Boxman
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:37 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 423008

Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:38 pm

I own a 2013 Leaf SV w/70,000 miles and 10 battery bars. I bought the car with 30,000 miles on it in 2017 for a thrifty $9000. At that time, it had all 12 bars and was in absolutely pristine condition. It felt like a steal at that price, and at the time I naively thought I'd drive it for several years, and then get a third-party battery upgrade, because surely with lithium ion prices falling and the battery technology rapidly evolving, there'd be something available by then.

Well I was certainly right that the price/kWH of EV batteries would continue to fall, and I was also quite correct that EV batteries would continue to evolve, getting ever smaller and packing more and more density into the same volume. All true... but alas, I didn't account for Nissan (and all car manufacturers, to be fair) making it extremely difficult to add any kind of aftermarket battery into their vehicles, that there would be no third party battery solution available.

From what I can see, after much searching, unless you live in Europe or the Pacific Northwest, there is no option to replace or upgrade your 24kWH Nissan Leaf (other than paying a Nissan dealership $9000 for an identical 24kWH pack). Is there truly no hope for all us Leaf owners scattered throughout the rest of North America? I'm in Oklahoma, which appears to be one of the worst possible locations for a Leaf owner to reside.

So is there truly no hope? I really love my Leaf and would gladly pay $8000-$10,000 just to upgrade to the Nissan 40kWH pack, as many have done in Europe. That would still be a better investment, for me, than downgrading to a used Chevy Bolt or some other EV (like the Chevy Spark or e-Golf). I've test driven the Bolt, Volt, e-Golf, Fusion electric and even the BMW i3, and they felt like a downgrade from my nicely spec'd out SV trim Leaf. The Bolt had terrible seats and was too expensive even used, the Volts are cheap but have horrible visibility and ridiculously low ground clearance; the Spark is fun but looks like a clown car and has no cargo space. The i3 is cool but has tiny screens, weird narrow wheels and feels like it's about to blow over on the highway with a strong wind. Plus they all lacked the 360 degree bird's eye camera system I've come to rely on in my Leaf, none of them had heated steering wheels (a must for any EV, IMO), and they all felt like, well, a downgrade from what I'm already driving.

I want so badly to just upgrade my pristine Leaf and drive it forever, but I worry that I had better get rid of it before I lose too many more capacity bars and it becomes virtually worthless. I can get by with 50-60 miles of real-world driving range (what I'm getting now, with 10 bars and about 50/50 city/highway driving), but if it declines much more than this, I can't even justify keeping my Leaf as a second car because even its limited range won't be enough to give a margin of safety from range anxiety, using just using it as a city car.

Should I just give up and move on? Get rid of the Leaf and buy a used Bolt or something (even though it's a downgrade in every respect but the battery)? Or should I hang on to the Leaf, waiting on that mythical third-party battery upgrade we've all been hoping for?

alozzy
Posts: 1961
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:28 pm

If the range no longer suffices, you need to take any emotion out of the equation and sell your 2013 SV for what you can get for it - likely $7 - $8k.

You can then take that $8,000 - $10,000 that you are willing to spend on a new battery and invest it in a 2018 LEAF instead, which you can get for $16-18k. Or, as you suggested, buy a used Bolt.

Nissan's definitely not going to offer replacement packs at a reasonable price at this point, they'll soon move on from the LEAF and focus on other EVs in their lineup - they have to, as the LEAF is no longer competitive.

If it's any consolation, I'll do the same with my 2013 SV once the range is no longer enough. Likely sometime within the next 2 years.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
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cwerdna
Posts: 12103
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:05 pm

Boxman wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:38 pm
I own a 2013 Leaf SV w/70,000 miles and 10 battery bars. I bought the car with 30,000 miles on it in 2017 for a thrifty $9000. At that time, it had all 12 bars and was in absolutely pristine condition.
I don't know which packages your Leaf has, but if it has neither premium package nor the quick charge inlet + LED headlights package, you overpaid.

In June 2015, I paid $9325 + tax and license for my '13 SV w/premium w/under 24K miles: viewtopic.php?p=430825#p430825.

