Nissan USA announced yesterday that all existing and future Nissan Leaf’s sold in the US will have the battery covered under warranty for capacity loss for the first five years, or 60,000 miles of ownership. That is, if the battery capacity declines by over 30% (providing less than 9 out of the available 12 bars on the gauge), the battery will be fixed or replaced under warranty. Nissan is the first electric vehicle manufacturer to offer such a warranty and could be a game changer.
The longevity of the battery contained within electric vehicles has been a concern for some consumers and could have a negative impact on purchases. Like the batteries powering today’s smart phones and laptops, over time the capacity of the battery will decline due to the nature of the battery technology itself. This is a common occurrence and depends on a number of factors include but not limited to type of use, extreme temperatures and the number of charge cycles.
While replacing a mobile phone or laptop battery can be expensive, it’s no where near the cost of replacing the battery powering an electric vehicle which makes up a significant amount of the cost of the vehicle itself. By offering this warranty Nissan is differentiating itself in the electric vehicle market.
Time will tell how much impact this will have on the sales of the Leaf, which to date have not lived up to initial expectations. That being said one could argue the initial expectations for all electric vehicles sales over the short term were exaggerated to begin with.
It will also be interesting to see if any other electric vehicle manufacturer will follow Nissan’s lead and start covering battery capacity loss under the warranty of the vehicle. The Nissan announcement did not include any information on how much this new warranty coverage will cost the company.
Further details on the new Nissan warranty coverage will be communicated in the new year.