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Buying Nissan Leaf for V2H, which MY support it?

9279 Views 40 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Scrooge
I'm very tempted to buy a cheap Nissan Leaf 24kWh and get on a V2H trial.
I'll keep my current diesel for medium and long journeys, but I would switch to the Leaf for everyday commuting and shopping.
I have seen old Leafs around 7000-9000 £, but I'm wondering if all models support V2H. The email I got from Indra (they are doing a V2H trial) say you need a Leaf 2013 onwards or an NV200 (any model year I guess). When looking for a second hand Leaf, how do I know if it really supports it? It's not one of those features listed on autotrader and I guess the seller wouldn't know either
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Are the ones with foot brake the ones built in uk?
And are the other ones not able todo v2h?
Would it not be a lot more sensible to buy an actual home battery with a warranty rather than a Leaf? You have no guarantee that you would even be accepted to take part in the Indra V2H trial.
Is it this one you are going to look at?

Looks like it has 12 bars on the battery although that can be faked so make sure you use Leafspy.

Assuming it has 85% battery health, that would give you around 20kWh usable battery, but not if you ever plan on driving the car. I think most people wouldn't want to drive a car with less than 20 miles of range and most people wouldn't want to drain the battery down to near zero either. So you will need to keep a reserve of about 30 miles if you want to drive the car. 30 miles of range in the Leaf equates to about 8 kWh in the summer and probably closer to 10 in winter. So your 20kWh battery is now really just a a 12 or 10 kWh battery.

So if assuming the car you are looking at is the one advertised and you pay asking price, that will be £7000 + £1600 cost of the Indra V2H charger. £8600 in total. You can buy a home battery with similar capacity for around that price.

You also need to take into account that you need a second EV charger installed on your house to qualify for the Indra trial.

Then you have the fact that the car has no battery warranty. Most home batteries come with at least 10 years. You have car insurance, MOT, maintenance which can be quite expensive on the Leaf and if anything major breaks on the car like the PTC heater or the PDM you are looking at a bill between £1200 and £5000!

It just doesn't make sense to me to buy a Leaf if the main purpose is to use it as a home battery.
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Remember Leaf 24 start life with 21.something usable capacity. So 85% would be ~18kWh of usable 0-100% battery.

If major things break and not using Leaf as a daily car, I'd say it's not necessary to fix them?
So it would really be 8 to 10 kWh for use as a home battery.

Yes, it is that one
I had assumed Indra would pay for the bidirectional charger installation (I only pay £1600) and that I don’t need a separate EV charger, I would just use the 3 pin plug if I didn’t get on the Indra pilot
It would also become my main car for local communing; I do low mileage anyway (18 miles to work round trip about 2 times/week)

Also if Octopus go bust or they stop Octopus Go, a standard home battery would be no use to me as I don’t have solar
I believe that part of the stipulations for the trial is that you need a secondary EV charger, so you will need to factor in a few hundred pounds more for that. I am not sure if a granny charger would be acceptable to meet that requirement.

I considered the Indra trial and it didn't make economic sense for my usage and I already have the car and home charger so all it would cost me is £1600. You can see my thoughts here:

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I assumed the alternative way of charging would be just so you’re covered in case of malfunctioning of the Indra charger

For my typical use, 1hr of granny charging per night would be sufficient

Using V2H with Octopus Go will save me 918£/year; I’ve also accounted for the time the car will be parked away from work (probably twice per week)

That’s compared with being on Octopus Go and charging the car only at night

I haven’t accounted for the effect of the energy guarantee by Liz Truss’ government because it’s not clear how it will change smart tariffs
You should also consider car price depreciation. Right now used car prices are very high. I think with the coming recession they will likely fall. I worked out that using 6kWh each day on the battery would be the equivalent to driving an extra 8640 miles a year. That has got to have an effect on the longevity of the battery.

I would expect to lose around 5% of the batteries health each year. After 2 years that would probably leave you with a car with only 50 miles range.

Assuming £1000 a year depreciation and you are looking at making a loss of £80 a year.
That's pessimistic, in my view.

1. Typical Leaf SOH decline is about 5% in the first year and 1 to 2% for each year thereafter. There is partly determined by usage and partly by age: even if you did exceptionally low mileage you would not escape most of the decline, and there are some very high mileage Leafs around that haven't suffered much more than average. 5% annual loss for any year other than the first would be exceptionally high for UK Leafs.

