is approximately 66% of original capacity.

Tesla M3 warranty is superior.

Nissan and Tesla seem to be fighting for the “EV manufacturer with the worst news cycle” this week.

I’d say Tesla has the largest issue.

I don’t know, Clive. A fire and a recall will both be largely forgotten if Tesla delivers 3000+ M3’s in Mondays reports right here on IEVs. The issues won’t go away entirely, but they will be less important. If Tesla delivers more than 3500 M3’s in Mondays report it will be a very good sign.
The best sign of all will be April sales reports on May 1st. If they get to 4000 or higher for M3 sales for April, Tesla’s main problems will be in the rear view mirror.
Both of those numbers, 3k and 4k, are entirely doable by Tesla. We will know a lot more by Monday afternoon. My money is on Tesla.

I am huge fan of Tesla.

While I am not a stock holder I am seriously hoping for the best for them.

The fly in the ointment is if the typical buyer, as the one prospective owner on Tesla Motors Club this week, decides to REFUSE TO ACCEPT delivery of the $55,000 vehicle. IF THAT starts happening in the general case, Tesla I would think would have to improve their quality control so that a greater percentage of people accept the product. There have been hints of plenty of ‘3’s parked in Tesla’s possession. Perhaps others are doing the same thing and Tesla has not made the issue public as of yet since its not flattering. How speeding up the assy line is going to help them either short or long term is beyond me.

With the current backlog of orders, I’d think most will just accept the car even in poor condition and then just hope to get it fixed by the Tesla maintenance department. The supply/demand imbalance on the Model 3 is currently so large that a lot of the normal rules don’t apply.

March 30, 2018 at 1:22 pm

I’d say Tesla has the largest issue.

I’d say that Tesla’s recent issues are short-term blips — Tesla’s stock price is already back on the rise today — while the Nissan problem under discussion here highlights the systemic problem with the Leaf’s battery pack; a problem which has been a serious situation from the beginning, and suddenly appears to be getting even worse.

Well Pushmi-

I’m doing fine with my DD 16 Leaf SLP. The only thing I noticed is my GOM (guess-o-meter) reads slightly lower after fitting her with some proper rubber. But the trade-off was worth it’s weight in gold. I personally am not sweating the it because I leased this puppy, but I do like the fact I can charge on Level 3’s much more than i currently do.

I’m glad you are enjoying your Leaf! 🙂 We’ve certainly seen many, many comments posted by satisfied Leaf owners. Obviously some people must like the car, or Nissan couldn’t have sold so many.

However, your anecdotal report is not an indication of how well Nissan is, or is not, going to do with future Leaf sales.

The Leaf, with #chargegate, just can’t seem to catch a break lately. This still doesn’t help the current Tesla press woes, but it is a welcome distraction for St. Elon and his ordained ministry.

Troll1999 and ZZZtroll, euro troll and all the other trolls that invest this forum are fighting each other for the “most obnoxious troll of the week”



Why are you so desperate? I thought this topic was about battery degradation?

Yup. GM fanboy MadBro’s desperate and utterly off-topic Tesla bashing FUD posts merely underline just how terrified he is that Tesla is going to put GM out of business. If he wasn’t afraid that’s going to happen, then why would he spend so much time and energy attacking Tesla, the company which is leading the EV revolution?

And that’s why we got a Bolt to tide us over until our lease is up on the Leaf. No more drama, nice car and it just works.

It’s like almost any building and engineering issue: If you fail to get it right the first time, it’s always much more expensive and difficult to go back in and fix it later.

They should have had TMS from the start. Could have spent a little more money and saved themselves a ton of headaches over time.

Nissan already knew this. They have lot’s of user information. That explains the higher temperature protection on the current battery. It’s just the wrong kind of protection. They limit performance instead of actively cooling the battery.

The plus side of this, is they can deliver a lot of cars very fast at the moment using old battery tech. This gives them a big advantage in a market where everybody is waiting for the big battery makers to ramp up production. Nissan is in that same line for the new 60 kWh version.

Yeah. Like they can’t of had no idea, because they should have tested for this and as you suggest they were fully aware of the poor performance of the battery pack.

