By on August 5, 2019

After a few years, most of us begin to notice our smartphones have developed an inability to hold a charge like they used to. The fix used to be pretty simple, no worse than swapping a couple of AAs into the remote. Order a new battery online, pop off the back of the device, and replace the run-down cell with a fresh one. Unfortunately, this simple act grew more difficult as manufacturers gradually decided to seal off access to your phone’s internals — mimicking the plight facing EV owners whose energy source is losing capacity.

A number of electric vehicles in the United States are about to celebrate their 10th birthday. A bunch of them are Nissan Leafs, the first mainstream BEV made widely available in the U.S. market. At the same time, customers have begun complaining about diminished range, with some asking for a battery refurbishment program like the one enjoyed by customers living in Japan.

So far, the best they’ve received is a confident “maybe” from the manufacturer. It might behoove them to expedite things and pull the trigger. Automakers are running behind in terms of establishing a global solution to aging EV batteries, and they’re risking a lot by not already having one in place. 

For many consumers, swapping an old battery pack with new one is prohibitively expensive. Replacing the comparatively small units found in a hybrid vehicle can cost anywhere between $2,000 to over $7,000. However, the worst you’ll have to endure on a hybrid up until that point is a slew of warning notifications stating your battery is dying until the car finally fails to start. In the interim, you might also notice a modest MPG reduction. But you’ll probably have to start worrying about other major repairs by the time that happens, perhaps propelling you into a new car.

Purely electric vehicles are different. Range will gradually become an issue, worsening every year until the car becomes unusable for anything other than a trip around the block. As if that weren’t enough, their larger batteries cost quite a bit more.

Automotive News highlighted this fact in an interview with an early adopter named Ravi Kan-ade. Since purchasing his 2012 Nissan Leaf SL, he’s watched its charging capacity diminish by half over 60,000 miles of driving. That’s not ideal, especially considering the car’s 24-kWh battery started out with an operational range of just 84 miles. He’s dying for the refurbishment option.

While Nissan said it was considering extending the program to North America when it launched in Japan last year, potentially opening the door for kWh upgrades, nothing has been confirmed. It might not even make sense for Nissan to expand the program in its current penny-pinching state. But it would instill a warm, safe feeling inside its customer base.

In Japan the Leaf battery refurbishment costs around $3,000 and units come via a new battery recycling plant inside the country. That’s not cheap, but it’s better than the alternative.

“A refurb program is needed to help owners who were affected by Gen 1 vehicles,” Kan-ade said. “I believe that these early battery failures are part of a learning curve that was passed on to the consumer. Nissan offered a battery replacement program for $5,500, but unfortunately they quietly raised the price to $8,500.”

Despite Nissan being among the first automakers to confront these issues, it is not the only one that has to confront them. Other automakers are facing similar problems stemming from hybrid cars, and we’re just a few years away from a glut of all-electric Teslas coping with an identical plight — followed swiftly by every other automaker that decided to build BEVs at scale.

Among the biggest concerns is resale value. With no refurb solution, owners will essentially be forced to throw a car onto the secondhand market needing thousands in repairs. Sure, they could foot the bill themselves, but why bother replacing the most expensive component in your vehicle just to sell it? Likewise, why would the average used-car buyer choose to spend the cash when they’re already in search of a bargain? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go the internal combustion route or simply splurge on a new EV with superior range?

Yep. You can already see this manifesting on the used market. Almost no one is buying a used electric; as a result, they’ve become dirt cheap — though the tax incentives affixed to new BEVs and lower fuel costs also contribute. The situation is less pronounced with hybrids, but they’re also likely to deprecate a bit faster than their un-electrified counterparts.

From Automotive News:

When people come in to buy a used Leaf, they aren’t asking about the interior, or the electric motor, said Dave Marvin, dealer principal of three Nissan dealerships in Texas and Southern California.

“Their No. 1 concern is the health of the battery,” Marvin said. “Having an affordable, well-thought-out battery replacement program would be a great benefit because it helps address that concern.”

