This Nissan LEAF Already Lost More Than Half Of Its Battery Capacity: Video

JAN 17 2019 BY MARK KANE 182

Extreme battery degradation: That is – down 1% every 2,000 km (1,240 miles)

Bjørn Nyland recently found a 2011 Nissan LEAF (24 kWh) with severely decreased battery capacity and range. The origins of the car remains unknown as the current owners don’t know where it was used by the first owner. We guess it must come from one of the hotter climates and its battery simply couldn’t stand the heat.

Over about eight years, the LEAF was driven just 108,341 km (67,000 miles). According to LEAF Spy app, only 24 DC fast charges were registered. The mileage and fast charging, however, are not the cause of 48.77% battery State of Health (SOH). More than half of the capacity has gone, leaving some six out of 12 bars of battery status on the instrument cluster.

The one unusual thing to notice about this particular LEAF is 4,828 AC chargers, which translates to an average of just 22.4 (13.9 miles) between charges. If those were charges to 100% SOC (full charges), combined with high temperature, then perhaps that’s the reason.

Additionally, there’s always some good news to report. The cars seems to work fine. Sadly, it just has a lower range than it did when it was new. If one doesn’t drive much, they still could be a happy EV owner with an older Nissan LEAF.

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182 Comments on "This Nissan LEAF Already Lost More Than Half Of Its Battery Capacity: Video"

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Sounds very strange – my 2014 has less than 8 percent after 70.000km

You are probably fine and can expect normal degradation, the 2011Leafs had terrible batteries
For the 2015 model year, Leaf batteries switched to an updated cell chemistry (known as “lizard cells”) that promised to tolerate high ambient heat far better than the cells used in 2011 through 2014 models. Thus far, those cells have not been reported to suffer the same capacity loss.
Best results in moderate climate with attention to battery health.

I don’t think that explain all of it.

My 2012, no lizard battery, have 177 000 kilometer and a SOH (Leafspy) of 76% and 225 DCFC and + 5 000 L2.

Not great, but still usefull and great ride. Getting from A to B, in comfort and joy.

Charging to 80% all the time until TOD at 100%.

Nothing else is needed anyway.

What’s the climate like where you live? Summer highs, winter lows?

Up north a bit, in Québec, so no extreme heat here for sure and this morning it was -22.3c° 🙂

In summer temperature could reach 30c° very shortly.

Let’s say it’s fresh around here.

What about weather there? Florida weather or Seattle weather?

Leaf batteries absolutely despise Phoenix, Arizona weather for example.

It seems like fast charging in 100F+ would be the worst.

Not if you use the car shortly after quick charging. The degradation is proportional to the amount of time at 100% charge. Heat increases that reaction. Some owners charge to 100% all the time.

Depends on how you charge your LEAF or any EV in Phoenix or Florida. I hate seeing a LEAF, Tesla, or BMW with 50% battery degradation and only 25,000 miles.

“For the 2015 model year, Leaf batteries switched to an updated cell chemistry (known as ‘lizard cells’) that promised to tolerate high ambient heat far better than the cells used in 2011 through 2014 models.”

Hmmm, maybe Nissan promised “far better” heat tolerance, but from reports we’ve seen, it certainly looks like what Leaf buyers got was only moderately better heat tolerance. The problem was somewhat mitigated, but certainly didn’t end. You can still see lots of reports online of premature battery fading in even Leafs only a year or two old.

2015 was better than all others, but in 2016 there was apparently a step back (in terms of degradation) with the 30 kWh battery. I don’t follow super-closely, but haven’t seen any reports of problems with 2015 even recently, while problems with 2016-7 keep popping up including one collective analysis in New Zealand that was reported here too.

It seems the “lizard” fix was a very specific one to the 24 kWh setup, rather than a general battery-chemistry fix for all cases. That said, it does appear that no recent year is quite as bad as the 2011-2’s were in hot climates.

The apparent faster degredation reported in the 30kWh batteries was down to the algorithm used in the battery health monitor. The latest software version is supposed to have corrected this, and the the 30kWhs are not appearing to be any worse than the 24kWhs.

My 2015 LEAF S in Texas still has all 12 bars after 41K miles.

Not true at all. I have a 30KWh Leaf and the rapid degradation is real.

I got the firmware update, which made the missing bar reappear, but the range has still degraded significantly. I don’t live in a hot climate nor do I DC Fast charge.

We follow the main stream recommendations for battery care and we have experienced no degradation problems. See if you can improve your charging habits. Electric Vehicle (EV) LION Battery Maintenance • Avoid constant 100% “Top Offs” and letting the car sit at 100% charge, especially in the heat. This can even harm or brick a very “Low Miles Vehicle”. This can apply to Lithium Ion (LION) hand tools as well if left in your car in the heat. • Avoid deep discharges below 20%, recharge as soon as possible above 20% charge capacity. • Operate your vehicle in the 20-80% LION “Sweet Spot” for most daily use, charge to 100% immediately prior to travels out of town or for extra travels and errands. • Which brings us to: When not used for extended periods (weeks or months), store your car (or LION lawn tool and hand tool batteries) near 50% to 60% charge. This is considered “Charge Neutral” for the maximum “Shelf Life”. • If Actively Cooled Batteries, leave your vehicle plugged in during ambient temperatures above 96F to 113F or temperature below 32F. Many active battery cooling and heating systems only operate from grid power connections. • If Actively… Read more »

The software update corrected a problem that showed erroneous shockingly bad degredation, but the 30kwh batteries still have the normal bad Nissan degredation after update as Bret points out.

Some of the 2016 30 kWh Leafs have the “bad Nissan degradation” battery issue.