My take is they reasoned that most people would not drive the Leaf in this way, multiple DCFC in succession, and they were locked into the current design, due to past intransient attitudes, and decisions.

With the new Leaf it really does seem like they cut a lot of corners just to undercut the cost of competitors. I don’t know… I mean, I never exactly thought of Nissan as a high quality automaker. I put them lower than Toyota/Honda/VW, maybe even below Chevy and Ford. Still I hoped for better from them.

40kWh was new cell from AESC.
60kWh is LG. Thats been reported since at least Jan.
It’s like Fox News in here w/the half baked agenda driven misinfo…

This does make for a very good reason for the sale of their battery manufacturing activities.

– Better to create a separate entity to take the loss when warranty claims arise.
– Also dumping the old tech before stepping into the new (LG) tech.

The only problem I see, is for the new buyer. What was in it for them?

I may be completely wrong, it just makes me wonder.

Certainly in the realm of possibility.

Benedictus said:

“– Better to create a separate entity to take the loss when warranty claims arise.”

I don’t understand. It is Nissan’s warranty; why would the battery maker have to pay? Unless Nissan’s contract with battery maker AESC made the latter liable for replacements under warranty, I don’t see how that follows.

I think under the normal course of events Nissan would be responsible to customers for repair/replace of the batteries, but AESC would be responsible to Nissan for the substandard batteries … i.e. that is what put battery supplier A123 into bankruptcy was their responsibility to replace a ton of batteries they had sold to auto manufacturers.

Since AESC has been sold to GSR, we don’t really know where the liability will fall without knowing details of the sale terms. It’s entirely possible that GSR negotiated to leave responsible for batteries manufactured under prior ownership to stay with that prior ownership, i.e. 51% Nissan 49% NEC.

I would expect lawyers to become heavily involved if this turns out to be as bad as it looks.

You have a cognizant and persuasive argument, thanks!

I guess, then, it comes down to whether or not Nissan was aware of the problem. Based on evidence in various online articles about the Leaf battery problems with heat, it looks to me like Nissan was quite aware that the battery chemistry they chose was not good for heat tolerance, but chose to use it anyway because it’s cheaper than alternatives.

But I’m certainly willing to be persuaded I’m wrong. Perhaps AESC did hide the problem, or at least the severity of the problem, from Nissan.

I agree 100% with BenG.

And to make it worse, there really is no legal standards for this, it is all just contract law between the two companies. As in it all comes down to the private contract they signed. There is absolutely no way to know for sure what is in those contracts, and what may or may not invalidate part or all of the contract.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that Nissan apparently briefly took full ownership of AESC, buying out NEC before selling to GSR. If NEC was savvy enough they may have been able to stick Nissan with full liability for warranty of the batteries sold by AESC … or NEC may try to stick them with it even if it’s not explicitly in the contract, arguing that Nissan was majority owner, and also the manufacturer of the packs.

Assuming all these batteries will die under warranty, the best thing Nissan can do is in the future replace the car batteries 40 kWh batteries that have at-least a good cooling fan design so all those Leaf owners suddenly have a car better that most low end designs out there.

Suddenly the value of their old Leafs will shoot up and the range will increase. In five years time I think Nissan can do it. It will cost a lot of money but will put Nissan as on top.

And I am a Tesla fan, but still think Nissan can still get up there.

That’s very egalitarian and gracious of you but really is not in compliance with what I would call rigorous thinking.

One important factor which most of the comments here ignore, is that the overwhelming majority of Leafs are leased, not sold. That 8-year warranty for new Leafs won’t result in massive numbers of battery replacements under warranty, unless Nissan is foolish enough to allow the warranty to extend to second (or third) owners.

Car warranties typically transfer with ownership though there may be exceptions. I think it very unlikely that Nissan has restricted their battery warranty to the original owner.

Good to know. Thank you for the correction! 🙂

Nissan’s battery warranty lasts for the entire period and mileage it covers, regardless of how many owners the car has had. That’s why some time ago there were people intentionally buying 2011/2012 Leafs, which had the worst degradation problems, for cheap, just to wait until the battery lost enough capacity to be replaced under warranty.