Spending $8,000 on a new battery pack and related components for a first-gen Leaf does not make financial sense, Marvin said.

“It makes that hard to pencil,” he said. “You can’t get enough value back out of the car when you have had to put that kind of investment into the car.”

Unless you’re an electrical engineer hungry for an at-home project, the only sensible solution is to just lease these cars from the start and have someone else deal with it later. But even that’s just kicking the can down the road; it does nothing to address the larger problem. Leasing agencies won’t be happy auctioning a car that has deprecated to nothing and dealerships absolutely aren’t going to want to dump huge investment into a used EV that forces them to sell it at a loss. As for the factory, establishing a procedure to fix up old batteries has to be done in a way that’s financially viable. Otherwise, they won’t bother.

And that’s unlikely to change unless EV sales continue to rise like they did in 2018. Adoption rates may begin to stall unless mainstream consumers feel truly confident they can get the most out of their vehicle’s battery — or at least have it refurbished/repaired for a reasonable price. That makes this a bit of a Catch-22, one the industry has spent billions of dollars setting up. If it doesn’t want to see those funds flushed down the toilet, it might be worth spending a little more to establish a better support network.

Another solution would be to engineer the batteries better — something most automakers are working on. One of the reasons the initial Leaf has such a hard time maintaining capacity (especially in warmer climates) is that it uses an an air-cooled battery. Liquid cooling is gradually becoming the norm, saving cars from bleeding range at an advanced rate. Sadly, these sorts of improvements will also make older vehicles seem even more outdated and less desirable when the time comes to sell them.

[Image: Bondvit/Shutterstock, Nissan]

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92 Comments on “Automakers Need to Start Worrying About the Batteries Lurking in Older EVs...”


  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Simple solution…
    All electric cars should use the same battery “packs”. You don’t own your battery, you just borrow it. If you suspect that it’s getting weak, you drive into a “changing station” and some robots/peons swap them out. Problem solved!
    This would also alleviate range anxiety. You could drive across the country, stopping at “changing stations” to swap a discharged pack for a charged one.

    • 0 avatar
      TimK

      I’ve seen this battery-swap trope many times, and yeah it’s attractive because it seems as simple as pumping gas. But [email protected] lithium batteries are not a easy to pump liquid. They are delicate, bulky, and can explode if dropped or punctured. Once ignited, the batteries are difficult to extinguish — everything nearby has to be moved.

      The logistics are another matter. Swapping batteries would make a nice YouTube video on a sunny day in Ventura CA. Try the same outside Raton Pass in January when it’s -10F, the wind is howling, and the bottom of the car is coated with an inch of frozen slush.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        What if the whole batteries aren’t replaced, but instead slowly one or a few cells at a time?

        This is the future of electric vehicles:
        Cars will have battery packs in which individual battery cells are arranged in some type of conveyor tube. Every now and then you open a ‘mouth’ in the front of the car and feed in a few battery cells. Old battery cells are jettisoned from the back of the car. You scoop up those old battery cells, probably best to use a plastic bag just in case so you don’t get any chemicals on your hands, and place the old cells into a recycling bin.
        Slowly, over time the whole battery pack’s cells have been replaced.

        • 0 avatar

          That’s what Chevy does for Volts. They will test the pack on only replace failed cells. Very few Volt owners have had a total battery failure. This is also due to the battery management. Active liquid cooled and the car reserves a chunk of battery capacity so that it never actually hits 100% or 0%. Nissan did theirs on the cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            ^This.
            Chevy, to their credit, have always had active cooling on their Volt and other EV applications – not sure about their hybrid setups. Greatly extends the life of the battery. Also they can do individual cell swaps. I’m sure it’s not cheap but better than a whole battery swap.