2. There's some evidence that, when certain conditions are met, V2X usage actually reduces battery decline, as shown in a University of Warwick study. To simplify, the idea is that there is an optimum zone for SOC -- neither too high nor too low -- where battery decline is minimised, and some V2X usage patterns increase the amount of time the battery spends in this 'Goldilocks' zone.

That said, this is a trial exactly because there are many unknowns, and the exact extent of battery depreciation is one of them. The quid pro quo is that, in exchange for taking a punt, you get a V2H charger (and type 2 charge point) at about half the normal retail price.

Kind regards
- Garry
I think it would be very sensible to take into account the worse case scenario though when working out whether or not the Indra charger is going to pay for itself quickly or if you might even end up making a loss.
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I'd fully agree with all of this, and would emphasise the 'trial' element. The Indra offering isn't a fully ready-for-market product with all the reliability/support which would come with something like that. What they're running is essentially a data-gathering exercise to develop best practices, design and market research for what will be the real mass market product - a V2X charger that's CCS compatible. Once they have that, then the market opens up fully, and they will potentially no longer produce the Chademo units. And at the point they move to focus on CCS, there's zero guarantee of support/repairs for your old trial unit. And that could happen within the next 2-3 years, in fact it is likely. You're still left with a usable car, but the £1600 plus £500 (approx for the secondary charger if you don't already have one) will not get you a reliable return on investment if it develops a fault etc.

So go for the trial if you're into advancing technology, being an early adopter etc etc, but if your primary concern is saving money, a home battery is by far a more sure-thing than the Indra trial.
Exactly. I tried to find out about the length of warranty on the V2H charger and couldn't find any info. Would it be covered by standard consumer rights if it develops a fault? Maybe not because it isn't a consumer product. Say it has a 2 year warranty and it breaks a day after it expires. The OP would have only just broken even if their estimated savings are accurate.
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In my case, your worst case scenario, of 5% loss per annum, would result in Nissan replacing my battery under warranty.

If I do end up on the trial, I will keep an eye on the SOH, but I'm fairly relaxed about it.
Your case is much different to the OP if you would be using a 62kWh battery. I too wouldn't think twice about getting the indra charger if I had that battery capacity available. I would be able to power the whole house all the time and still have plenty of charge for driving. The payback time would be halved for the charger and you would have the peace of mind of the battery warranty. Using a 24kWh Leaf just doesn't make sense to me unless you treat it only as a home battery and never drive anywhere.
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Well, I feel the opposite way: it doesn't make sense to buy the car just to use it as a home battery. It does make sense if you need the car anyway, as long as you don't need to drive it a lot or have a high energy home. It should do a little of both quite nicely.

Part of this is your attitude to risk. The risk averse tend to look at the worst thing that could possibly happen; this is very sensible for some people, particularly those who are counting the pennies; this trial is not for them. The risk-takers always hope for the best, are frequently disappointed, but sometimes win big. Most people are in the middle, trying to work what is most likely to happen.

Kind regards
- Garry
I suppose it is a relatively small risk of taking a loss if you were planning on buying a Leaf anyway and will only need it for short journeys plus you have another car available. Looking at the costs of the charger and ignoring the costs of the car, it would probably take the OP a year and a half to break even so long as electric prices stay around the 40p per kWh mark. Again, ignoring the actual car itself, the thing I would be most worried about is what happens if you can't get the 7.5p night rate to charge? Having said that though, I am pretty confident that it will be around in a year and a half.

This thread has got me reconsidering!

Edit: re-did the calculations and I couldn't get a pay back time of less than 2 years whilst always keeping the battery no lower than 50% charge so it doesn't make sense for me.
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Yeah, probably need to run it down to 30 or 40% to make the maths on £1600 V2H inverter to work. Definitely need another car for us Leaf 24 owners to make this trial work from mobility point of view.
30% on my Leaf would equate to about 18 miles range, which is only really about 15 miles in reality and I have at least 85% battery health. I would be extremely uncomfortable starting a journey with only 30% left even if I knew it was going to be a short one.
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Fair enough if it doesn't work for you. It is niche. However, is expecting requiring a sub 2 year payback time reasonable? After all, people are fitting solar or home batteries with paybacks of 5 to 10 years all the time.
The reason I specify 2 years is because I can only get a third party warranty on our Leaf for another 2 years. After I can no longer cover the car, I plan on selling it and don't want to feel forced to buy another Leaf just to recoup the money I put into buying a V2H charger.
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