But, I can attest that NOT all do, by my own LeafSpy Pro readings, I have no excessive degradation after 2 + years, and over 24k So. Cal. miles, with significant long distance road trips reaching into high temp (120F +) CHAdeMO DC FC sessions (10 / 2015 build date, with a 10 / 2016 in service date).

It sounded like the more heat tolerant batteries got nickel.
The latest 40 kWh packs have nickel and cobalt.
Passive air cooling can work if they heat sink properly.

That was fixed with a software update, the 30kWh batteries starting in 2016 are better than the 24kWh batteries. A lot bettter actually.

“Hmmm, maybe Nissan promised “far better” heat tolerance, but from reports we’ve seen, it certainly looks like what Leaf buyers got was only moderately better heat tolerance. The problem was somewhat mitigated, but certainly didn’t end. You can still see lots of reports online of premature battery fading in even Leafs only a year or two old.”

This comment is so vague that it is meaninlgless akin to a babbling brook.

The lack of any specificity is simple astounding. Can P-P be any more vague?

On the other hand – Our 2014 Leaf lost one bar over 3 years and 16650mi (27000km).
It had about 30 fast charges to about 90-92%, plus 6.6kW charging at home (fairly benign Pacific North West climate) routinely to about 95-90%.
Otherwise we quite liked it. Thank goodness it was leased though!

Tesla might be 10% loss in 150,000 miles.

Mileage is a very poor indicator of battery longevity. Actually it is meaningless. it is the charging habits that determine battery longevity, not mileage.

It doesn’t seem that strange, about 800 full cycles at max capacity, but more like 1100 full charges given reduced capacity. This is clearly on the low end, but not really unexpected given the number of cycles. One reason I recommend buying an EV with 3 to 4x range as your opportunity between charges is the battery will last a lot longer.

It is totally expected that a battery with 300 mile range would last 4x as many miles as one with 75 mile range, all things the same. In this case the chemistry is slightly worse in the 2011/2012 Leafs so the difference is even more stark.

Also note that with exception of super hot climates, cold climates can cause even more degradation in Li-ion than hot climates.

> Also note that with exception of super hot climates, cold climates can cause even more degradation in Li-ion than hot climates.

Citation needed. Have never seen anyone talk about this

Exactly. Still have the original volt battery no degradation in Ohio cold winters

That study specifically shows that lower SoC do not matter as much at cold temperatures. The Volt only charges to a lower SoC and uses a mild depth of discharge so any cold related cycle loss would be less. It also uses engine to assist in very cold weather (their are 2 ERDTT modes, 1 on ambient temp and 1 based on cell temperature, I am referring to cell temperature based mode). This reduces plating in the battery by using the engine for almost all power if cells get too cold. The Volt always heats the battery to a reasonable temperature when plugged in (I think 10 C/ 50 F).

My understanding is cold temperature doesn’t degrade the battery chemistry, but the charging and capacity does drop until the cells are heated to a more ideal temperature. You can notice this with some EVs where they grain battery capacity while you drive as the battery temperature goes up.

Of course, sometimes links cause issue posting:

They have some excellent high quality studies. That one isn’t necessarily about cold specifically, and in general calendar aging decreases at lower temperatures, but you get some electrode plating issues at lower temperatures and at high SoC high internal pressure leads to some damage.

Also, cold is bad when mixed with high SoC, specifically. If you look at figure 5, high SoC (so bottom right graph) you see that it has more cycle aging at high SoC 10 C than it does at 40 C (top right).

Thank you very much, this is very interesting and I’ll read it in detail. However it seems the gist for temperature is that for calendar aging, it is high temperature and high SoC that is the worst. So if you’re just storing the car, best to keep it at low SoC and cold.

Once you’re driving the car, the temperature becomes less important if you’re cycling mostly around low or medium SoC. Around low SoC cycling it makes almost no difference what temperature it is, similarly for medium SoC.

Amazingly if cycling at high SoC (100%-80%) then it’s actually worse to drive it in the cold (10 C) than the hot (40C). That is a big surprise to me.

Couple remaining questions:
1. These are Panasonic NCR18650PD with graphite anode and a lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) cathode. It seems most EVs are using NCA so that should be similar, although I believe the original leaf and 30kWh batteries at least are NMC.
2. 10C is not cold by any stretch. I wonder if the same holds at 0C or -10C?

To add, a non scientific way to look at this, if the range of your leaf is 84 in warm weather, in cold weather the range might be 45 miles. So you might have additional cycle aging not shown in the studies. So not only does your battery age more with each cycle, you have to cycle it almost twice as often. The above leaf might have closer to 2000 cycles in cold weather, each of those cycles being worse than an equivalent cycle getting almost twice the range in mild weather.

Not sure when it was transferred to previous owner, but as of late, car is in SoCal, although it can get really cold during arctic-like winter sometimes, as low as 40F (4C).

We are supposed to see a high of 12 F (-11 C) this weekend. They raised the estimate 😉

Point is that you see similar increase in cell degradation in cold weather as you do in hot, just for different reasons. Hot weather and high SoC has less cycle stress but more aging stress, in the cold it is the opposite. It ages better, but more stressful to cycle it at high SoC.

I think the conclusion is everyone should move to an area where the climate is 25 C year round.

Another conclusion would be to go to a BMS that manages the battery temperature ‘weather’ or not the car is plugged in (ie like a Tesla)

40F, “arctic-like winter”. sweet baby Zeus, that’s hilarious.

Hey, having to carry around a battery to power a heated vest + heated gloves / socks is no laughing matter!