    • 0 avatar
      qwerty shrdlu

      You’ll need to be sure your insurance covers the battery company’s property as well as your own. Insurance companies might balk at paying the cost of a brand new battery to replace a four year old totaled unit and you don’t want to be on the hook for the difference.
      This is a place where the bad ol’ gubberment might need to step in with some regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Someone tried this idea before – “Better Place” in Israel, for example.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Better_Place_(company)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Isn’t this issue more acute for the Leaf in particular? Didn’t Nissan elect to build an EV with no battery conditioning system to regulate thermal issues (hot and cold), thus making the life of the battery shorter out of the gate?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I can only reference one Leaf success story and that’s the one of my brother in NY who sold his Leaf to his friend who owns a Golf Course near Huntsville, AL.

      The guy who now owns the Leaf still uses it every day, and keeps it plugged in at the Golf Course when not in use. That Leaf has been in use for more than 10 years, without any problems, just normal wear and tear, like tires, etc. No battery problems.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @apagtth: I live in the Northeast and still have all 12 bars on the 2nd generation battery after 86k miles and almost 5 years. I suspect there are plenty of others like me. We just don’t complain for obvious reasons. I personally think it was a combination of the battery formulation and maybe some manufacturing issues like cell balancing. I really don’t think active heating and cooling would have helped on the 1st gen batteries.

      • 0 avatar
        mmreeses

        With better programming/cell balancing, batteries now fail “cliff-style”.

        All’s great in year 6, 7, 8, maybe 9, 10…then one month, bam.

        And read up on your warranty, some companies (Tesla) explicitly say that they reserve the right to give you a used battery.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Electronics warranties do this all the time. If your tv breaks when it’s under warranty, you’re likely not getting a new one. It’s shady when Samsung does this, and it’s no better when Nissan or Tesla do it.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The lack of replacement batteries says this whole electric car deal is much more about govt mandates and virtue signalling than economics. The battery pack simply can’t be done at a reasonable price.

    I’ve considered picking up a Leaf for the grandkids to drive to hs, but a battery swap to make it usable results in a pretty expensive rig…you’re paying about twice for the new battery what you are for the car.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Nissan can charge whatever they want for the batteries. The elephant in the room is what replacing or reconditioning batteries costs Nissan. If it is more than people will pay, then this is another indication that EVs are the harbingers of a new dark age.

  • avatar
    vvk

    There are aftermarket alternatives available. Ones can also buy replacement modules recycled from wrecked/junked cars.

    There is a company that makes an extended battery for the leaf that is mounted in the cargo area.

    There is a company that offers a 40kW battery replacement for the 2011-2012 Leaf (up from the original 24w.)

  • avatar
    cprescott

    So here’s the rub.

    We are constantly told by EV fanbois how superior their products are and that they are cheaper to own and to operate than ICE products.

    Funny, these fools never speak about the increased insurance rates they pay and never speak of their repair costs when their technology bites it. These same fools are so quick to lecture ICE owners of the oil changes and repair costs to the engines and other aspects of our cars but never account for similar maintenance that will happen to their “superior” products – and we all know that these components will not be cheap to fix either.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Increased insurance costs? Not on my Bolt. My insurance actually went slightly down when I bought it.

      And since the Bolt, like any proper electric car (but unlike these Leafs), has decent thermal management for the battery, the battery should last beyond any length of time I would possibly keep the car.

      My wife just drove a 175-mile round trip, including both ways over a 3000′ mountain pass, this past weekend, with our two boys and a couple hundred pounds of luggage in the car. She had 69 miles of range remaining on her return. Total fuel cost for the trip? 44 kWh at 12 cents each = $5.28.

      • 0 avatar
        TimK

        Just curious, what is GM’s policy on battery repairs? If a battery is faulty and out of warranty, what are the owner’s options? Do they require a complete replacement?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          There’s an 8-year/100k mile warranty on the battery, so it will be a while before we’re out of warranty–we’ll hit 8 years well before 100k miles.