It’s surprising and quite troubling that Nissan isn’t denying there is a problem.

In the discussion following the previous article here, there were questions of methodology raised, which in my opinion required some caution about the reliability of the study’s conclusion. But if Nissan isn’t denying the problem exists, then it seems quite likely this is a very real problem, and one that is very serious for Nissan.

Is there any reason to believe that Nissan doesn’t know exactly what they are doing?

Planned obsolescence is a thing, and I would speculate that Musk’s stated aspirations for million mile vehicle life make traditional car manufacturers twitch and sweat.

I’d bet that Nissan knows quite well that the vast majority of their Leafs will reach 8 years and 100,000 miles with enough range left to avoid a warranty claim, but that few will reach 150,000 miles without greatly reduced utility.

One way to compensate for the lack of regular maintenance that an EV has compared to an ICE is to engineer planned replacement into the battery pack, ensuring that you do in fact sell ‘replacement parts’ and ensure dealer service over the entire life of the vehicle.

At a $3k to 5k price point for battery replacement, it’s worth doing if a car still has plenty of life left otherwise, if it ensures another ~8 years of service life.

Yes, I’d say there is very good evidence that the top execs at Nissan don’t understand the problem with the battery. Either it’s a lack of understanding of how serious the issue is, or else they have deliberately chosen to ignore the warnings from their engineers.

I was flabbergasted that Nissan chose to sell the Leaf at Phoenix dealers right from the start. It still shocks me that they chose to do that. Nissan should never, ever have sold the Leaf in regions where it often gets hot and stays hot for multiple days in a row in the summer. Of course that would not have completely eliminated the problem, since people move around. But they could at least have made the frequency of the problem far less by prohibiting sales in some regions.

The problem with this is that by not selling the leaf in Phoenix and other high temperature regions, Nissan would implicitly admit they sell cars with a battery that has a known problem.

That narrative does not fit well with Tesla’s high costs for warranty work, the fact that they can get most of the repair work on their cars after warranties expire ensures high revenue from repair work for decades to come.

Musk said that re any Tesla vehicle except the semitrailer? Have citation? Because if that what’s he wants, Tesla are doing everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen. Tesla’s (and that includes the Model 3) are horribly designed for long-term cost-effective maintainability: — Overly complex design — many unnecessary DC motors (a motor just to push the door handles out on the S? Really) — Complicated, non flexible doors and and very expensive seats on the X. My cheap VW-group MPV has a much more flexible & useful interior — Instead of a $0.25 latch for the Model 3 glove compartment, SW control of digital electronics that control a relay that controls an electric motor that opens the latch… A lot more failure points, a lot more expensive and a lot less intuitive — the passenger needs to ask the driver to open the latch. — Service manuals not available to the general public, (except for Massachusetts where it’s a state law, and costs $30/hour for electrinic access or $100/day) — No parts list / fiche available, so no way of sourcing 3d-party parts (and I’m not talking about high-voltage drivetrain stuff — a lot of the cars’ system… Read more »

It was only in regards to the drive train.

I guess you can sell a lot of glovebox actuators out of warranty if you can make a drivetrain that lasts a million miles. 😉

Whatever battery technology Nissan is using on the Leaf, avoid it.
It seems like Leaf is the only car constantly have battery issues.

24-kWh had thermal issues that cause degradation
30-kWh is worst than 24 kWh on degradation
40-kWh having Fast Charging Issues

The 2013 and beyond 24 kWh packs seem fine. Dropping to roughly 80 percent of original capacity over five years is acceptable. Dropping to 80 percent after only two years, as is the case with the 30 kWh pack, is unacceptable.

That cluster of data points around the 80% SOH mark, at the two year time line, is a pretty bad sign of coming warranty issues in years 4-5 for those particular Leaf vehicles.

I am smelling law suits. Nissan better jump on this and do a recall or there will be more social media doing a negative report on rapidgate.