When the ambient air temperature outside gets below 38F, the Leaf has a dash warning light that is displayed for whatever reason. Winter in Lake Tahoe is the only time it’s EVer turned on in my RT travels.

That warning message is there to alert you to the fact that it may be slippery out. Nothing to do with the battery.

😀 4deg C is warm, not cold….

You people are cold. Either that or we in CA are warm.

Why do you think the batteries are heated in electric cars that can actually fast charge?

Cold in and of itself is harmless to a Lithium ion battery. However, charging a sub-freezing Li-ion battery will result in some of the lithium ions plating out as lithium metal on the anode. This process is irreversible and permanently degrades the battery. Thankfully most cars have a TMS that minimizes this. As far as a citation goes. Don’t be so lazy and do your own research. I’m pretty sure you could verify this with a few clicks in google.

“…cold climates can cause even more degradation in Li-ion than hot climates.”

Are you talking about the problem with “plating” when a frozen li-ion battery is charged? While that is theoretically a problem, I’ve never heard of that happening in a production plug-in EV. A decent BMS (Battery Management System) prevents that.

At any rate, whatever you’re talking about doesn’t appear to be reported by actual production EV owners.

Sure, if cell temperatures are low enough you could destroy a Li-ion in one use (I have done it with an electric power tool before). However, in most EVs that is a non issue due to the car protecting itself.

One thing to consider is that most EVs are in warmer climates and most have battery heaters to keep the batteries out of a danger area. In a cold climate a battery heater is as important as battery cooling in a hot climate.

Secondly, your range is less in the cold so you have to cycle the battery more to go the same miles. That will decrease your usable life of the battery as well.

So preheating the battery before charging…

Yep, or charge slowly until battery heats naturally. Easier to work around cold cycling than hot I think, especially if car is plugged in regularly.

Viking, We have a 2015 Leaf in Michigan. Will be down to 0 F briefly this weekend. Currently 25,000 miles on the odometer, still have all the bars and 100 miles on the Guess-O-meter the last time the temp was in the 50s.
When you say charge slowly, do you mean use 110 volts? Or do you just mean, don’t use DC Fast Charge if you don’t have to?

DC fast charge rate gets limited automatically when cold. No need to avoid it. In fact DC fast charge is quite useful in the winter to put some heat into the battery and help with range.

The car should handle cold okay by limiting power when necessary. It shouldn’t be something you have to worry about. For example, I find my Honda Clarity PHEV reduces L2 charging from 7.2 kW to about 4 kW when the battery is cold.

The Leaf has a battery heater built in and it should limit DCFC rate if it is too cold. Slow charging would be 110 or maybe lower end 240 V.

Since you seem to have done a lot of research on this, have you ever come across a paper on whether 110V charging is actually worse for the battery than 220V?

Our local dealer claims this is the case for Nissan Leafs based on their history of selling hundreds of Leafs and looking at the LeafSpy data. Other than their claim I haven’t seen this mentioned and don’t know of a mechanism that would make degradation worse with slow charging. Ever seen that?

I haven’t seen anything like that specifically, but I don’t see how it could be. However, it isn’t as efficient (lower voltage). The only thing I don’t like about L1 is just everyone’s outlet is different, might have damage, etc. L2 seems generally safer if installed by competent electrician. Less chance to have a bad outlet and more difficult to damage cord/plug.

According to Julian Sale (who has said he’s gathered info not only from hands-on data collected from real cars, but from the engineers, chemists, and designers of battery technology used in current EVs), 

“Level 2 charging as a main source of power will extend the longevity of your LEAF battery, when coupled with responsible usage and the avoidance of high heat and extended periods (more than 8 hrs) [at charge levels] above 80% or below 20%. In as few words as possible, Level 2 [as opposed to L1] charging prevents speedy oxidation in the batteries. Oxidation results in higher resistance, lower performance.

As a group of engineers who developed lithium-ion batteries told me, Level 2 charging provides enough current to burn through the oxidation that naturally occurs in lithium-ion batteries. Level 1 charging simply does not provide enough electrical pressure to burn through.”

Thank you!

Ah… gotcha right there… “A decent BMS (Battery Management System)” 😉

My 2013 has about 20-25% degradation based on Leaf Spy after about 60000km.

I am down 1 bar after roughly 66,000 miles in my 2015.

I lost my first bar at 68,000. It was a sad day. 2013 SV.

You can be down 1 bar on your particular Leaf, but also at the same time, your Leaf could potentially be down as much 20%-22% degradation, as that is where the 2nd bar (22-23% degradation) is lost. YMMV.

My So. Cal. 2013 (3/13 manuf.) Leaf is almost at 70k miles, and at 19% degradation ( 81.% + SOH LeafSpy Pro) 743 DC QC and 1641 L1/L2, with 5 yrs-7mo. of in service use.

That seems to be the case for me. The in-dash display shows 1 bar lost, but I don’t seem to get more than 19kwh capacity.

Leaf has about 21kWh usable when new. 19/21 = 90%. Strange you are down one bar. I also have ~19kWh available but all 12 bars.

You will be dropping your first bar within 6-9 months, on an average typical 12k mi. per year drive cycle. YMMV slightly.

Lost mine around that time as well. I have a 2014 Leaf and now I’m at 83K miles. I’m OK for now I suppose. I mostly still charge at work, and the free charging means I’ve saved in energy cost and maintenance cost of over $10K versus my old Honda that I used to have. My out the door was $35K – $10K – $10K. So I kind of look at it like buying a $15K car overall. 😛

What’s the deal with these anecdotal experience write-ups in InsideEVs? Yesterday we have a one off comparison of quality between Model 3 and a rental Mercedes, and now we have one guy who had battery issues with a Leaf. Sh*t happens. Lemons occur. Is it worth an article? No.