          Not many Bolts are over 100k miles yet, so I don’t know if anyone has had to replace a battery out of warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            TimK

            That is similar to Hyundai’s 10 year/100K powertrain warranty. My ’08 Santa Fe is out of warranty and I know that any major problem with the transmission or engine will be the end of the line. I’m not going to spend $4K to fix the tranny on a car that’s worth (at best) $4K.

            The replacement cost of a 60kWhr battery is surely over $10K. Who is going to fork over that kind of cash for an old car?

          • 0 avatar
            JoeBrick

            Is the warranty on the battery pro-rated ?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            JoeBrick: No, but GM considers a particular level of degradation — which increases over time — tp be acceptable.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          All extra recycling costs, warranty repairs, it’s all paid by customers of ICE cars. For now.

          They sell EVs at a loss, or at least they leave out above costs since they are mostly future expense, or they treat them as ‘overhead’.

        • 0 avatar

          GM will replace failed cells on Volts. Only a small percentage of Volts have suffered complete battery failure.

      • 0 avatar
        redgolf

        Costing $43,950 for a Bolt ya better get a couple hundred out of a charge, that was the sticker on one I just viewed at a Franklin Tn. dealership last week and no power drivers seat! Smaller than my Buick Encore that I lease (could have bought for $18,000 in 2016) Geez at least bring the price down to a competitive price!The tax rebate would not help me one cent since I’m retired and don’t make enough, certainly don’t make enough to buy at this inflated price!

        • 0 avatar
          JoeBrick

          A power drivers seat would decrease your range by 15-25 miles each time you adjusted it forward or backward or reclined it/raised it upright. You don’t want that .And don’t even ask about raising and lowering the power windows when the car isn’t running !

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The sticker on mine said exactly that amount. I paid roughly $35k for it, and then next year I’ll get $5k of that back from Uncle Sam.

          For $30k net cost, you’re basically buying a 60 kWh battery with a free loaded Sonic attached to it.

          • 0 avatar
            redgolf

            at 70 years of age I still couldn’t deal with the range anxiety and my wife would absolutely go bonkers at half charge! I remember a guy at work back in the late 70’s bought a diesel when he took trips had a large can he towed behind in a trailer full of diesel fuel for fear of not being able to find a truck stop!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The only time we’ve even gone below half charge on the Bolt was the road trip mentioned above. In our normal daily driving, I charge it only to 90% (which helps lengthen battery life), and it never goes below 60%.

            Zero range anxiety whatsoever, and the nice bonus that neither of us has to take time out of our lives to go to the gas station.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “The sticker on mine said exactly that amount. I paid roughly $35k for it, and then next year I’ll get $5k of that back from Uncle Sam.

            For $30k net cost, you’re basically buying a 60 kWh battery with a free loaded Sonic attached to it.”

            So the car is worth $30K to you. What did it cost GM to produce? You can only depend on your neighbors contributing to your car purchases for so long. Socialism only works until you run out of other people’s money, and chances are you’re in a tax bracket where you’re supposed to be other people, not one of the burdens to society.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Todd, take it up with your representative. You also should take up the issue of the tax breaks to everyone, right. For example, mortgage interest deductions. Don’t blame Dal for taking enjoying a break.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            People are responsible for the decisions that they make. They aren’t responsible for decisions made by others. The world would be an infinitely better place if people got that straight.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My $5k break this year for buying an EV will make up for the current administration raising my taxes last year with the SALT provision in its tax bill, which far outweighed the rate cut for me, and was specifically targeted at people like me (professionals in blue states) for political revenge reasons.

            I’m not feeling any guilt over it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dal20402, it’s because of the insane amount of money you make.

            Poor people like me, or those with great tax advisors, have seen their tax burden go down.

            Dude, I cannot complain about a $9600+ tax refund, and that’s just following the lines of the basic 1040, plus justification addenda where necessary.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My salary’s not “insane,” but I do just fine. My beef isn’t so much with my overall tax rate as with the fact that the bill was carefully engineered to cut taxes on everyone except one group of high-income (but not too high-income) people who voted heavily against the current president. If a president of the opposite party tried a similar trick, you’d have Fox News out there urging a coup.

