Steve Marsh’s Nissan LEAF Loses First Battery Capacity Bar After Record 78,600 miles

JUN 10 2013 BY MARK KANE 22

Old LEAF battery pack

Old Nissan LEAF battery pack

Steve Marsh, the US’ mileage record holder for the Nissan LEAF, reported on the forum that he lost his first battery capacity bar on June 1 after an astonishing 78,600 miles and almost 25 months of driving.

Losing this first bar means that Marsh’s LEAF is now down finally down 15% in capacity, which averages out to roughly 1.9%/10,000 miles.

New 2013 Nissan LEAF battery pack

New 2013 Nissan LEAF battery pack

The main problem for Marsh now is that he’s no longer able to make his daily trip to work (126 miles there and back) without additional charge along the way.

Quoting Marsh:

 “Like many others, I am looking forward to replacement battery cost information, if for nothing else than to know how much that option will cost.”

Unfortunately, Nissan still has not provided information on the price or possibility of purchasing a new battery pack.  However, a recent update from the company on the battery pack’s expanded warranty also noted that an answer/update on the replacement pricing of the pack would be coming before June 21st of this month.

If Marsh’s battery capacity loss stay consistent, then by 100,000 his LEAF will be at approximately 80% capacity.  This will be more and more problematic for Marsh because on June 10, ECOtality will start charging for the use of CHAdeMO fast chargers, which are what Marsh relies on to get to and from work now.  The fee will be $5 per use (or even $8 if you are guest).

For Marsh, this means the cost of driving to work in an electric vehicle may soon be higher than if he drove a fuel-burning automobile.

Nobody will likely use QC at $5/session on daily basis and even Steve Marsh declared that he will use the cheaper Level 2 units when ECOtality begin charging that $5 fee.  Marsh will have to spend approximately 30 minutes at a Level 2 charger on his way to and from work, versus just the few minutes that were required when he plugged into a QC.

Generally, the situation is slowly getting worst and in a six months it will be winter again.  If Nissan will not provide a replacement battery at a reasonable price, it sadly could be too difficult for Marsh to continue driving his LEAF.

Source: My Nissan LEAF

Categories: Nissan

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22 Comments on "Steve Marsh’s Nissan LEAF Loses First Battery Capacity Bar After Record 78,600 miles"

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Again, this guy needs to move closer to work. Also, are you sure you have the miles to work correct? Perhaps you mean round-trip mileage is 126 miles?

One more thing people. Value your personal time at the rate of at least $100/hr. It puts commuting long distances and cost-of living into better perspective.

Time spent driving is not time lost. Some people enjoy driving, and will get in the car and drive for fun.

There are also several reasons why moving closer to work is easier said than done. Many were spelled out in the previous story, I won’t rehash them.

Nissan must be getting a lot of valuable information from this guy’s car. I hope that their battery price (to be announced June 20th) is reasonable enough that he buys himself a new one and keeps driving the car.

With houses underwater, moving anywhere, including closer to work, is impossible for many people. Move the mountain closer to Muhammad — and by mountain I mean an L3 charger.

This charging to use Chademo L3 chargers business has got to get under control. Here in Chicago, 350Green (Now defunct and bought by wants something like $8 a pop for a Chademo charge, which is outrageous. Some L3s are still free but most not. If there is ever a hope to increase EV use on a truly mass scale, L3 chargers need to be more widely available and free or made cheaper than the equivalent cost using gasoline. Otherwise then just buy a Prius and to hell with it. Frankly, the onus is really on Nissan and/or Mitsubishi — like Tesla, each and every U.S. Nissan/Mitsubishi dealer should have a free L3 charger on site. They currently do not. Or, they should install L3 units for their buyers in strategic, easy to access sites across the country for free use. Tesla had it right with their free ‘superchargers’ set up. Nissan and Mitsubishi should likewise offer the same benefit. It would be an absolute boon to Leaf/iMiev sales across the country. If the federal government isn’t bothering with electrifying our national highways system, something else, more local, must be done. The manufacturers would be a great way to start.

