Cars

Next Nissan Leaf: Is Battery Swap The Death Blow For Tesla?

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200 miles of driving range is turning into the bare minimum for new EVs and it will be the way for the next-gen Nissan Leaf. Due to arrive in a fortnight from now, the future Leaf is slated to have at least 240 miles of driving range for the base trim.

Despite the driving range on EVs getting better and better, range anxiety is still acting like a handbrake for the entire industry and it needs a strong solution. If the latest rumors are to be referred to, the answer to range anxiety may just arrive with the next-gen Leaf.

The word is that the Leaf is designed in a clever manner that allows easy removable of the battery pack. This means that owners of the car can simply replace the battery on the Leaf with another pack should they run out of juice. It is just like those conventional batteries on everyday tools where you can easily load a new pack when the older ones ran out of juice.

There will be two batteries being made available for the Leaf and they vary in capacity. If the rumors are right, we can say that the next-gen Leaf has got one foot into curing range anxiety entirely and this can deal a big blow to Tesla.

Tesla is currently the brand to beat in the EV industry and they have tried out the battery swap system with the old Model S. However, the battery swap program never hit its goal since most of the users prefer quick charge at a nearby station. Would things be similar for the next-gen Leaf?

4 Comments

  1. Rob Stark

    August 27, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    1) The base LEAF (~40 kWh) will have a range of 150-165 EPA miles.

    2) There is no battery swapping in lieu of charging. Easier to swap the battery for replacement.

    3) The big battery option for LEAF is at least a year away.

    • ricegf

      August 29, 2017 at 2:46 am

      None of what you say has been officially announced. Are you a Nissan employee, by chance?

      Nissan’s killer opportunity IMHO is to sell the LEAF without a battery at all for a list price of (say) $12,000, then lease the battery pack at a daily rate that varies depending on size. This would give them several advantages in the market:

      — The low list price is attractive and would grab headlines.

      — The common fear of a big ($6000 or so) one time battery replacement cost or living with received range is erased entirely, since Nissan owns the battery and could amortize the cost across the fleet.

      — Battery upgrades as technology improves become a 5 minute affair, faster than an old-fashioned oil change (remember those?).

      — The driver can opt for a smaller 40 kWh battery charged inexpensively each night for around town, then swap for a 60 kWh or larger battery for road trips only when the longer range is really needed. This the indecision of how much battery capacity to buy up front is also erased.

      — While on a road trip, the driver has the option of fast charging to 80% in 30 to 45 minutes, or (if available) swapping the deleted battery for a fully charged battery in 5 minutes for the cost of a tank of gas.

      If Nissan actually offered this, as both Tesla and Better Place have in the past, they would earn my business again. I’d swap my 2012 LEAF for the new model without hesitation.

      I doubt such a rumor is true, but if it is, it’s brilliant!

  2. Bdwaters

    August 28, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Once an EV owner gets used to planning long distance trips and using fast chargers, there is no need for battery swapping. The infrastructure required for battery swapping would be cost prohibitive. It is a nice idea on paper but it will never catch on.

  3. ricegf

    August 29, 2017 at 2:47 am

    None of what you say has been officially announced. Are you a Nissan employee, by chance?

    Nissan’s killer opportunity IMHO is to sell the LEAF without a battery at all for a list price of (say) $12,000, then lease the battery pack at a daily rate that varies depending on size. This would give them several advantages in the market:

    — The low list price is attractive and would grab headlines.

    — The common fear of a big ($6000 or so) one time battery replacement cost or living with received range is erased entirely, since Nissan owns the battery and could amortize the cost across the fleet.

    — Battery upgrades as technology improves become a 5 minute affair, faster than an old-fashioned oil change (remember those?).

    — The driver can opt for a smaller 40 kWh battery charged inexpensively each night for around town, then swap for a 60 kWh or larger battery for road trips only when the longer range is really needed. This the indecision of how much battery capacity to buy up front is also erased.

    — While on a road trip, the driver has the option of fast charging to 80% in 30 to 45 minutes, or (if available) swapping the deleted battery for a fully charged battery in 5 minutes for the cost of a tank of gas.

    If Nissan actually offered this, as both Tesla and Better Place have in the past, they would earn my business again. I’d swap my 2012 LEAF for the new model without hesitation.

    I doubt such a rumor is true, but if it is, it’s brilliant!