Not surprisingly, Nissan will lose money on first LEAF replacement battery packs

Nissan surprised some people when it announced LEAF replacement batteries will cost just $5,499 plus the return of the old pack. The company has now confirmed it is subsidizing the cost to an undisclosed degree.

The question of electric vehicle battery costs is obviously a big factor in the purchase price of new plug-in vehicles, but is important at the end of the battery’s life as well. Since most battery packs won’t have a useful automotive life of more than 8 or 10 years, reasonable battery replacement costs are vital to maintaining a healthy used EV market.

Nissan sought to answer any doubters by offering a very fair price for a 24-kWh LEAF replacement battery: $5,499 plus installation and the return of the original battery pack valued at $1,000.

At the time, virtually every EV advocate and enthusiastic LEAF owner with a calculator rushed to determine that the cost of a LEAF replacement battery equates to $270/kWh. This would be a remarkable number, but not so fast – Nissan could be subsidizing the pack to give the future used LEAF market a boost when the cars start coming off leases in droves.

Nissan will initially lose money on replacement packs

This is exactly the case, confirmed Green Car Reports yesterday. Jeff Kuhlman, Nissan’s VP of global communications, declined to share Nissan’s cost of producing battery packs but conceded that “Nissan makes zero margin on the replacement program. In fact, we subvent every exchange.”


Share on Facebook submit to reddit Share on Google+

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.


So Nissan has only announced this battery replacement campaign to do what? slow down the deprecation on used Leafs so they can offer a better lease rate. By their own admission they expect to "sell" very few or no packs in the near future.