Steve Marsh had similar degradation rate in a mild climate. But he lost 2nd bar by 100K mile and then 3 more by 150K miles.

So, that would be the “best case”.

Come back and tell us again at 120K miles.

Without history, it could be anything from high temperature use to a bad battery to an electrical fault constantly draining the battery.

…to bad charging practices, to bad discharging practices, to leadfoot driving,… as Will says, without history it could be anything. Sorry, taken by itself with no context, this sample of one tells us very little about this battery.

Exactly. The only thing to do now is to get the $5500 replacement battery from Nissan. For future reference, anyone shopping for used Leafs that are down 4-5 bars should price that in. There is also a guide to determining used Leaf features while shopping on the web at

$5,500 is ancient history and was over 6 months ago. The new US price is NOW oEVr $8,000.oo for a NEW 24 kWh Factory Nissan Battery Replacement.

The new Nissan Replacement Battery Pricing scheme kind of stings!

Stings? It’s almost criminal charging their customers over $8000 for an old technology battery that only needs to be replaced because they made crappy batteries to begin with!

My 2013 has 45k miles and still has all 12 bars.

Not surprised if this lived in the heat. Surprised it didn’t get a warranty battery replacement though.
My neighbour has a 2011 and he has lost 1 bar, so about 80% capacity on his. Not sure of the mileage on it.

I was wondering about warranty, too. Did this barely survive the capacity degradation warranty? If so, this is the penalty for taking care of the battery.

Seems to me this is an outlier, and perhaps an extreme outlier. My guess is the owner didn’t realize he could get Nissan to replace the battery pack when it was still under warranty, because it was degraded so badly.

Just a guess, of course. It’s also possible something was done to the car to void the warranty.

The Nissan Leaf needs annual Nissan certified battery inspections to maintain battery warranty compliance, for degradation / manufacturing warranty issues. Nissan will go by “the book”, in almost all battery degradation warranty cases.

All you have to do, is just ask Carlos about stringent Nissan Warrants, and “The Book”!

he scoured the earth to find this one … probably in Arizona or Dubai — articles like this, while interesting I suppose, just seem so artificial. It’s old news. 2011 Leaf … use it as a shuttle car for a small town dealership or grocery getter. It was never anything more than that to begin with.

A similarly aged 2011 Volt basically has more EV range than this Leaf, since the owner won’t actually drive this Leaf down to 100% depletion.

In the screenshot of the video: “108k km”
Obviously they never heared of other prefixes like “mega” like megabyte, megawatt, … *facepalm*


You lost me. How do you write 108,000 km? Hardly anyone uses megameter when talking car.

That’s no reason. That prefixes were made to make things easier. People should learn that in school. But in that video it’s used in a way that makes things complicated. Or do you say “The weight of my car is 1500000mg”? (in metric units)
-> Always use only one prefix resp. only as many digits as necessary. If you have to pay for each km -> 123,456km is ok. If it’s like about the maintenance interval where even going to the garage 100km earlier doesn’t matter -> Mm is typically the best choice.


PS “horsepower” also makes things complicated. They should see it at the latest when talking about battery capacities (typ. <=100kWh for BEVs) and charging power (350kW is currently very very much). Because this is a website above EVs that should really be clear…

Again, hardly anyone uses megameter to specify car distance. You may have preference but that doesn’t change the fact that we still use miles (much to my annoyance).

Similar reasoning, medications are typically specified in mg, even 10,000 mg dose is typically specified in mg, not 0.010 kg or even 10 gram.

I’ve never seen the term “megameter” appear in any popular press article. And I would be very unlikely to know what “Mm” meant if I saw it.

We’re not all mathematicians.

I’m also not a mathematician. I’m using just what I learned in school.


Do Not Read Between The Lines

No, they just want to convey information, and European road distances are measured in km, not m.
108k km requires less mental effort for a reader to relate to the _meaning_ than 108Mm.

I already wrote above more detailed when Mm makes sense.


I suppose you say “100 kilomiles” instead of “one hundred thousand miles”?

Miles aren’t metric. Meters are.

notting, your comment is hilarious.

I’m 100% with you. Yes, it should be expressed as 108 Megameters.

Getting people already using this bastardized metric to use *proper* metric should be much easier than getting people in the US to actually use any metric at all.

It’s funny that people are trying to support this utterly incorrect usage of the metric system. It’s like the idiots who try to say that pi is 3.

‘k’ is acceptable shorthand for ‘thousand’. Saying Pi is 3 is legitimately untrue. These are two very different things.

Pi is 3 if you round to 1s digit 🙂 I agree though, saying pi = 3 is nothing the same as using k as a short form of ,000.

It’s funny that people are trying to support this utterly incorrect usage of the metric system. It’s like the idiots who try to say that pi is 3.

Saying 100k to mean thousands has no connection to metric system, it is shortened form of 100,000. Sure, the reason people use k is for kilo, which happens to match metric. But you could just as easy use something else. Point it is just an abbreviation, not a unit.

Still working after 8 years, even with the seems like harsher charging stats. That’s a positive, not a negative. I can list many ICEV cars that I’ve owned that have had major engine and transmission issues in less than 8 years, and that is with very good maintenance adherence and mild driving!

So to single this out as a negative is not cool in my books and does not represent the norm for Leaf. Headlines like this just propagate the perception that the Leaf is a bad BEV. I look at this as a positive, as if this is a worst-case use-case, then for it to still be fully operational with half range is in my book, a good thing!