I'm still at 11 bars at about 68K miles.
alozzy wrote: If the range no longer suffices, you need to take any emotion out of the equation and sell your 2013 SV for what you can get for it - likely $7 - $8k.
Don't know if he has CHAdeMO. If not, $7K is unlikely.

In 2019, I kinda tried to sell my Leaf and the best offer I got from Carmax, bringing to 3 Nissan dealers, getting online quotes was $5K (viewtopic.php?p=557892#p557892). One of the dealers who didn't want my car has closed. I kinda tried to sell it work in 2019 (sent to an internal for sale email list) and dropped the price to $6300 when it had 65.2K miles. I got almost no interest and not even an offer.

Then COVID hit which makes a car tougher to sell at work when everyone is WFH instead of my just driving it to work and having people check it out/test drive on a work day.

Hope I find some time to try again in a week selling thru other means. At that point, I will receive as much protection as I'm going to get from my 2nd Pfizer COVID vaccine shot.
Boxman wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:38 pm
downgrading to a used Chevy Bolt or some other EV (like the Chevy Spark or e-Golf). I've test driven the Bolt, Volt, e-Golf, Fusion electric and even the BMW i3, and they felt like a downgrade from my nicely spec'd out SV trim Leaf. The Bolt had terrible seats and was too expensive even used,
As someone who bought a '19 Bolt new, yeah, the front seat sucks and I use a cover that I pointed to at viewtopic.php?p=575180#p575180 which solves my front seat comfort problems. The interior sucks in quality too, I don't like the inlet location, the headlight control is quirky, the stereo doesn't have enough memory slots and the drivetrain's noisier, but almost all other aspects are a huge upgrade (e.g. CarPlay, large LCD, L-mode for 1 pedal driving, much faster acceleration, range is a GAME CHANGER, battery thermal management, faster DC FCing than a 24 kWh Leaf).

I don't know where you are but looking at https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchres ... 1&zc=00001, it looks like used Bolt prices have actually gone up a bit.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (former)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

alozzy
Posts: 1961
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 1:32 am

The resell value of a 2013 SV is very dependent on the local market. I referenced the Seattle market, as that's the one I know best...

https://bit.ly/3ubbGTB
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

cwerdna
Posts: 12103
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 1:37 am

alozzy wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 1:32 am
The resell value of a 2013 SV is very dependent on the local market. I referenced the Seattle market, as that's the one I know best...

https://bit.ly/3ubbGTB
Indeed. But many of those are at dealers and if the car resided in the PNW, it'll be in better condition than in warmer areas. Private parties can't hope to command as much as dealers.

There are a few in my area at https://sfbay.craigslist.org/d/cars-tru ... _year=2013.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (former)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

SageBrush
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Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 2:36 am

Boxman wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:38 pm
Should I just give up and move on?
Yes, based on your range between charging requirements.

My family owns an 11 capacity bar LEAF similar to yours but our range requirements are perhaps half of yours and our frequent destination is supposed to get an L2 charger. My wife drives the LEAF and wants to keep it. Since I think it has years of usable to us life left I'm OK with her preference. Carvana offers $5,500 today. I expect that value to plummet, but probably in tandem with EV improvements so it is something of a wash.
2013 LEAF 'S' Model with QC & rear-view camera
Bought Jan 2017 from N. California
Two years in Colorado, now in NM
03/18: 58 Ahr, 28k miles
11/18: 56.16 Ahr, 30k miles
09/20: 54.3 Ahr; 38k miles
-----
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR, Delivered 6/2018

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Stanton
Posts: 2366
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Leaf Number: 7458
Location: Plano, TX
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Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 6:55 am

There are a several long-time threads on this topic, but with only a few posts I'm thinking you haven't searched/researched much yet.
I'm surprised no one has posted a link to the "battery replacement" website, so I'll do that.