            The damage was relatively minimal for me: my taxes only went up by around $2000. My sister-in-law who lives in California, and couldn’t deduct most of her very high state income tax anymore, had a tax increase of almost eight times that much.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dal20402, I’m familiar with that SALT limitation provision. I have members of my own extended family suffering with that, especially in NYC (Manhattan).

            What my wife and I did was change our individual W-4 exemptions to ‘0’ (zero).

            The actual withholding remained pretty close to what it had been prior to the new tax law taking effect, but the reduced total EOY tax burden is what created the $9600+ withholding surplus.

            Yeah, we live in a new era since the Nov 8, 2016, election – an era that has been magnificently and magnanimously beneficial for millions like me, but not so whooopeee for people like you and your sister-in-law.

            I hope it continues beyond 2020. And I think it will, barring any unforeseen calamities.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            California was a third world country with a South American level of income inequality and poverty long before Trump became a politician. Let the people that fascism is serving pay their fair share of the federal spending they’ve voted for.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @cprescott: Yeah gasboi, I’ll give you an answer. 86k miles and it’s been just one set of tires, wiper fluid, and wipers. No noticeable range loss since on newer cars they build in hidden extra capacity. Even at 86k miles I have no indicated range loss and still doing long-distance trips like Boston to White River Junction with a single stop.

      Now, about my fossil mobiles. I can write pages about sudden unexpected total range loss that cost significant money on cars that had less mileage than my current EV. How about the Mazda that blew a transmission in 1997 out of warranty that cost $5,500 to replace. I’ve owned BMWs too. Care to guess what it costs getting one of those to 86k miles?

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    I’m assuming the smart shopper that Kan-ade is, benefited from the $7,500 federal tax credit at the time of purchasing his fancy car.

    Therefore I propose two things:

    1: Kan-ade can realize the benefits of being an early adopter and accepting other people helped finance his personal vehicle, and cover the costs of the battery replacement himself (he’s still in the black on this after all).

    2: We need to set up a Federally funded program to help people keep their directly subsidized vehicles on the road. The taxpayer teet is long and hard, it can take one more for the team!

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Why does Nissan offer a battery refurbishment for Japanese domestic market consumers? Japan is known for hardly ever keeping cars more than 3 years because of their super-strict Shaken Law, making it very expensive to inspect and register older vehicles. I don’t see why Japanese consumers would even need this program.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    From my point of view, these older vehicles are obsolete due to short range and lack of mod cons desired today, thus making them worth very little in the current (pun intended) market. Why even think about a car with a 70 mile range when 200+ is available.

    • 0 avatar
      AtoB

      “Why even think about a car with a 70 mile range when 200+ is available.”

      Because the used 70 mile range car can be had for $6k while the new 200+ mile car is $35k, that’s why.

      A range of 70 miles is fine for a local runabout.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    The average age of the US automotive fleet is 12 years. How can the green activists justify purchase of an electric car that has only a 10 year life? That is NOT green or “sustainable” in any way.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @rhenry: How can the green activists justify purchase of an electric car that has only a 10 year life?

      Except they don’t have only a 10 year life. They last much longer. You can take a Tesla a half-million miles. People have done it. Besides, battery tech is improving and there are third parties offering upgrades. After the battery is replaced, it’s like having a new car unlike a fossilmobile that will start it’s death by 1,000 cuts downward spiral.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Replacing a 10 year old battery makes not economic sense, therefore it will not happen for most low end electric cars….the cars that are the focus of environmentalist fantasies.

        • 0 avatar
          mmreeses

          the garage w/the unicorn one-owner Tesla kept for 10+ years most certainly has the disposable income to junk the entire car when the battery fails.

          While the hapless, 3rd-owner Tesla at the 10+ year mark is going to get junked as well when the owner sees the battery cost.