Leaf has proved an exceptionally reliable car for everything except battery wear. Older Leaf batteries have been shown to be sensitive to heat, as others mentioned. But in all other respects, they tend to be admirably consistent.

“I’ve owned that have had major engine and transmission issues in less than 8 years,”

Don’t let that low ICE standard to translate into low standard for your EVs..

Great car, depending upon their commute they may still be able to use it for another 8 years. It saddens me to see any EV that is not cared for. We need to do a better job of educating owners. I knew nothing about my EV when I purchased it in 2011. I drove it 1`00-0% (dash dash dash) every day and it only lasted 43,000 miles. The replacement battery I am using 20-80% and it might last a lifetime. These suggestions are applicable for all your LION lawn appliances as well. Electric Vehicle (EV) LION Battery Maintenance • Avoid constant 100% “Top Offs” and letting the car sit at 100% charge, especially in the heat. This can even harm or brick a very “Low Miles Vehicle”. This can apply to Lithium Ion (LION) hand tools as well if left in your car in the heat. • Avoid deep discharges below 20%, recharge as soon as possible above 20% charge capacity. • Operate your vehicle in the 20-80% LION “Sweet Spot” for most daily use, charge to 100% immediately prior to travels out of town or for extra travels and errands. • Which brings us to: When not used for… Read more »
Look, the video was posted by TESLABjorn, who always drives Leafs in “B” since he is in freakin’ Norway and doesn’t care about regen heat. Though a BEV driver should not have to worry about charging or driving exactly a certain way – the car’s systems should automatically take care of that. And, in general, they do. You are already giving up some range through the overlay of the 0-100% meter onto a reduced kWh capacity. Then you want to take 40% off of that? We drive our 30kWh Leaf often 200-400mi./day – I have proved that charging a few times to a higher % gives the same ending battery temp on the same 400mi. trip as frequently charging to 75% max. It shouldn’t matter anyway, as the battery is only hot for a few hours out of thousands. There are plenty of people with Leaf battery degradation who have “babied” their batteries. Nobody REALLY knows why some cars degrade and others don’t – there are just too many variables. Nissan checks the propulsion battery frequently and sends out surveys asking how often we use different charging methods. They never say anything to us with over 200 DCFC in 21… Read more »

The great thing about a Nissan LEAF is that if you want a replacement battery they can supply it within a couple weeks. Some owners of Teslas are waiting 9 months n the states or over a year in Europe for replacement batteries. There are Nissan Dealers and repair shoppes all over the world. When you get your EV make sure it has twice the range of your daily commute and don’t let it sit everyday at 100% charge.

pipestem - also a leaf owner

I’ll add is that the BMS should ideally handle most of this for owners. Cars have much more sophisticated electronics than power tools. The car should already have unused reserve to absorb some degradation and charging headroom and should manage balance. But it is always good to treat all your cars well. My own leaf was treated well but lost 16% in 3 years and 36k miles, which I think is normal. YMMV – always.

S and X battery pack is in stock at Tesla service centres in Europe.

Are you talking about replacements under warranty? I hope so, because Nissan changes $8,500 for a replacement battery out of warranty! So, I guess you are talking about warranty, because nobody would pay $8,500 for a replacement battery.

Bleeding edge tech sometimes has hiccups at the start…who knew?

Battery warranty for a newer pack

The Leaf has an air cooled battery which means high degradation in hot climate areas. I still can’t believe the new Leaf is also air cooled. They know it’s a problem and don’t care. Meanwhile my 2014 Smart ED only has 3% degredation even though it sits out in the sun in the Los Angeles desert everyday. Every modern BEV except the Leaf is liquid cooled for this reason. It still surprises me that Nissan can’t learn from their mistakes.

Anyone who can get away with an air cooled battery could come out ahead. It costs a lot of money to add liquid cooling.

My hunch is with 2011/2012 Leaf the aging at high SoC and high Temp was worse than they had predicted for some reason.

If you look at this study, (figure 2, middle graph) there is a point where above certain temps, NMC cells age incredibly rapidly, and I think the Leaf just happened to hit that point, where they were originally expecting to be on the less rapid plateau more like the NCA or LFP cells, where aging would be higher, but not dramatic.

I think an improved chemistry might prove adequate even with air cooling.

Thanks for posting these papers, had not read them before.

No problem, I especially like the one for calendar aging. They mention flaws in other common aging studies that are often quoted by people on the web. It is also seen with exception of maybe 95% SoC or more on NMC at 40 or 50 C, there isn’t much difference in calendar aging between 70% SoC and 95% SoC at 25 C as they are both on that same plateau. You really have to store batteries under 50 or 60% charged to get a meaningful increase in life unless at high temps. That plateau has to do with how Li-ion charges, above 50% or so the lithium is stored differently in the anode.

Nyland data shows Leaf batteries can regularly approach 50C even when ambient is -9C. Driving in that temperature for over an hour only lowered it to 35C. If one drove at 25C, battery would easily be near or exceed 40C. Driving in 40C would really cook the battery even without DCFC. Heck, even charging L2 at 40C ambient would cook it.

This is due to Leaf battery being a sealed box. With ambient at -9C, just blowing ambient air would’ve cooled it substantially. It may not help much in 40C ambient, but it would help even at 25C. But no such help.

I wonder why my wifes 2018 LEAF doesn’t heat up? very strange.

I don’t have a lot of faith in any modern electronics being economically repairable after a certain age. So for me a lack of a liquid cooling system means one less system to fail as the car ages. I like things that last a long time. There is an iron clad fool proof way to solve these arguments. Lets wait 10 years and see how the batteries hold up.

pipestem - also a leaf owner

A few leafs are just now turning 8 years old. Some Tesla S are getting close to 7 years old, roadster i don’t know. Look at this spreadsheet of Tesla battery life. I never found one for Nissans.