https://nissanleafbatteryreplacement.com/

For me the real problem was finding the replacement pack, but then you still need someone to do the actual swap; you might consider bringing your car to Dallas, but I'm not sure the guy who helped me has added his name to the list yet (or if he even wants to).
A blog about my story will be published next week (identifying all the elements of the upgrade), so I'll try to come back to this thread and post a link when available.
2011 Blue Ocean SV w/OVMS
12v LiFePO4 battery w/Antigravity Battery Tracker
FIAMM 74100 horns/Wet Okole seat covers/Tor's heater mod/Dala's CAN-bridge
Lizard Pack (Rev E) installed @51 months/41k miles
40 kWh Pack (Gen2) installed @115 months/85k miles

jjeff
Posts: 2404
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
Delivery Date: 13 Jul 2014
Leaf Number: 422121
Location: MSP MN

Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 10:17 am

Boxman wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:38 pm
So is there truly no hope? I really love my Leaf and would gladly pay $8000-$10,000 just to upgrade to the Nissan 40kWH pack, as many have done in Europe. That would still be a better investment, for me, than downgrading to a used Chevy Bolt or some other EV (like the Chevy Spark or e-Golf). I've test driven the Bolt, Volt, e-Golf, Fusion electric and even the BMW i3, and they felt like a downgrade from my nicely spec'd out SV trim Leaf. The Bolt had terrible seats and was too expensive even used, the Volts are cheap but have horrible visibility and ridiculously low ground clearance; the Spark is fun but looks like a clown car and has no cargo space. The i3 is cool but has tiny screens, weird narrow wheels and feels like it's about to blow over on the highway with a strong wind. Plus they all lacked the 360 degree bird's eye camera system I've come to rely on in my Leaf, none of them had heated steering wheels (a must for any EV, IMO), and they all felt like, well, a downgrade from what I'm already driving.
Totally agree with your assessment of the other EVs you mentioned, I had the same complaints when I looked at them, almost like the makers wanted to give them all a poison pill to keep people from wanting them so they could say, "we tried to make an EV, no one wanted them" :roll: the worst(or best??) example of this was both the Chevy offerings, the way cramped poorly designed Volt that I would have loved to had it work, I liked the exterior but the interior was awful IMO and the Bolt that again had the great battery but very uncomfortable seats and just seemed cheap to me! You didn't even mention the big poison pill of the i3 being it's weird clam shell rear door where you have to open the front to get to the back, well and it's pitiful small gas tank on the extender version, another poison pill for me anyway.
Like you a heated steering is now a must for me on basically any vehicle, especially an EV but not all that common of a feature to find.
To your question, if you can get a decent price now I agree with others to sell it and get a similar style Leaf with a bigger battery, unfortunately, and I'm in the same boat in MN, unless you are luckily enough to have a good EV shop in your town, they don't seem to be expanding too quickly :(
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lorenfb
Posts: 2511
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Leaf Number: 416635
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Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 12:21 pm

jjeff wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 10:17 am

Totally agree with your assessment of the other EVs you mentioned, I had the same complaints when I looked at them, almost like the makers wanted to give them all a poison pill to keep people from wanting them so they could say, "we tried to make an EV, no one wanted them"
And what are the key features that have been lacking in BEVs that would even achieve ten percent of Tesla's 2020 sales volume?
Think about it, if Ford produced an identical MY, but with a Ford insignia, what sales volume would Ford achieve even if it were lucky?
It's not as simple as one might suggest, e.g. by adding lacking/appealing BEV features, to significantly convert the ICEV appeal to a BEV.
#1 Leaf SL MY 9/13: 76K miles, 47 Ahrs, 5.0 miles/kWh (average), Hx=70, SOH=73, L2 - 100% > 1000, temp < 95F, (DOD) > 20 Ahrs
#2 Leaf SL MY 12/18: 10.3K miles, SOH 109Ahrs/115Ahrs, 5.2 miles/kWh (average), DOD > 20%, temp < 105F

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bobkart
Posts: 227
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Leaf Number: 307853
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Re: Battery upgrades: Is there truly no hope for 24kWH Leafs?

Sat May 01, 2021 12:54 pm

It looks like EVRides in Portland is headed towards a DIY version of their battery upgrade service:

https://evridesllc.com/cars/coming-soon ... t-diy-kit/

Price is still TBD.
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