          Totally green!

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Third parties offering upgrades may be well and good. But is it true about Tesla “disabling” the car if just any body shop would fix it? If so, could they do the same thing with a non-Tesla battery? Or can you do whatever you wish once the car is out of warranty?

  • avatar
    mcs

    So, some of you want to see the long term costs of high mileage Teslas? Here’s the best source:

    https://www.tesloop.com/blog/2019/2/6/tesloops-high-mileage-teslas

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    It seems that, just as with Diesel vehicles in the EU, there’s a downside to anything. Downsides which aren’t thought about by the ones holding all the cards!

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    There seems to be a DOWNside to everything that the government does. That DOWNside is unintended consequences. The unintended consequences are that
    Whenever the government chooses to f#ck something up…er…create a new program, the people who get screwed over…er…the general public tends to seek new ways to avoid, get around, or ignore the bad aspects of the program. Sometimes, people go to extremes to get around the new law, or find ways to twist it into a way to steal THEMSELVES.Because government programs are always flawed, sometimes by accident, usually by design. You see, government is the opposite of Freedom, and the biggest scam ever invented. The person who first thought up the idea of government should have been quietly strangled before his idea got out.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      There were no unintended consequences of our past dependence on foreign oil. Nope. Not a one.

      • 0 avatar
        NigelShiftright

        Seems to me that the operative word in your comment is “past”. It now appears clear that our dependence upon foreign oil is something that need not have happened.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmy2x

      @JoeBrick. Please not here. There are plenty of extremists sites for you to post your BS.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        jimmy2x, looks to me like you just don’t want to read about another person’s point of view or opinion.

        A huge number of people view what ‘gubmint’ does the very same way as JoeBrick, and they’re not considered extremists. Most of those people are not living on gubmint handouts either — they got theirs the old fashioned way, by working for it.

        I never figured you for a cradle to grave nanny-state disciple.

        • 0 avatar
          jimmy2x

          When someone says that we would be better off with no government at all, that’s nuts. And I’m hardly a left-wing crazy person. USN,CPO, Retired

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I knew you were retired NAVY, just like you know I am a retired USAF MSgt.

            However, there are a lot of American citizens who share the same political philosophy of JoeBrick, either from painful personal experiences due to gubmint mandates, or from fall-out due to gubmint programs gone awry.

            And all this without regard to political affiliations left or right.

            For instance, Retirees like you and me were negatively affected by Hilary-Care in the ’90s, and then lost even more coverages with the disastrous ACA in 2010.

            Plenty of examples out there that fit right into JoeBrick’s gripe, rant and rage.

          • 0 avatar
            NigelShiftright

            We would not be better off with no government at all.

            But we would be a lot better off with a government that did not tax some people and give the money to other people to buy expensive cars.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          it’s a car site, bruh.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “it’s a car site, bruh.”

            True, but national politics and the state of the economy directly influence all things automotive.

            Speculate what things would have been like TODAY in the automotive queendom if the other candidate had won.

  • avatar
    chris911sc

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    Most EV batteries are being designed to last 2000 cycles.
    For a “typical” EV these days, a battery cycle (full range) would be considered to be let’s say 160 miles, which is the average of a 200 mile range vehicle when new, vs 60% of its Beginning of Life range before needing replacement.
    So we can expect to start seeing 320k miles before needing a battery replacement at End of Life.

    Obviously there will be faulty battery packs here or there, but these are being designed to now last the life of the vehicle.

  • avatar
    OldWingGuy

    I don’t have an electric vehicle, so not my argument, but….
    The issue is the replacement cost for a battery in 8 or 10 or…years ? So, when was the last time you replaced the engine in your car or truck ? With a factory new one ? How much did that cost ? All in – labour, extra parts (belts, hoses, etc etc) ? I bet about as much as a new battery. But very few people actually replace or rebuild an engine anymore. Just scrap it and move on. Once upon a time there were places called engine rebuilding shops – I know, I worked in one 40 years ago, now long gone.