The Leaf battery is not air cooled or heated – it’s a sealed box. Heat is radiated from it, but no air is exchanged with the outside world.

Degradation is related the the length of time left sitting at 100% charge, it has nothing to do with active cooling. I’m not sure who started that rumor. The example above clearly shows that the car was left sitting at 100% all the time and topped off after every 5 mile journey. Low miles, no quick charges, hundreds of level two charges, massive battery degradation, doesn;t matter what brand EV it is.

Sounds like he bought the car used and probably paid less than $9K for it. If you consider that the car still runs great and all it might need is a new battery, I think he has car good for another 100,000 miles.

I bought a used 2013 leaf back in 2015 for $11k with 24,000 miles. Since then no oil change ($), no gas ($$), no maintenance ($$$), not worried about any other moving parts failing. After 80,000 miles I replaced the battery ($5,000), now I am at 103,000 miles and all the bars remain. That put me at $16,000 car with savings over $15,000 in gas, oil changes, and all other maintenance. I believe this year I’ll be making money if I decide to sell my car at some point, or keep it as my commuter car for another 3 years.

Hi Javier, where did you buy your battery? I went to Nissan and they told me $8,000.

10% battery degradation at 100k miles seems to be the median and something people need to keep in mind both for keeping the car long term and in selling it. It makes the initial range more important and why the under 250 mile range is a break point. Also to keep in mind with the PHEV’s which will likely see similar degradation. The li-ion tech is pretty well defined on degradation and the PHEV’s are more likely to be doing full discharges and recharges every day and see the full degradation of 10% at 100k. Not so important for range as they have ICE backup but it will push them below the 80% reduction in emissions that is the key.

Just sold my Leaf with 38000km (23000miles), had 6 bars left. 2013 model before redesign. Car was imported form Germany (I live in Finland) about 8 months ago with 8 bars and it lost quickly 2 bars. Got about 100km of range in summer and 60km in winter.

Waiting for my Model 3 to arrive.

That’s quite some spectacularly high degradation. My 2013 with 65,000km is at 12 bars and about 17% SoH. ~150km in the summer, 120km in the winter.

Your 2013 Leaf should have lost its first bar approximately at between 14-15% SoH. It should drop soon. Whatever your current charging cycle is, don’t change it!

That seems on par with what I experienced with a 2011 LEAF I had. By then time I sold the car with about 32,000 miles. LEAF Spy indicated the battery health was about 78%. Much of range loss was by the first owner who had the car for about 20,000 miles. I suspect the first owner did not bother to set the timer, so the car charged to 100% every time it was plugged in. I heeded the suggestion in the manual and kept routine charging to 80% via the timer and only charged to 100% on the occasions when I needed the extra range. Charging to 100% frequently is injurious to the battery because most of the reduction of lithium to metal occurs when the terminal voltage is near its maximum near full charge – unless the battery manufacturer adds secret proprietary items to the battery chemistry. There is a is an online video available of a battery engineer addressing a university conference. The presenter claims that testing shows that General Motors batteries endure more charge cycles than others and he attributes it to proprietary additives that discourage reduction of lithium ions to metal. I have no means to… Read more »

My problem with the Leaf was always that it could never live up to the posted range. When I recently shed my 2013, it had lost one bar of range (can’t remember miles, maybe 40,000).

So let’s say it could be at 68 miles of range, and I want to take it from San Rafael to Oakland, roughly 22 miles. If I drive faster than 55, I’m gonna burn half my range, guaranteed. This was always a problem for me with the Leaf- even taking it to relatively close places often produced range anxiety. That in turn leads to desperation quick charging, which of course leads to further battery loss.

[EDIT: worth noting that my old LEAF lived in southern New Hampshire and Eastern Massachusetts – issues were not due to excessive ambient temps]

sounds like my old 2012 LEAF SL, but instead of capacity degradation I had high internal resistance in the battery pack.

84% SOH, less than 70k miles, range of 35 miles per full charge, had to charge every day to 100% else I might not complete my next day commute of 21 miles round trip.

battery was still under warranty when I reported the issues and brought to Nissan’s attention (through 3 dealers plus straight to corporate via their 800-number). zero fvcks given by Nissan: my battery failure was not one of the two modes of failure they care about so I was told “that is a perfectly functional battery pack”.

now I hate Nissan rather passionately. certainly will never buy another Nissan.

This is old news. EVERYBODY knows that the 2011 and 2012 Leafs had bad batteries. Nissan replaced many or most of them, I shopped and bought a 2012 that would soon qualify for the warranty replacement. The Nissan dealer gave me tips on getting it over the line before it expired. I made it by one month. It now goes about 60 miles on the freeway, maybe 100 in the city.

What you have here is a car whose owner was probably unaware of his options and blew a new battery.

I always thought it ironic that Nissan displays the Leaf’s battery temperature soooo prominently —does anybody else do that?

Yes in any HOT climate like the Southern USA and or with DC Fast Charging the LEAF is very bad. In the Phoenix Arizona we saw it first and even the new lizard battery and bigger batteries are bad. They don’t have Liquid cooling and neither does the KIA SOUL EV. I’ve had a 2011 and 2013 LEAF and a 2015 SOUL EV. All have had big loss of battery capacity. The SOUL Controller even over heated and shut down in traffic. Very poor.

