How much would a Leaf owner pay to banish range anxiety? If your answer was "$100 a month," then Nissan's got a proposition for you. The car maker is gearing up to launch a domestic battery replacement program for its EV in 2014 that'll set you back that aforementioned sum. Similar to Nissan's setup in Europe, if your battery can only hold nine out of 12 bars worth of charge, it'll replace the unit with a new or reconditioned unit. The company insists that very few will ever actually need to replace the battery, but hey, squeezing $1,200 a year out of its existing customers is a sure-fire way to inspire loyalty.
Nissan Announces Battery Replacement Program for LEAF
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan, the world leader in zero-emission vehicles, today announced plans to offer a battery replacement program for U.S. LEAF customers who wish to replace their original equipment, lithium-ion battery pack.
The program, which will begin during the first half of 2014, will work in tandem with the Nissan standard battery warranty for LEAF – which includes industry-leading five-year, 60,000 mile coverage against battery capacity loss (below approximately 70%) and 8 years/100,000 miles against defects – to provide multiple layers of assurance for electric vehicle owners.
Erik Gottfried, Nissan's director of Electric Vehicle Sales and Marketing, said: "Nissan anticipates that the great majority of our current LEAF drivers will never need this battery replacement option. However, this program is yet another example of Nissan's commitment to deliver peace of mind for our continually growing community of LEAF drivers."
Nissan conducted a global survey of LEAF owners and prospective electric vehicle customers and reviewed publicly available industry data to help shape the replacement proposal. Owners and prospective owners voiced a preference for a monthly payment program, and that they wanted assurances that the battery will maintain its capacity at a certain level.
"Technology is evolving and battery prices are projected to decline as EVs become increasingly mainstream," said Gottfried. "Therefore, this new battery program today affords more flexibility for the future so that customers can both upgrade to the latest available technology for their LEAF and enjoy more predictable vehicle operating costs."
The battery replacement option is being modeled after aspects of both competitor and Nissan Europe battery leasing programs. The majority of the EVs bought in Europe involve battery leasing separate from the vehicle.
All LEAF batteries installed under this program will enjoy coverage similar to the terms of standard battery coverage under the Nissan New Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty and be assured to maintain at least 9 bars capacity, or approximately 70 percent and protection from defects in materials or workmanship for the time they own their LEAF and remain in the battery program. If necessary, Nissan will replace the battery with a new or remanufactured battery to restore capacity at or above a minimum of 9 bars, much like the existing expanded battery capacity warranty.
The Nissan LEAF battery replacement program pricing is consistent with Europe and will be approximately $100 per month. The replacement program will officially launch during the first half of 2014, and all Nissan LEAF vehicles will be eligible. It will be administered by Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation.
"The battery replacement option will provide the peace of mind that customers have an economical option should they choose to replace the battery for whatever reason," says Gottfried.
Nissan will announce additional details of the battery replacement program later this year, including other global markets.