    And to JoeBrick above, who seems to think that gov’t just screws things up. Granted, they do sometimes. But my experience is the people who complain loudest about the Damn Gubbmint are the first to demand help/handouts when hit by flood, hurricane, tornado, wrecked economy, bridge collapse, Ebola epidemic, blah, blah, blah. I look forward to you declining Medicare/Social Security/police/fire protection/interstate hiways etc.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I think the issue is that the frequency with which engines need to be replaced is now relatively rare under several hundred thousand miles. I’m driving a 12 year old car with 113k miles and (knocking on a big oak desk) have no need to replace it.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      You are wrong about me and most people who distrust and hate the government. Example: I lived in Kentucky when a car dealer that was to sell my car for me on consignment forged my name on the title and sold the car (a Corvette) without my permission, and kept the money. (He owed money to the mob.) He was arrested later for 77 felony charges, but the car was not recovered. Why ? In Kentucky, contrary to other states, when someone buys a car in good faith, it belongs to them, even if sold by fraud. I still owed 13 payments on that car, WHICH I MADE, despite no longer having the car. Do I sound like the type to pay for my own mistakes(I had cancelled my insurance on it because I was no longer driving it- I was young and dumb) , or the type to cry and demand helphandouts from the government ? I have other examples of why I hate the government. Take my word for it.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Meanwhile, the people who choose the state as their god don’t trust the President of the United States, or the agency that rescues children from trafficking, or any police department that does its job, or laws created by people who’ve since been character-assassinated by Marxists bent on removing the Bill of Rights…etc ad infinitum. But it’s people who want hard limits on government power who are nuts!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Not all EV batteries are created equal.

    The Leaf 1.0 battery is akin to the GM 350 diesel of the 1980s, giving a bad name to the technology. That’s why they depreciate so badly. I’m glad I leased mine back then.

    From the beginning, Tesla batteries have demonstrated much less degradation than anyone else’s. I’d have no problem buying a used Tesla, and lower battery degradation is why they hold their value.

    Don’t hold your breath for Nissan to do anything about old Leafs. They just don’t care, and frankly, they don’t need to. Not when Rogues are such money makers.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I started out in the movie theatre business and this situation reminds me of the digital transition. Theatres were essentially forced to convert from 35mm film projectors to digital, all to save the studios $$$ because they didn’t have to strike or distribute heavy film prints. They “helped” the theatres convert with subsidy programs.

    In short, you went from a proven, mechanical technology that allowed you to expect a lifespan of 50 years or longer from the machine, to a digital projector that may have 10-15 years until it fails or is no longer supported. Due to digital rights management built into the devices, the “light engines” can brick during an extended power outage or backup battery failure. Many of the 1st generation projectors are approaching EOL and you’re going to see a lot of pain in the exhibition space in the next few years because the studios are unlikely to subsidize replacement.

    The days of buying a used projector and finding a space and setting up your own small town movie theatre are pretty much over. I predict that over time, seeing a movie in a threatre will only happen if you live in a larger metro area.

    This situation is a little different, in that no one (for now) is forcing you to buy an electric car.

    • 0 avatar
      NigelShiftright

      “seeing a movie in a theatre will only happen if you live in a larger metro area.”

      And if you enjoy seeing a movie amongst a crowd of people who are checking their phones every thirty seconds, talking loudly back to the actors on screen, and bringing toddlers with short attention spans to non-kiddie films.

      • 0 avatar
        redgolf

        Not to mention the crowd of people chomping on their pop corn making those loud digging noises as they thrust their hands in the box or slurping through their straws as they drink! “Let me outta here”!

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      “This situation is a little different, in that no one (for now) is forcing you to buy an electric car.”