In contrast I have a 2016 Chevy SPARK EV with almost no battery capacity loss. I’ve also has a FORD FOCUS EV and Tesla S. Both were great EVen in the Phoenix area HEAT. Liquid cooling is KEY. Battery Thermal Management !

Lizard battery came out in 2015 which was NMC, it total different chem form your battery, of 2013 and furthermore lizard battery it was reported the degradation that was seen was not accurate, it was less than what the leafspy was reporting.

You should check out Nyand video where -9C ambient results in Leaf battery pack temperature approaching 50C, and he calls that “fixed”.

Interesting that the article casts shade on the charging habits. Let’s not cast shade on the fact that the LEAF battery degrades quickly in warm and hot climates alike.

Clearly the LEAF has a weak battery system that is sensitive to the slighstest variaton from ideal conditions.

Each generation of the LEAF has had some battery rleated issues, be it degredation or #rapidgate. 24kw, 30kw 40kw all have documented issues. Time to stop blaming owners being “rough” on their cats and time to question the durability of the Nissan traction battery packs.

If that was the case all would have fall in the same hat, but that is not the case is it? Nissan older battery had problems but it also depends on owner usage, as many still have many bars remaining, which is not supporting your claim it is just a sole nissan battery issue, and not the way the owner was also using it. 24kw, 30kw 40kw all have documented issues. If you actually spend time reading you now the degradation that was reported on the 30KWH battery was over estimated, and the battery actually had more range than what it was showing.

My nearly 6 year old P85 Model S has 89,000 miles, 10,767 of which on long Supercharged road trips, and has lost 8% of range.

My 2013 Leaf lost ~35% of its capacity by 40,000 miles and needed a new battery pack under warranty.

I’m at 15k miles on my Tesla with less than 1% degradation.

No more Nissan EVs for me until there is some sort of battery cooling mechanism.

You get what you pay for 🙂

That’s why the way to go with Leafs is leasing, we’re through our 3rd consecutive lease and rather worry-free about degradation, although we’ve handed back to Nissan batteries in superb condition.

My best guess is this vehicle was charged immediately after driving, during the day most of the time. I had similar rate of degradation in my Chevy Spark EV after less than 30,000 miles. I charged at work in the sun on a daily basis. My Spark lost 20% range on the range guess-o-meter in 28000 miles. This is not normal for that vehicle and I am fairly positive it was because of charging during the day in the sun. It was a lease, so it did not matter to me, but whoever gets it next won’t be so happy. Once I realized the issue, I started delaying my charge time to start in the late afternoon when it was cooler and not right after driving.

GOM degradation means nothing when changing the tires, weather, and drive pattern will impact the range. Did you even measure kWh degradation?

As for charging during the day, did you hear the pumps and AC compressor running? If not, you had faulty system and you should’ve had it serviced. SparkEV does not go much past 90F even if the ambient is 120F when you plug it in.

I realize there are multiple factors at play. In the spring of ’18 in Burbank, CA, my range at full charge was about 67 miles. No heater, no A/C. Tires at pressure. I avg’d 4.5 miles/kwh over the life of the lease, so not super efficient driving style, but not super lead foot either. About average. It eventually fell to 65 miles range, but that was in November, although I doubt I used the heater even then. I am sure the battery cooling system was working. No faults came up and I went to each maintenance appt. as specified by my lease. No flags from Chevy of Monrovia. I don’t sit and watch my vehicle charge, nor do I have any tools to measure actual Amp-hour usage out of or into the pack. GOM is the only thing I can go by. That is why I mentioned it specifically. What I do know is that nobody else I have spoken with had their GOM show that low. It was a lease so I wasn’t concerned. Had it been a purchase, I would have flagged it after year one to see if they could figure out what was going on. All… Read more »

67 miles at 100% and 4.5 mi/kWh is only 14.9 kWh. That is a major problem. If that degradation continues, it could trigger 65% warranty limit. Not sure if Chevy will replace with new pack or rebuilt one.

After 3yr/30K miles, mine was 5.5 mi/kWh average and discharge testing showed 16.8 kWh, degradation of only 9%. And this was after hundreds of DCFC and driving and parking in 120F ambient temperature through places like “hell hole” (actually exists and hot as hell). YMMV probably applies here.

Yes, 2011 and 2012 Leaf batteries were horrible.
Somewhere in the middle of the 2013 model year that brought them from horrible to just worse than everybody elses.
It seems the 2015 Lizard improvements made some slight improvements.

And now Nissan has introduced their 2019 model which is still air cooled? No Thanks.

On the Mynissanleaf blog, there is some consensus that the post 03 / 2013 manufacturering date Leafs were sourced with the non-lizard slightly improved battery chemistry. My particular 2013 So. Cal. Leaf (03/2013 build) is taking a DC L3 CHAdeMO licking (740+ sessions), and it keeps on ticking (19% degradation @ 70k mi.).

I like the part where he goes around the car and the serious Fender Benders he just says ‘will Buff Out’. Ha! Tell that to the insurance company.

“That’ll buff out” is a meme from many years ago, and remains a tag or section on many blogs.
Paint swirl? That’ll buff out.
Little scratch? That’ll buff out.
Major door dent? That’ll buff out.
Smashed windshield? That’ll buff out.
Car looks like an insurance institute corner impact test? That’ll buff out.
Car flattened by a monster truck? That’ll buff out.
Discussing it like this makes me question the appeal of it, but I do recall finding some posts quite funny from time to time.

It’s an eight year old car with .05 generation batteries. The first generation LEAF batteries all had excessive degradation, everyone knows that, and that has been long ago rectified. Come on Bjørn act like you actually know something about EVs and are not just a headline grabbing hack.

At the end of the day, as long as this car was cheap enough, it might not be a big deal.

