Nissan Loses Money On Every Leaf Replacement Battery Sold

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

In June, Nissan announced that Leaf owners could obtain a replacement battery pack for $5,500 upon trading in the old unit. While a boon to said owners, the automaker is losing blood on the deal every time a pack is sold.

Green Car Reports interviewed Nissan vice president of global communications Jeff Kuhlman, who explained that the low price for the new pack was the result of his employer subsidizing the price, though he declined to state how much Nissan spends per replacement. Thus, no profit is being made at this time off of the exchange.

However, Nissan isn’t yet hurting on this “customer-first” initiative. According to Kuhlman, no one has taken the automaker up on its Leaf battery replacement program.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Jul 25, 2014

    I recall when the Volt (and the Leaf) first came out, there was talk of what to do with the batteries after they were no longer suitable for automotive service. More than one source said that even after the batteries weren't good enough to be put in a car, they would be more than fine for household use as a back-up or supplemental power supply. In other words, a used automotive battery could provide peak and back-up power to a solar or wind powered home. Even in a grid-connected house, the household battery could be charged off-peak and provide power during peak time. You could stick one in your basement and use it to power your sump pump during a power outage.

    • Redav Redav on Jul 25, 2014

      My house's baseline electric consumption (i.e., no HVAC) is only 5 kWh/day. A very real scenario is a hurricane blowing through and taking out grid power for a few weeks. So, if I installed solar panels to provide for my baseline usage (going without AC is tough, but the alternative is going without AC *AND* going without refrigeration, some cooking, fans, lighting, communication, etc.), I wouldn't even need that much battery backup to meet minimal needs--I only need enough to last when the sun doesn't shine--maybe 3 kWh. The Leaf battery is somewhere around 25 kWh when new, so even at 50%, it's 4x my baseline needs. Alternatively, there is an electric provider here that has free electricity at night (10PM - 6AM). Using the Leaf's battery, even at 50%, to soak up power at night for use in the day could eliminate my electric bill for nearly 8 mo of the year without any other modification. Repurposing a Leaf battery, even degraded, for home use certainly seems feasible.

  • I was thinking about one these bad boys as a commuter car. I live in the Midwest and it gets really cold. Do and any of the B&B here have one? I'd like to know range, charging and performance when it's way cold. My local Nissan dealer is run by idiots. How long will the heater run if you end up in the ditch (my wife thinks she's indestructible?) How is it it in the snow? How does it work on snow tires? I was going to wait and see what the new little truck from FCA was like before I bought something, however I've seen Leafs kinda cheap used. I could take the $5K hit if I had to(I'm cheap not poor.) I'm looking for something interesting to drive. The 200 mile Sonic would be perfect, except I don't trust GM to roll out new technology nor to stand behind it.

    • See 2 previous
    • Redav Redav on Jul 25, 2014

      @SCE to AUX Heat pumps are considerably more efficient than resistance heaters, but they are limited to the temperature differential they can create. So if it's bone-achingly frigid outside, the car will be merely stone-cold inside.

  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Jul 25, 2014

    "While a boon to said owners, the automaker begs to differ." Learn how to write. This is phrased to imply that the automaker differs that it's a boon to owners.

  • DrGastro997 DrGastro997 on Jul 26, 2014

    Why do Leaf owners need to exchange old for a new pack???