No point in a recall if they don’t have a practical way to fix the problem. If the problem is poor choice of battery chemistry, which seems likely, then there’s no way to fix it except to replace all those battery packs. It’s hard to envision any scenario where Nissan would do that voluntarily; it would be massively expensive. Nissan would be far better offering partial/token refund payments to Leaf owners, especially if in return for such a payment, the owner would sign an agreement promising not to be party to a class-action lawsuit.

Just my opinion, of course.

Wow my lease is up in September, I don’t know what to get next. I am going to camp on my lease for another year to see IF maybe a Tesla m3 might be an option at that point.

“There is no way to fix it”, may be overlooking the potential possibility ( not likely), that an actual repair may be coming to a neighborhood Nissan service and repair facility, in your local area or region. This is going to be a long drawn out headache, over 8 years / 100 k miles, for Nissan EV development and The Leaf. Can we blame the new Chinese owners of Nissans current battery supplier?

Hmmm, that’s going to be an interesting legal battle, if it happens. If AESC’s factories (well, the factories formerly owned by AESC, and formerly indirectly owned by Nissan) were located in China, then I’d expect the new Chinese owners to tell Nissan to “Go fish!” But with the factories located in Japan, Tennessee, and the UK, this does seem to offer Nissan venues to sue the Chinese owners where they might actually be able to win.

Will it soon be time to make popcorn and watch the fight? 😉

I don’t see why there would need to be lawsuits. These batteries should all be covered under the battery replacement warranty. So, the owners just have to bring them in and show there’s a problem.

The only way I can see it being an issue is if the replacement packs show the same behavior. But I assume Nissan will try to get to the bottom of what’s going on so they don’t end up having to do a second replacement on all these cars.

You ever try to get Nissan to put a new battery in your Leaf???? Yea that is why there is law suits.

My 2016 Nissan Leaf is degrading at the top of the curve, with 298 fast charges, 21K miles driven in the last 18 months. Lots of hard driving (multiple FC above 120<130 F, which is the first red temp. bar on the dash), which has reduced the battery capacity down to 27 kWh, as degradation has now been in the 4-6 % range, and currently dropping like a rock.

Wow thats nuts.

Are you using Leaf Spy?

Most definitely (LeafSpy Pro) over all of the 21 K miles and 18 months of driving . But, the display curve in the 30 kWh chart does represent my current plotting at 1-1/2 years, and close to, or around 6% max loss of battery capacity / degradation.

LSP is currently reading at 96.23 % SOH, and useable capacity is down to 27 kWh from close to 28.5 kWh when first in service (10/15 build date).

SOH % is NOT the best way to measure true battery degradation. But, it is a good general overall indicator of working battery capacity.

Hope you have the car on lease for obvious reasons.

BTW, Nissan claims they make money off the Leaf and I can understand why…they haven’t markedly improved their battery in seven years…I see a company run by the idea of short term greed that doesn’t spend money for battery R and D and I think it’s coming back to bite them as witnessed by their multitude of battery problems and their growing negative brand image.

Thanks for all of the glaringly “obvious reasons”!

Yes, it’s still seven years later, on Nissans largely unimproved battery, that I am “Leaf Leasing” (the only way), and patiently waiting for somebody, anybody, to to come up with a hatchback that isn’t a Chevy Bolt. Tesla Model Y… where are you…? Friggin’ crickets!

LOL No doubt

My 2016 Nissan Leaf shows 100% SOH at 301 quick charges. 39,726kM on the odo. AHR = 81.85, Hx = 95.65%.

“a limited number of customers”
Yeah, it’s limited to the number of cars they have sold.


Most were leased.

I am really frustrated. They made the car look better, they increased the range, all the signs were pointing towards a potential huge bump in EV sales. Now this.

It is almost like they are trying to reinforce negative cliche/FUD about EV’s needing new batteries all the time. This is a kick in the teeth to the entire EV movement. How long have we been fighting against false claims about battery life? Just to have one of the biggest EV companies nosedive straight into a cliche long used to attack all EV’s….

If this was Fiat, I would think it was intentional.

How long have we been fighting against false claims about battery life? Just to have one of the biggest EV companies nosedive straight into a cliche long used to attack all EV’s….

It transpires those claims were not quite so false as you had hoped/argued, explaining why your faith in the EV version of Sugarcandy Mountain [hence ego] has been injured.