And can anyone tell me that a Tesla Roadster or Model S never had a battery that went down to 50%
A 2011 battery is very early technology. Even Tesla had issues.
After about 2014, battery technologies started becoming significantly more reliable.

There was one roadster owner who ‘bricked’ a $50,000 roadster battery. Magnanimously, Tesla replaced it for Goodwill, since it isn’t covered by the warranty after they tried EVERYTHING to restore it. Then he BRICKED the NEXT one. So the battery wasn’t bulletproof, yet this one owner was more careless than anyone else since part of the warranty agreement was the owner will take care of the battery. The vast majority of us did. I wouldn’t really categorize that as an “ISSUE”, since for everyone else, the battery life was reasonable.

Charging it that way isn’t good for the battery. May be able to salvage some battery life. Battery discharging is also important, not just charging.

My LEAF also registers a high number of L2 charges but it is an artefact of using the timer.

The thing I don’t understand is Nissan gets all this bad press; but, they do nothing about it…these are potential buyers reading about their car delivered with lousy batteries. and it will affect their sales and tarnish the brand…they have lost their credibility on the U.S. EV market, just as it is cranking up.

Someone should do an investigation and story on the battery life of the new 2018 Leaf with the new 40 kwh pack. My pack is at 93% capacity now after just 10 months and I live in mild Seattle. This is faster degradation than prior model Leafs. Maybe the same software problem as the 30 kwh pack? Several other 2018 Leaf owners have experienced this issue.

You are going to definitely be a Nissan replacement (probably refurbished) battery warranty degradation candidate, should you follow the annual battery maintenance schedule. (8 years / 100 k miles to 66. % of rated capacity).

Nothing new under the sun. We now have a good idea of the first generation battery degradation and from the numerous observations around (we sell these used and I own myself a 2012, 32% loss after 7.25 years) the depletion is much more a matter of time than miles. Battery are chemicals and chemicals do not wear but age. We also know that the warmer temperature these batteries are exposed, the faster will go the degradation. So don’t save your LEAF, just drive it !

There is a 2011 Leaf for sale in Houston with 64k on the odometer that has lost seven of 12 bars.

We need to find some redneck electricians who might be willing to break into the packs and see if they can recondition them.

I have a 2016 (30 KWh) Leaf and it has degraded about 15-20%, after only 35K miles.

I got the updated firmware that made the 12th bar reappear, but my range sadly didn’t.

I have never once used a DC Fast charger, but I do charge to 100% on L2, to get to work and back.

I love the car, but the battery sucks, without an effective TMS and it’s not even hot where I live.

I’m sure glad I leased this sucker.

My former 12 Leaf lost 15% in 27k miles. Extrapolating to 67k miles, it would have lost 33%, and I had it in the temperate Pittsburgh climate.

Besides the inferior battery chemistry, I maintain that the *cold* weather was also damaging to its battery. This forced it to be deep-cycled, which is a known Bad Thing for lithium ion batteries.

So given slightly different circumstances, I’m not surprised this person’s Leaf is down that far so soon. It gives a bad name to EV motoring.

This is why the battery needs thermal management. Until they do this they (NISSAN) WILL BE GIVING ALL EVS A BAD NAME. Wake up Nissan…smdh

The Leaf AESC cells in the 24 kWh packs are laminated.
The cells inside the laminate heat up, the four modules under the front seats heat the most.

What we all need is a battery rebuilding company that can go in and replace the weak cells. Lost 1 bar at about 50k miles. 2013 S, never quick charged, since it does not have the port. used 110v charging the first year I had it. Level 2 after that.

2015 Leaf with 24K miles. Live in Phoenix, AZ Hot climate. My battery only charges to about 65% on a good day; but it is more than i need for my daily commute downtown. Was a used lease and very inexpensive to purchase. My monthly payment is still less than what I paid for in gas per month.

That’s about right, I had a 2011 (or 2012) LEAF. At first it was able to travel around 90-100 miles but after 3 years it barely does 50-60 miles.

You know, everyone says EV’s batteries should stay in the 20% to 80% charged area…but I always charge my 2015 Leaf to 100%, because I have no choice. I’m not going to monitor the charge, and remember to go and unplug it. Yes, I’ve perused through it’s features, but it’s an S…which is the lowest trim level option, and I don’t think it gives people the ability to stop a charge at a certain percentage.

Is anyone really surprised? The car doesn’t have a real TMS. And the early ones used cell chemistry that was particularly sensitive to high temps.

The surprising thing is that the the new extended range Leaf still doesn’t have a real TMS. I can’t imagine who would risk buying that.

Can’t this person get Nissan to replace the battery under warranty?

Does the battery degradation qualify for Nissan warranty replacement?

2011 Nissan Leaf with 123k miles @ 81% capacity left on the 2nd battery..

Replaced the 1st battery @93k miles in 2016. The capacity was 37% at the time of replacement. Less than 50 Fast charges with the 1st battery. Nightly charge to 100%, Average 60 miles per day.

2nd battery is charged to 80% at all times with 0 fast charges. Still lost app. 20% capacity in 30k miles.

Northern California climate.

Sounds like LEAF battery just sucks.

what sucked more were:

– the lies about the range of the car
– the lies about the ability to change individual cells (cylinders)
– how the battery was not even available/priced for sale for years

I would not touch any EV with no thermal management for the battery. I do not understand why people still buy LEAFs.

The best Whopper was VP Andrew Palmer saying they’ll add some bars to the guess o meter on the affected cars.

That’s like gluing the gas-gauge to “FULL” until it gets near empty to fix a leaky gas tank.