Firetruck41 wrote:Dorman already offers hybrid battery packs. I could see them doing the same with BEV packs as the business case develops. I wouldn't be surprised to see some niche entrepreneurs reconditioning/selling some variation of packs for BEVs as well, as there are companies that are reconditioning hybrid packs, replacing dead cells, etc. It won't cost $2k to ship, not even close.
Yes that's for fixing packs, that will happen if people want to devote the time to figuring it out. There are many problems with the leaf to hybrid comparison though.
The first is that many people with a degraded hybrid pack don't care that there's a % loss in fuel economy as the battery ages. At this point most people have paid off the car so it's still cheaper to run with an old battery and pay a bit more for fuel. What they do care about is when a cell is bad and throws a code. The easy fix that most places are doing is finding a salvaged car and using each individual cell to take out and replace the bad cells in the good hybrids. This does not restore brand new capacity or increase it to better than new like many people have referenced they hope will happen. It simply gets rid of the code and makes the car drivable again. This would be compared to having a pack in a leaf with low capacity and finding a car at a wrecker with better capacity then switching the cells.
This leads into the next problem that others have said on the forum here. Each pack is programed to the car. Nissan will not tell non Nissan dealers how to program a used pack to another car. Although this may be information that a repair shop could get if they paid for it like other special tools it would probably be very very expensive and might mean that each car has to go to the battery supplies shop and it can't be mailed out. Also in this case your best bet would be to get back to 80-90% of original capacity.
This leads to the next problem in comparing the pack to hybrids. Most hybrid batteries can be accessed through the trunk or under the seat and 1 or 2 people can lift them out or maybe even fix them in the car. I thought about replacing my insight battery myself if I ever needed to. I built a grid charger for it and had everything exposed and saw that it would have been easy to do. The battery unit is bolted together and comes apart with tools. The leaf battery is a sealed chunk of metal that no single person could move, it has to be lowered from under the car with a lift. It's big enough that if you were working under the car on jack stands it could kill you if it fell on you. From reading about people who have used leaf cells from this case they inspect it and find no way to open it without destroying it with angle grinders.
I trust that a capable shop could figure out a way to open and reuse/reseal the case if they wanted to but it rules out the chance of shipping out cells that are then assembled into that case by the DIY user or any old garage willing to take on the job.
As for the cost of shipping, the weights I've seen for buying used cells put half a pack at around 200 and the quoted weight of the battery is 660 from Nissan so that means the case is around 180 lbs. You do a shipping quote from California to NY for a pack that's about 6'x5'x2' and 660lbs and tell me what you get? Yes they won't all ship across the country but with odd size heavy packages like that it's not a linear relationship with cost and distance especially when you add on fees for having a truck with a tailgate capable of delivery it to a place without a dock.
The last thing I'd like to point out is years back there were many people that popped up and started selling plug in prius kits that would offer all electric driving on a gen II car up to 67km/hr, could easily get over 100mpg on the highway ((yes that wasn't counting the kWh) and sold $5k-$12k kits. I looked a while back to see if the price had come down and I couldn't find anyone doing it anymore. The company that originally started the rebuilt insight battery business went belly up. It's possible that it was mismanagement and it's possible that it was the debt from starting it up. If it's the later that is the case the only reason we still have people doing that now are because his supplier started selling the raw product he tested and evaluated to work to other people. They then picked up with his work with little investment needed. So the only thing that's worked in hybrids is selling a proven product (either used OEM or from an established company) that takes near 0 time and cost to develop.