Suggested therapy involves a hard-reset to more real-worldly expectations and in future evading the sermons of Moses the Crow while living hard and working frugally.

Hmm! If I hadn’t spent my spare money on a house repair it would have been a good time to buy a Gen1 Leaf as they’re cheap & install a Re-manufactured battery pack.

My friend just picked up a clean one fo4 8k.

Why not.

It’s been an expensive trip for Nissan.

They have paid the price.

Time to step it up.

So, if the problem is as severe as this initial study suggests, Nissan/AESC miscalculated the heat-resistance of the battery chemistry used in the 30 kwh packs and it looks like very few will sustain 60% charge capacity in 8 years.

Nissan will have to replace them all. I expect the battery advances since the 30 kwh batteries were designed should enable LG or AESC/GSR to come back with a much more heat resistant chemistry with the same energy density and reasonable cost.

They are probably already working on a upgraded replacement chemistry, but they’ll need to start manufacture soon. Losing an average of 10% capacity per year, some of the worst ones will start dropping below 70% capacity soon.

There might be a sweet spot coming soon for purchase of used 30kwh Leafs: They’ll start coming off lease, the battery problems widely known, but the replacement design and plan not yet announced … if you trust that Nissan and their battery partners will be forced to replace the battery, and that they’re likely to have an upgraded chemistry on the replacements then you might realize a fantastic bargain.

My 2017 Leaf S is a low outlier on this chart. I first got LeafSpy at 2500km/4 months, and it already showed SOH at 86%. Suspecting that the BMS had never been calibrated, I ran it down to Turtle mode, then charged to 100% on L1. It’s now reading SOH 88%, at 5500km and 8 months, which is still a low outlier on this chart.

I’ve only had this car over the winter, so no excessive heat, and I’ve rarely charged above 80% or gone below 30%. Only 2 DCFC sessions. One up to 50%, and another at 22KW up to 90%.

Glad it’s a lease, but that was the plan anyway. When the lease is up, there will be a bunch of better longer range options.

1% is normal for vehicles with liquid cooling (Battery Thermal Management). The Nissan rate is NOT acceptable.

QUOTE=he rate of decline in the 24-kWh version of the LEAF is acceptable

Another Nissan class suit?

The response from Nissan is such a huge change compared to my LEAF Battery Degradation study of Sept 15, 2012 (that was posted right here on InsideEVs).

We lost 2 bars by 10,000 miles and a 3rd at about 16,000 miles in 20 months. That chart apparently doesn’t include our failure rate but Nissan basically told me to go pound sand. I really don’t want to hear how they take care of their customers. We’re stuck with this pig of a car for another 2 years on a lease but I already got a Bolt also so no Nissan, you don’t have our loyalty any longer. This was our second Leaf and our last Nissan anything. You can spin it any way you want but you sold us a piece of junk and you knew it.

Hi, I am from Sri Lanka.i have a Japanese made used Nissan leaf car. I bought it in 2015 . now the life of the battery has gone 50%. It indicates only 6 capacity bars when charged full, and driving range only 76 km. Now i want to replace the battery for a new one. I checked with our local agent. But they are not doing that.
So is there any possibility to replace a battery for me? Are they producing this battery in china?

I’ve got a 26 month old 30kwh leaf with 40,000 miles on the clock and I haven’t lost a single bar on the battery capacity indicator. I believe each bar represents 8.3% thus my battery still has over 91% capacity after 2 years of reasonably heavy use.

I am very happy to have leased rather than purchased my 2016 Leaf with the 30 kWh battery.It lost its first capacity bar at 15,000 miles. This despite being in the San Francisco Bay area with a temperate climate and have only used a quick charger once. All kinds of other stupid stuff wrong with it too. The driver heated seat hasn’t worked since 3000 miles.The heated steering wheel operation ranges from appropriate, to hot potato hold me if you can, to not working at all, all at random. The regenerative braking regeneration sometimes stops working at random as well. I took it into the dealer, and they pretended to fix it, including the Service advisor contending that the heated seat was working, when it was not.Six more months of the lease and back it goes. Never again Nissan for me!