It is convenient to charge at home for many folks as they just plug it in at night and unplug when they go to work. I doubt the masses would want to “fill up” (L3/DCQC) on their way back from work every day. Time, efforts, potential queue with others, down charger, etc. The person in this article is certainly outside the norm/avg for a short mileage BEV (LEAF/FIT/etc vs Tesla).

I see a RAV4 EV in Steve’s future.

And the over priced Toyota Rav4 EV has NO L3 Fast Charging Support! 😛

The RAV4 EV has an EPA range of 103 miles, which is the average of the standard and extended charge modes. With the same degradation rate, he could drive it for 220,000 miles before he would need any additional charge to make it to work. Therefore, the lack of L3 is a non-issue. As you can see from this story, having L3 does not help when the fee to use it is too high for routine use.

Well said…
L3 as a time saver begins to help at around 175 mile trip and beyond when comparing a Leaf to a Rav EV. I know… I have both. The problem then is cooking your leaf battery after so many quick charges.

Anon… I paid $38k for my Rav before tax credit. Still overpriced?

Volt. Problem solved.


I’m with you ….The VOLT gives you normal car use with possibly future battery technology giving you even greater E range .

“his daily trip to work (126 miles there and back)” … but that is still a couple gallons of gas a day in a Volt and only 1/3 EV miles. RAV4 seems like a good compromise.

If he’s doing 126 miles and the range loss is causing on-the-road charging he must be doing L2 charging at work, and the Volt would be more like 1 to 1.5 gallons per day.

I also think a RAV4 EV could be a reasonable fit. With discounts I think it’d be around $10k more than a base Volt but I believe the RAV4 EV is loaded up.

But, the way cell prices have dropped in the past few years I think the replacement battery could be priced low enough (with trade-in, of course) that he’ll choose to replace it when he gets fed up of stopping to charge.

After all, he’s driving a BEV, a low-maintenance vehicle that should keep on running well for a long time. If it’s running well, why take a bath on a trade-in?

Sounds like a Volt is his best option right now, especially with the new incentive. Get a 2012 and get the best deal.

Buy a used Honda Insight. I get nearly 70 miles a gallon roundtrip, 118-120 miles. Stopped making them in 2006 but still some for sale on ebay and other sites.

That’s a lot of miles. My brother-in-law has a long commute and drives a
TDI Jetta. While he touts 40mpg he also pays more for fuel. If I were him
I would drive a PHEV or EREV, even a hybrid would work better for him.

Steve Marsh is to be applauded for his mileage record for LEAF but it
looks like he may be quickly reaching a 100,000 odo reading trade-in

With 60-70ish miles of range, this isn’t the ideal usage for such a limited
EV. Even so, many people ditch their current car at around 100,000 anyway.

Can you get a full charge at a CHAdeMO charger? If so, that $5 charge should equivalent to over 2 gallons. Not a bad price, really. Even for a 50% charge it is close to the cost of gasoline, and what you put in at home every day will be much cheaper.

If you do a full charge, even if only to 80% the price is not so bad. However, this guy is only a little short on range, so 5-10 minutes on DCQC would be sufficient. For a small amount of energy, the $5/session is unreasonable. A fee proportional to energy delivered, or per minute fee, or blocks of 5 minutes would be more reasonable, even if it was a significant multiple above utility prices.

Leaf for Steave Marsh is simply nut sutable. The BEV should have such distance that his normal charging should be slow charging during night or during working hours. Fast charging is emergency charging and shall stay as such due to multiply reasons. For long comute drivers like Marsh still no on the market viable electric option and not to be expected soon since those are very seldom cases. OnStar data demonstrates that comute do not exceeds 60 miles.

The solution to Steve’s problem is that Chevrolet is currently having a promotion on the Volt. Trade in the Leaf for the Volt, problem solved.

Because Steve has access to a charger at work, he’s only going to be running 15-20 freeway miles on gasoline each way. And the Volt’s mpg on the freeway is quite good he’s not going to be paying much at all.

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loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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