      Well, you live in a (relatively) free country. In Europe you basically are forced to buy an electric car, or alternatively forced to buy an electric car for others…

      It’s especially infuriating when you live in a cold climate where for sure electric cars have higher emissions even (for most people, especially like me who only put on low mileage in their daily drivers), and don’t make any sense whatsoever.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I can go to Target and buy a yuuuuge tv for about a grand and have my own theater in my home.

      The same tech that helped the theaters are hurting them.

      Like the “we’ll see” story of the Zen Master and the boy…. https://buddhistinspiration.blogspot.com/2011/12/well-see-zen-story.html

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      I don’t know all of the details, but in the town where I go to watch movies, the local theatre(s), two of them next to each other, got a loan from the city of around $200,000 to convert to digital. When they went before the city council to beg for money, they said the alternative was to close the theatres if they didn’t get the loan.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        That’s a lot of money in a business with lousy margins. They rely heavily on minimum wage, teenage labor too (which is partly why I got out of the business…working with 16-17 year olds is fun when you’re that age, not so much when you’re 10 or more years older). Rising minimum wages in many areas are pretty painful.

        I just finished outfitting my own home theatre with an 85 inch screen and probably won’t see a movie in a theatre again, but I’ll still miss the experience just a bit (when I started out, nobody had a cell phone – people would get pages and make calls from our lobby pay phone).

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I wonder if Nissan is seeing more of an opportunity than a problem. If a first-gen Leaf owner brings his car in for a battery replacement and sees the ridiculous bill…wouldn’t that sound like the time the sales manager directs him/her to the showroom to consider a new, much-improved car? Granted, the “prospect” might be ticked off enough that a new Nissan might be at the bottom of his/her list, but the businessmen that make these decisions rarely think long-term.

  • avatar
    incautious

    but but but the dope smoking CEO of a certain EV company says that his batteries last 500,000 miles.

  • avatar
    chris724

    I disagree with the very first sentence. I haven’t noticed battery degradation in my cell phone since the back in the NiMH days.

  • avatar
    Sam Hall

    When the demand gets high enough, the free market will provide a solution. For most kinds of BEVs, the solution will likely be something resembling a rebuilt engine with a core exchange — you drop off your car and pick it up in a day or two with a rebuilt battery pack. On the back end, the refurbisher will open up the battery packs, find a relative handful of dead cells, and replace them to completely restore the original capacity. As this procedure becomes more common, automakers will design their products to make battery replacement quicker and easier. Eventually, at least some will enter the battery swap business themselves.

    I was a BEV skeptic in the beginning, but they have become economic for large numbers of people and are here to stay. The only real caveat remaining is that there haven’t been any breakthroughs in battery _materials_, only in the way battery packs are engineered. The battery revolution is all in the electronics that manage the cells to squeeze maximum life out of them. The cells themselves are still your father’s batteries.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I like Rivian’s idea of a midsize truck and a midsize Van. Appears to be ideal for local/grocery-getter transportation and short-hop hauling.

      But I’m also guessing that price will deter a lot of potential buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      All of the “issues” with Electric Vehicles have not been solved yet. What if 50 or 75% of the market switches to EVs ? Aside from the necessary charging stations (millions) needed, what about the infrastructure needed ? New power plants will be needed. Thousands of them. And how long will it take to build them ? Getting EPA permits and local approval can take years. And WHAT FUEL do we use to power them ? Coal ? Corn ? Nuclear ? Better figure it out. And if and when enough power plants are built, transmission lines need to be built to get the electric power where needed at the millions of new charging stations.
      And that does not even consider the air pollution that these new power plants will produce. No one is ready yet, even if enormous strides are made in battery capacity.
      And China needs to figure out the same issues. I suggest that we watch them do it first, and learn from them.

      • 0 avatar
        redgolf

        “And China needs to figure out the same issues. I suggest that we watch them do it first, and learn from them.”
        But China might beat us to the moon! Oh wait! that was the Russians!

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Renault have this right with the Zoe. You can lease or buy the battery. If you lease the battery then Renault replace it automatically every few years. Nissan should take a Leaf out of their French friends book.

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